How big a deal is your local boat dealer? If you’re at all curious about the state of boating and watersports in America, read on for six crazy facts about boating in these United States.
- It’s not the rich who own the boats. Crazy, right? We all thought that boats are a rich man’s game, but it turns out that a boat dealer is more likely to offload a boat for sale to someone in the middle-class than anyone else. Middle-class is defined as a household income of less than $100,000 a year for these purposes, and 72% of all boats are bought by people in this category.
- You almost certainly live near water you can boat on. America is a land full of water and surrounded by water. There’s so much water that 95% of us are living within an hour’s drive of some body of water you can navigate a boat on. There’s another 95% to think about: 95% of all boats in America are less than 26 feet and can be towed with a trailer. Time to look for used boats for sale, maybe?
- Only one of our Presidents ever held his own patent, and it had to do with boats. That President was Abraham Lincoln. He designed a device for lifting boats over sandbars and shoals. Reportedly, he got the idea after being stranded on a sandbar in Illinois. He acquired a patent for the device, but it never went into production.
- Pontoon boats are cooler than you might think. If you’ve ever seen a pontoon boat for sale at a boat dealer and wondered if they were any fun, the answer is yes. The average pontoon boat can get up to 22mph even maxed out with 11 people on it. With just one person, it can manage 31 mph. If you think that’s slow, try those speeds on choppy water.
- Boats are the perfect Made in America product. “Made in America” appears on products all over the place. It’s a badge of honor, and the badge often implies that many similar products aren’t made here. That’s never been true of boats. We’ve been a boat-crafting nation since before we were a nation, and today 95% of all boats that are sold here are made here.
- Think before you sail. Think before you sail, and even before you head over to the boat dealer. Boats are cool, boats are fun, boats are useful, and you should have one. But accidents happen. In 2016, boating property damage in this country cost $49 billion, and 5.9 people died for every 100,000 registered boats. But before you panic and skip the boat dealer, know this: almost all of these deaths were due to two, totally avoidable issues: alcohol and life jackets. Of the people who drowned in these accidents, well over 80% were not wearing lifejackets. Want to be perfectly safe on your boat? Don’t drink and sail, and always wear your life jacket (and make everyone else wear theirs, too!)
There you have it! Six of the oddest facts about boats that you didn’t know til now. So find a lake, find a boat dealer, and be safe out there on the water.