For many millennia around the world, the human race has built and used boats for everything from fishing to trade to war. Such boats ranged from famous Viking longboats to the huge caravels that sailed the world’s oceans during the Age of Discovery to Spanish galleons during the height of the Spanish Empire. Today, it is mainly the world’s navies that have sea-going vessels of war, while the civilian sector is home to many different boats for recreational use. Pontoon dealers can offer new and used pontoon boats alike, as well as pontoon boat parts and accessories. Other marine sellers may have not just pontoon boats for sale, but also speed boats and sports boats designed for such sports as wakesurfing or wakeboarding. Pontoon boats can also be useful for sightseeing, fishing, or even hosting a party or picnic in the middle of a lake. Meanwhile, pontoon boat parts and accessories are vital for keeping a boat in good shape, especially if a boat is getting older or if a person bought a used boat. Pontoon boat parts and accessories might be found at local marine retailers or even online.
Americans and Boats Today
Who is looking for pontoon boat parts and accessories? Boats are as popular as ever among Americans, and many people today own boats, and others simply rent them. As of 2016, some 11.9 million registered boats were found across the United States, and this number has been growing due to increased interest among younger buyers. This is reflected in boat sales; total recreational marine sales grew 3.5% from 2015 to 2016, and this resulted in $36 billion in sales in 2016. In that same year, some 981,600 pre-owned boats were sold across the United States, which results in $9.2 billion in sales. It is also common for boats, and for pontoon boat parts and accessories, to be built natively in the United States as well.
Nearly 90% of Americans live within an hour’s drive of a navigable body of water, and many Americans are buying or renting boats to explore the waters, most often lakes. And as mentioned above, more and more young buyers are getting into the boat market, such as those of the Millennial generation, born 1982-1995. Many marketers take a strong interest in this group, since Millennials are now old enough to afford major purchases such as houses, cars, and boats, so understanding the trends and interests of Millennials is central to business. Within 10-15 years or so, the same may be done for the younger Generation Z, those born about 1996-2010.
Buy a Boat
Whether an experienced older boater or a Millennial, a boat customer should know what they are looking for, and why. Different boat types are better suited for different activities. A pontoon boat may be too slow for wakesurfing or wakeboarding, so those sports call for power boats instead. But pontoon boats are a fine choice for fishing, parties, and sightseeing, due to their wide bodies and their couches, seats, and tables. A pontoon boat is almost like a floating deck, in fact.
A boat buyer may choose a new or used boat at a dealer. A new boat will probably cost the most, but it will have modern standards of power, safety, and features, and it will also have its factory warranty in place. Such a boat will not have any wear and tear or maintenance issues, either. By contrast, some boat customers may look for a used boat instead, and this can result in great savings. Used boat buyers should look over the boat in person beforehand, however, and take it for a test run. The buyer should check for issues such as cracks or holes in the hull, along with checking for damaged wires or faulty steering or barnacles or mussels. The buyer can take the boat on a test drive to ensure that the engine is in fine working order, and to see if the boat handles as the buyer wants. Minor repair can be done on a used boat, such as the carpeting. Boats have specialized carpets that resist sun and rain, but a boat buyer may have to tear up the old carpeting and put down new carpets.