British Marine report reveals 2020 boating boom with 9% rise in sales

UK boat sales rose by 9% in 2020 according to the latest figures released by British Marine...

Anecdotal evidence suggested that Brits turned to boating in their droves last summer as the perfectly socially-distanced hobby, but the latest report from British Marine has backed that up with firm data.

The industry body’s annual figures are drawn from the Boats Group (the owners and operators of the UK’s major boat sales portals including,, and and reveal a 9% year-on-year increase in boat sales for 2020.

The year began poorly for boat retailers, with a 40% year-on-year slump between March and May during the first national lockdown. However, the easing of restrictions in the summer saw boat sales surpass the previous year’s figures by 50% across the months of June to December.

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These figures take into account both new and used boat sales, and the trend is most pronounced among sales of boats for more than £100,000, which were up 18% year-on-year. In total the industry generated £250million of revenue, which represents a 19% increase compared to 2019’s total.

“Last summer we were seeing evidence and hearing regular news about the staycation effect and boom in sales for leisure marine businesses, however I am delighted that these anecdotal stories are now backed up with the empirical data and figures in this new report by Boats Group,” said Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine. “The sales data is welcome news at a time that has been and will continue to be challenging for every business.”

British Marine will be hoping for an even more successful 2021 with boat shows due to return this summer, culminating in the Southampton Boat Show, which is due to run from September 10-19.


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