As we head into the long summer months and with TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show on the horizon, new research has shown that watersports participation is at an all-time high with 4.66million Brits hitting the water in 2017*. This is the highest number recorded since the annual the Watersports Participation Survey was first conducted and was largely helped by rising trends in board-based watersports and canoeing.
Canoeing remains the nation’s favourite way to get on the water with 1.85million people picking up a paddle last year. Whilst ever-growing board-based hobbies, surfboarding, bodyboarding and paddleboarding, are hot on its heels for pole position, receiving a combined 1.5million participants. But the draw of traditional boating pastimes still remains strong with over 681,000 people enjoying motorboating, a rise of 37% on the previous year.
Despite economic uncertainty, Brits are still looking to purchase their own floating hideouts with boat ownership on the up. Last year more than 690,000 UK households owned one or more vessels, bringing the total number of boats owned by UK residents to 1.18million.
David Pougher, Interim Managing Director at British Marine, commented: “It is very encouraging to see this level of growth in boating and watersports participation. Life on the water has always been part of this country’s rich heritage. We see it every year at TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show, with people coming along to find out about and to try new things and the whole family getting involved.”
Looking to once again boost participation and get more people of all ages and ability out on the water, is TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show, taking place from 14-23 September 2018. As the UK’s largest festival of boating, this year it proudly celebrates 50 years of being the only single event in the UK to offer a full range of free boating and watersports activities for anyone looking to enjoy time on the water. Whether it’s cruising in a sail yacht, riding a RIB or Stand Up Paddleboarding, close to 15,000 visitors get on the water at the event every year.
The Show also boasts Europe’s largest purpose-built marina, showcasing over 330 stunning sail and motor yachts for visitors to peruse whilst enjoying the last of the summer sun.
Early Bird tickets for TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show are now on sale, with two children under the age of 15 going free with each adult.