Facts & Figures


The boating industry in Europe is a dynamic and competitive sector and a significant contributor to the European economy. The industry is made up of boatbuilders, engine manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, trade and service providers and consists of approximately 32,000 companies, directly employing over 280,000 people. Prior to the financial crisis, the boating industry achieved an annual average growth rate of 6% and a turnover of over 23 billion euros (today its turnover is approximately 20 billion euros).

The boating industry is mainly made up of small and medium-sized enterprises (97% of businesses are SMEs) and a small number of large companies (over 1 000 employees). On its own, the boatbuilding sector consists of 3,000 companies employing over 66,000 people. The production of recreational craft is very diverse and ranges from series to one-off boats, which are built-to-order.

The boating industry is also a highly internationalised sector. Traditionally, European companies have exported mainly to other countries within the EU and to the US where the export ratio is 3:1 in Europe’s favour. New markets are emerging, however, and European companies are increasingly exporting to Asia, South America and Russia.

With over 27,000 km of inland waterways and more than 70,000 km of coastline, Europe offers the perfect environment for the 48 million European citizens who regularly participate in recreational marine activities (36 million of whom are boaters), as well as countless numbers of tourists. Over 6 million boats are kept in European waters while 4,500 marinas provide 1.75 million berths both inland and in coastal areas.

Source: ICOMIA Statistics Book 2010 - For sale on www.icomia.com

Boat Sales Statistics Programme

In view of the lack of reliable and accurate statistics for boat sales in Europe and in most of the export markets, boatbuilding companies proposed that EBI run a specific programme.

The Boat Sales Statistics Programme started in 2015 and is fully compliant with the EU and US competition Law. It is run by European Boating Industry for a group of companies meeting the participation criteria set in the Competition Law Guidelines of the Programme.

Under this Programme, companies provide sales information to an independent third party contracted by European Boating Industry, which will process, aggregate and disseminate the anonymised results to the Participating Companies for statistical purposes. The report, available only to the participating companies, is a an important tool for business intelligence. 

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