OLYMPIA-Washington residents spent $454 million on pleasure boats and related equipment in 2001, placing the state among the top 10 nationally in boat sales.
Washington ranked ninth among U.S. states in combined purchases of recreational craft and related equipment, such as motors, trailers and accessories. Florida ranked first, with combined boat and equipment sales of nearly $1.5 billion.
Nationwide, boating-related retail sales totaled $28.5 billion in 2001 and rose to $29.2 billion, in 2002, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. State-by-state sales figures have not yet been compiled for 2002.
The sales totals include purchases of various types of recreational craft, including outboard and inboard boats, canoes, kayaks, stern-drive sailboats and personal watercraft. New outboard boats and motors were among the largest categories of purchases.
"These figures are yet another reminder of the significant impact fishing, and outdoor recreation in general, has on our state's economy," said Jeff Koenings, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). "The boating industry is just one sector of the economy that demonstrates the connection between healthy fish populations, sustainable fishing opportunity and economic vitality."
Fish and wildlife-related recreation overall resulted in $2.18 billion in spending by fishers, hunters and wildlife viewers here in 2001, according to a national survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
The same national survey concluded that Washington ranks eighth in the nation in spending by recreational fishers. The survey reported that sport fishers spent $854 million here on trips and equipment-including boats-in 2001.
"The strength of the boating industry in Washington state reflects the tremendous variety of recreation-including the wide array of saltwater and freshwater fishing -- available here," said Northwest Marine Trade Association trustee Larry Carpenter
| Top 10 states for 2001 boat, motor, trailer |
and boating accessory purchases
|1) Florida|| $1.48 billion|
| 2) California|| $1.42 billion|
| 3) Texas || $866 million|
| 4) Michigan || $612 million|
| 5) Minnesota || $583 million|
| 6) New York || $574 million|
| 7) North Carolina|| $467 million|
| 8) Wisconsin || $464 million|
| 9) Washington|| $454 million|
| 10) New Jersey || $361 million|
|(Source: National Marine Manufacturers Association)|
| Top 10 states in spending by sport fishers |
| 1) Florida || $4 billion|
| 2) California|| $2 billion|
| 3) Texas || $1.9 billion|
| 4) Minnesota || $1.3 billion|
| 5) North Carolina||$1.11 billion|
| 6) New York || $1.1 billion|
| 7) Wisconsin || $1 billion|
| 8) Washington || $854 million|
| 9) Michigan || $839 million|
| 10) Ohio || $762 million|
|(Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)|