5.8% of the UK population take part in boating says survey

Watersports Participation Survey
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Last year, some 2.8 million adults participated in at least one of the twelve boating activities* included in the 2012 Watersports Participation Survey. This figure is equivalent to 5.8% of the UK population.

The Executive Summary of the survey is available to download now.

The Watersports Participation Survey now in its 11th year surveys a significant sample of 12,000 adults, tracking trends in boating and was commissioned by a consortium of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), British Marine Federation (BMF), Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), British Canoe Union (BCU) and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

The survey states that canoeing was reported as the top boating activity* followed by small sail boat activities, motor boating and cruising. It also reports that 754,000 households (2.8%) own a boat or craft and that the South West, Wales and Northern Ireland remain the residential areas with the highest levels of participation.

The 55+ age group, are smallest in terms of volume but have increased in participation levels across all activities, whilst those between the ages of 16 – 34 years are the most likely to go boating at 7.5%, most notably in the most active watersports.

RYA Sport Development Manager Jon White said: 'We are pleased to see figures remaining steady from recent years. The consortium will certainly be continuing its work encouraging newcomers to take to the water and helping regular boaters to enjoy their activities safely.

'Many members of the consortium are holding events and initiatives to capture the enthusiasm and excitement of those who watched watersports during the London 2012 Games including RYA Push the Boat Out, On the Water and Go Canoeing'.

Key findings:

• Some 2.8 million people participate in boating activities*
• Canoeing, small sail boat activities and motor cruising are the top three boating activities* for 2012
• The more enthusiast boater participation (13+ times a year) has remained relatively stable since 2002 despite recession and weather.
• 28% of boating activity* takes place along the whole of the South Coast of England.
• 7.55% of 16-34 year olds participate in one of the 12 boating activities*

* The 12 boating activities making up 'Any Boating Activity' includes Small sail boat racing, Small sail boat activities, Yacht racing, Yacht cruising, Power boating, Motor boating/Cruising, Using Personal Watercraft, Rowing/sculling, Canoeing, Canal boating, Water skiing and Windsurfing.

RYA website