Grow Boating’s full study on the First-Time Boat Buyer (FTBB) is now available. With changes in consumer shopping and online behavior over the last decade, the study was commissioned by the Grow Boating Board of Directors to better understand today’s first-time boat buyer and determine how manufacturers, dealers and the industry’s marketing campaign, Discover Boating, can apply the findings to generate sales.

Study findings include definitions of six different types of first-time boat buyers, including their interests and psychographic traits, what motivates them to explore boat ownership, how they move from “boating” to “owning,” and insights the industry can use to better support these buyers on their journey to ownership. For example, a key finding that reinforces long-held industry beliefs is that participation is the single greatest trigger of the first-time boat buyer’s desire to own.

The initial research findings were shared with industry stakeholders during last year’s International BoatBuilders Exhibition & Conference (IBEX), the Marine Dealers Conference & Expo (MDCE) and the Grow Boating Summit. The complete research white paper, as well as videos and a quick-reference guide on the six types of first-time buyers, are now available on

According to 2015 data from Info-Link, first-time buyers represent 33% of all boats sold in the U.S. – a nearly 20% decline since 2005. This decline is largely responsible for why the average boat owner continues to increase in age.

Another key insight from the First-Time Boat Buyer research reveals that two-thirds of first-time boat buyers will only give out personal information at the point of purchase – meaning manufacturers and dealers are currently not getting traditional leads from two-thirds of first-time buyers.

View the full release here and visit for the complete research findings.