Grand Rapids Boat Show
February 15-19, 2023

Michigan Maintains Ranking as #3 National Marine Sales at $1.3 billion (up 12% from 2019)

Michigan Maintains Ranking as #3 National Marine Sales at $1.3 billion (up 12% from 2019)


Dianna Stampfler, Show Publicist – (269) 330-4228 |
Ben Nielsen, Show Manager – (616) 447-2860 ext. 1013 |
Henri Boucher, Show Producer – (616) 447-2860 ext. 1071 |
Sarah Salvatori, NMMA –


U.S. Boating Boom Continues with Record 2021 Sales

and Strong Momentum in 2022

Michigan Maintains Ranking as #3 National Marine Sales at $1.3 billion (up 12% from 2019)


(CHICAGO – January 2020) — The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), representing North American recreational boat, engine and marine accessory manufacturers, announced in early January that U.S. new powerboat retail unit sales are expected to surpass 300,000 units for the second consecutive year, closing 2021 an estimated 4 to 6 percent below record highs in 2020 and 7 percent above the five-year sales average.

Amid heightened demand for new boats, boat builders experienced supply chain disruptions during the pandemic like other manufacturers across the country, which impacted new boat deliveries to retailers and put constraints on growth in 2021. Manufacturing productivity is revving back up to meet demand for new boats, with boat building production nearing pre-pandemic levels as supply chain constraints ease.

“Following record sales in 2020, recreational boating remained the leading outdoor recreation sector in the U.S. in 2021 with new powerboat sales exceeding 300,000 units for only the second time in 15 years,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president. “The pandemic created shifts in how Americans prioritize their time, and boating is an activity they’re doing with family and friends to escape from stresses on land, all while creating fun and adventure. As a result, U.S. marine manufacturing, which provides an estimated 691,000 jobs across the country, is standing out as an example of economic resilience.”

Consumer interest and demand for boating continue to reach near record-highs as more Americans seek out boating as an accessible outdoor activity, especially as other leisure activities, sports and travel continue to be impacted by COVID-19.

What’s more, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), recreational boating and fishing are the number one contributor to the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy, surpassing RVing, hiking, and several other outdoor recreational activities. In fact, the economic contribution from boating and fishing were up nearly 30 percent in 2020, compared to 2019.

Looking ahead, 2022 is expected to be another strong year for new boat sales, which are projected to surpass 2021 totals by as much as 3 percent.

“We expect strong momentum for boating and new boat sales to endure through 2022 as Americans from all walks of life explore the great outdoors and turn to the unique joys of being on the water,” added Hugelmeyer.

U.S. boat manufacturers and dealers are gearing up for the winter boat show season – including the 77 Annual Grand Rapids Boat Show in Michigan, February 16-20 – critical sales channels for the industry that can generate between 30-50 percent of annual sales and where manufacturers introduce their latest products.

U.S. Recreational Boating by the Numbers

Additional statistics on the industry’s size, makeup, and demographics include:

  • Annual U.S. sales of boats, marine products and services totaled $49.3 billion in 2020, up 14 percent from 2019.
  • It’s not just new boats being sold; an estimated 1.1 million pre-owned boats were sold in 2021.
  • Discover Boating – the industry’s resource hub for those interested in getting started in boating – reports traffic to the site was up 13 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, and up 91 percent compared to 2019 pre-pandemic.
  • The recreational boating industry supports more than 690,000 American jobs and 35,000 American businesses.
  • Outdoor recreation accounts for 1.8 percent of U.S. GDP, generating $689 billion in gross economic output, of which recreational boating and fishing is the single largest segment, contributing nearly $31 billion in gross output and supporting 4.3 million American jobs. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis)
  • Ninety-five percent of boats sold in the U.S. are American made.
  • An estimated 100 million Americans go boating each year.
  • Sixty-one percent of boat owners have an annual household income of $100,000 or less.
  • Ninety-five percent of boats on the water in the U.S. are less than 26 feet—boats that can be trailered by a vehicle to local waterways.
  • Leading the nation in sales of new powerboat, engine, trailer and accessories in 2020 were the following states:
    1. Florida: $4.3 billion, up 28 percent from 2019
    2. Texas: $2.4 billion, up 22 percent from 2019
    3. Michigan: $1.3 billion, up 12 percent from 2019
    4. North Carolina: $1.2 billion, up 24 percent from 2019
    5. Minnesota: $1.1 billion, up 14 percent from 2019
    6. Wisconsin: $967 million, up 22 percent from 2019
    7. New York: $966 million, up 20 percent from 2019
    8. California: $948 million, up 17 percent from 2019
    9. Georgia: $921 million, up 24 percent from 2019
    10. South Carolina: $859 million, up 20 percent from 2019


About NMMA: The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading trade organization for the North American recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, marine accessories and gear used by millions of boaters in North America. The association serves its members and their sales and service networks by improving the business environment for recreational boating including providing domestic and international sales and marketing opportunities, reducing unnecessary government regulation, decreasing the cost of doing business, and helping grow boating participation. As the largest producer of boat and sport shows in the U.S., NMMA connects the recreational boating industry with the boating consumer year-round.


The Grand Rapids Boat Show started in 1946 as the West Michigan Sportland Boat Show in the Welsh Auditorium, with less than 25,000 square feet of space. It is now in its glory of 250,000 square feet (5.74 acres) of pillarless display space throughout the main exhibition halls, Steelcase Ballroom, Grand Gallery and Grand River Overlook. This is one of 14 consumer expositions produced by ShowSpan Inc., in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1945, ShowSpan – a Studio C Company – is the largest producer of consumer shows in the Midwest.






77th Annual Grand Rapids Boat Show – February 16-20, 2022

WHERE:        DeVos Place in Downtown Grand Rapids. 303 Monroe St NE


Wednesday, February 16               2:00pm – 9:00pm
Thursday, February 17                  12:00pm – 9:00pm
Friday, February 18                       12:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday, February 19                  10:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday, February 20                     10:00am – 5:00pm


PRICES:        $12 adults, $5 children aged 6 to 14.  Kids 5 and under are admitted free.


TICKETS:      Buy tickets online now (no fees):


PARKING:    There is plenty of close by parking – beneath DeVos Place, across the street and connected by skywalk.                      For more information, click here.


Take the complimentary trolley…just park in Dash Lot Area 9 on Seward ($2 total) and hop aboard the Trolley which will be making runs on an 8-minute loop beginning an hour before the show opens until an hour after the show closes each day.


LODGING:    Experience Grand Rapids | Kent County Hospitality Association | West Michigan Tourist | Pure Michigan


CONTACT:    Dianna Stampfler, GR Boat Show Publicist: | 269-330-4228  | | (#GRBoatShow)





ShowSpan, Inc.
2121 Celebration Dr NE · Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525 · 616-447-2860 · FAX: 616-447-2861 · ·