Expenditures at Marinas
In 2006, Canada had 959 marinas; the vast majority were family-owned and operated
businesses. Recreational boaters supported those small businesses with more than
$3.2 billion worth of expenditures.
Spending by Category at Canada’s Marinas [$ millions]
New Boat and Engines Sales 1386.36
Pre-Owned Boat and Engines Sales 489.24
Repair Services 490.40
Parts and Supplies 208.70
Accessory and Gear Sales 116.58
Food and Beverage Sales 55.40
In addition, yacht clubs also attracted another $410.37 million in expenditures.
The Biggest Change that the Industry Must Face is the Rapidly Changing Value
of the Canadian Dollar [$ millions]
During the last quarter of 2001, one Canadian dollar was worth 71.0 cents in US
currency. By the end of 2006, one Canadian dollar was worth 85.8 cents US, a
20.8% increase. The resulting decline in Canadian exports, net of re-exports and the
rise in imports (shown in the chart below), was to be expected. A $454 million
surplus of trade in recreational boats and engines in 2002 plummeted to a deficit of
$105 million in 2006 – an overall $559 million decline in trade over four years.
Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Exports* 733 789 631 618 602 600
Imports* 315 346 399 501 609 746
Balanceoftrade**434 454 239 125 0 -105
* Canadian Boats and Engines (net of re-exports)
** Recreational Boats and Engines (adjusted for re-exports)
A 20.8% increase in the value of the Canadian dollar, relative to the US dollar, has
presented Canadian manufacturers with significant challenges from 2001 to 2006.
That appreciation over six years pales in comparison to the 24.5% rise in the
Canadian dollar during the first 10 months of 2007.
What One Canadian Dollar Buys
Date 2/1/2007 3/7/2007 2/11/2007
US Dollar 0.8584
Chinese Yuan 6.7114
Japanese Yen 101.999184
Mexican Pesos 9.25069
UK Pound 0.435
Source: Bank of Canada
The “Economic Impact of Recreational
Boating In Canada: 2006 Summary Report”
was produced by Discover Boating Canada,
which is a public awareness effort managed
by NMMA Canada on behalf of the recre-
ational boating industry.
The study was produced in partnership with
the Atlantic Marine Trades Association, the
Quebec Marine Trade Association, the BC
Marine Trades Association, the Mid-Canada
Marine Dealers Association, the Ontario
Marine Operators Association and the
National Marine Manufacturers Association.
The “Economic Impact of Recreational
Boating in Canada” study was first done in
2001. However, the 2006 Summary Report
is not a second wave and data should not be
“trended” from one study to the next. “Care
should be used in making comparisons,” the
authors informed us.
Boating Industry Canada interviewed the
authors of the study, David Crapper of
Genesis Research Inc., and Peter Gunther of
Smith Gunther Associates Ltd., who carried
out much of the research.
They told Boating Industry Canada that this
report is much larger than the first one and
has more detailed data. Also, certain defini-
tions have been changed, resulting in data
that cannot be compared between 2001 and
2006. For example, the definition of a
“tourist” has changed.
Better vessel data from Transport Canada
licensing has improved accuracy. However,
in determining the total number of boats in
Canada, the challenge has been to deter-
mine how long a boat remains in service. For
this study, the authors give personal water-
craft a life expectancy of 10 years, fiberglass
runabouts 20 to 25 years, and aluminum
boats have almost indefinite life spans.
The authors also mentioned that the effect
of the rising value of the Canadian dollar
couldn’t be clearly understood at this point.
The rise has clearly damaged the Canadian
boat builder’s ability to sell export boats,
while the corresponding price drops for
imported boats is expected to result in a sig-
nificant boost to retail sales.
David Crapper suggested that although plans
are not yet firm, there is discussion about
repeating the study on a more regular basis,
to provide the industry with trend data.
Boating Industry Canada will monitor this
discussion, and will report as soon as any
decisions about a regular study have been