The boating lifestyle has never been more in vogue than it is now, making boat owners (along with the products and services they require) the anchors of the marine economy. According to a recent survey by the NMMA: There are over 17,000,000 registered boats in the US and there are 35,277 marine businesses in North America. Based on data provided by insurance companies, 100,000 marine service businesses is a better estimate. Let’s rephrase that. For every 170 boats (and counting) there is but one service provider. Let that sink in.
There are two ways to look at this statistic:
An unfathomable risk – Boat sales are on a record high while the number of marine service professionals is falling far behind. This gap in service delivery could soon become an abyss if the industry does not batten down the hatches and deploy more service providers to meet rising service demands. We don’t want to see boat owners get disillusioned with their investment choices and move away from the marine industry.
An opportunity of gigantic proportions – The marine industry represents massive scope in terms of employment and specialized work for aspiring vocational trainees and young professionals. Marine businesses have an immediate role to play – creating awareness of the ongoing cultural reboot in the form of improved pay scales, greater gender equality and better career advancement opportunities.
“Equilibrium is what this industry needs urgently. A harmony that must be achieved by a rapid increase in the number of marine service providers in the wake of a thriving boating subculture – as evidenced by early 40s families emerging as the new demographic of first time boat owners. We must ride this wave together, boaters and marine professionals alike!” – Merrill Charette – Co-founder, SHIPSHAPE.Pro.