Saturday, July 11, 2009

Is boating really a luxury?

An article in today's Chicago Tribune suggests waters are rough for boaters due to the economy. But is it really that bad for those who are fortunate enough to enjoy the boating lifestyle?

Sure, new boat sales are down this year, but that doesn't mean people aren't boating at all - they just aren't buying brand new boats. Guess what - people aren't buying new homes or cars either. Yes, boating is considered a "luxury good" but it's not easily abandoned.

First of all, boating is often enjoyed by people who can afford to withstand a dip in the economy - even as severe as our current recession. In fact, any shake out of boaters for economic reasons may have already occurred last year - those who survived $4 (or even higher at the marina) gallons of fuel in 2008 are surely able to continue their leisure indulgences this year with gas prices lower on the water and on the road.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, boating isn't a sport or hobby one "picks up" like racquetball or softball (no offense to you hardcore ballers). It's more than that - boating is in your veins, a passion often passed down for generations.

You know it if you are a born boater.
  • You've heard the call of the ocean as long as you can remember.

  • You breathe better when you smell salt in the air

  • You sleep better when waves are gently rocking you.


  • The Tribune article does provide one statistic that shows boating may be slowing. The article states that at one harbor in the Chicago area, "...someone who joined a 25-year wait list to moor a small powerboat will now discover the wait time has dropped closer to 20 years".

    Yeah, I guess boating is really slowing down!