By Sarah Petrie
The first change you might notice is me. I’m Sarah, your new editor. I’ll do my best to bring you the latest trends in recreational boating, the cutting-edge technologies and products, and all the spectacular destinations the boating life has to offer.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about trends. Like any industry, the boating world goes through changes. Boats make comebacks, design features go out of style then return with a twist and consumers go through lifecycles and phases. Not to mention the effects of outside economic forces. Now, as the boat show season winds down, some of these trends begin to emerge from the dust. These shifts tell a compelling story of how the industry responds to the ebbs and flows of market demands.
It’s no secret the global economy was hit hard by the recession of 2008, and though we didn’t feel it as significantly here in Canada, it had a major impact on the boating industry in the US. Sales dropped dramatically – by about 80 percent, in fact. People just could not afford their homes, let alone to buy boats. We’re seeing a comeback, now. This year was better than last, and last year better than the year before. The demand has returned and manufacturers are investing money again in new models and engines – many of which we cover in our Boat Show Best feature.
It’s important to note that while the economy is back on an upswing, the value of the Canadian dollar has affected the price of boats north of the border. A lower loonie means more money for a new boat here in Canada. But, there’s always a trade-off. Falling gas prices as of late mean that running a boat is now more affordable.
It’s also cool to be green. Concern for the environment has become trendy and the boating industry has taken note. With more and more people looking for ways to save money and protect the environment, engine developers are responding with fuel-efficient technologies that offer some of the highest power outputs without the environmental impacts of the past, plus added savings in your pocket.
When you take a look down the aisles at the boat show, you tend to see more walkers and fewer strollers. That’s a direct indication of our ageing population. The baby boomer generation has, and continues to create, a higher demand for bigger, more accessible boats with entertainment spaces large enough for extended families.
In these pages you’ll see a few of these trends, plus many other features that we hope you find interesting. So until next time, read away and count down the days until you’re back on the water.