More Women, More Over 55's and More Canoes
The latest survey British Marine Federation shows a steady overall increase in the amount of people participating in boating activities and also the amount of people converting from ‘casual boaters’ to ‘boating enthusiasts’. However, the most notable results from the survey is a spike in participation from two key demographics: women and people over 55 years old.
More women take to the water
Last year, 3.5m UK adults participated in one or more of 12 boating activities. However, the amount of women getting involved in boat related activities has risen to its highest level since 2002, when BMF began its nationwide surveys. Now 6.2% of the UK’s female population are involved in boating. Although the results of the survey are very encouraging, just 1% of the UK’s female population describe themselves as ‘boating enthusiasts’ (meaning they go boating more than six times per year). This is compared to the 7.1% of the UK’s male population involved in boating, of which 2% can be described as ‘boating enthusiasts’.
Rise of the over 55's
The age group showing the most new interest in boating is the over 55's. Since 2011, the number of people over the age of 55 involved in boating in the UK has risen gradually and is now at its highest point since the BMF began their surveys in 2002, showing a 66% increase. The 16-34 and 35-54 age groups are both also showing higher participation rates over the last few years, suggesting boating is become more popular nationwide.
Canoeing takes the top spot
Canoeing now accounts for around half of the people participating in boating activities reaching 3.1% participation nationwide. 1.1% of the population participating in motor boating/cruising and small sail boat activities account for the next highest percentage of boating participation. Canoes and kayaks are also the most popular boat owned by the UK public, making up 47% of the total boats/craft owned in the UK. Small sailing boats account for 17% of the boats owned and motor boats makes up 7% (82,799).
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Article by Jack Bartrop