A new report by British Marine shows growth in the boating industry for 2016 led by small and medium boatbuilders

The report by British Marine shows a positive 2016 for the UK boatbuilding sector. Production, revenue, exports, small and medium sized manufacturers all enjoyed growth and favourable figures.

The report has found:

  • Unit production was up by +1.5% to 9,907 units
  • Revenue increased by +1.6%, generating £859 million in turnover in 2016, meaning that boat production accounts for over a third of the marine industry’s £3.01 billion revenue with £724 million or 84% was derived from exports – an increase of +35%

Small and medium sized boatbuilders showed the healthiest growth, with the lion’s share of production absorbed by the mid-sized powerboat market (12m to 24m), sailing dinghies and rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), where output has recently returned to 800 units after a period of decline.

The industry figures also show:

  •  The UK continues to be a leader in the global dinghy sailboat market, accounting for 78% of total units produced. Production numbers grew 1.2% in 2016 to 7,735
  • The RIB market has grown 12.3%, with 820 units produced last year
  • Mid-sized motor yacht production has increased 2.7%, with 380 units produced last year

Continues below…

Commenting on the state of the UK’s boat manufacturing sector, British Marine CEO, Howard Pridding, said: “Boatbuilding in the UK has changed dramatically since the last decade, with demographic and social change reshaping manufacturers’ customer base and their access and approach to spending and boat ownership. As a result, the market for boat builders in traditional boat segments has narrowed for boatbuilders across the world.

“UK boatbuilders have adapted. Our members continue to find opportunities and commercial niches to exploit in the Eurozone, and, increasingly in established and emerging markets outside of Europe.”

The report states: “According to the report sailing yacht ownership has declined in popularity but interest in the sport hasn’t, with charter holidays and shared ownership offering the flexibility of use and experience not afforded by conventional ownership.

“The current trend in domestic yacht manufacturing is therefore driven by changing customer behaviours in an ageing market.”