Recreational boating grows in the world

The size of the recreational boating market in the world was approximately 35 billion dollars in 2020 and will exceed 60 billion dollars by 2027, according to a research report by Global Market Insights.

Within the recreational boating market, there is an outboard motor market and an electric boat market.

Likewise, the company Vision Marine Technologies highlighted that 75 million people sail each year in North America, according to the United States Coast Guard, with approximately 11.8 million recreational boats registered with the United States Coast Guard in 2020.

Vision Marine Technologies products belong to both the outboard motor category and the electric boat category.

To better understand: An outboard motor is a propulsion system for boats, consisting of a self-contained unit including motor, gearbox, and propeller or jet drive, designed to be attached to the outside of the boat.

As well as providing propulsion, outboard motors provide steering control as they are designed to pivot on their mounts and thus control the direction of thrust.

Outboard motors tend to be found on smaller boats as it is more efficient for larger boats to have an internal system.

Recreational Boating

Although fossil-fueled outboard motors have traditionally dominated this market and continue to do so, electric outboard motors are a relatively new phenomenon that have been growing in tandem with the growth of the electric boat market.

According to the NMMA, outboard motor sales in the United States rose to a 20-year high in 2020, to approximately 329,500 units, up 17.6% from the prior year.

Consumer demand for higher-performance engines continued to trend upwards in 2020, with double-digit gains in sales of engines with 200 horsepower or more.

Engines between 200 and 300 horsepower accounted for 27% of all outboard motor sales.


Although many pleasure boats can be powered by outboard or inboard motors, many consumers prefer outboard motors.

Reasons for their preference include that unlike inboards, outboards can be easily removed for storage or repair, provide more space on the boat as they are connected to the transom on the outside of the the boat, they tend to have a shallower draft and can be more easily replaced should the engine no longer work or an upgrade to higher horsepower is desired.

There are many manufacturers of outboard motors. Some of these manufacturers are subsidiaries of massive global conglomerates, such as Yamaha, Bombardier, and Suzuki.

Electric Boat Market

Although electric boats have been available for more than 100 years, interest in them was minimal until the 1990s when the first studies were conducted in the United States on the suspicion that motor boats significantly pollute aquatic environments by loss of gasoline and lubricating oil.

According to Andre Mele, recreational boats pollute as much as cars and trucks in the United States.

In the early 2000s, 8 million speedboats in the United States annually released 15 times more pollutants into the environment than the oil spill produced by the Exxon Valdez tanker in 1989.

The sinking of this tanker in Alaska had released 11 million US gallons of hydrocarbons into the environment.

After conversion, this means that each ship releases an average of 78 L of hydrocarbons into aquatic environments each year.


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