Nationwide’s Survey Says Boat Owners Willing to Pay High Gas Prices

May 16, 2006

Boat owners say high gas prices won’t keep them off the water this summer, but will have them easing off the throttle more often, according to a new survey by Nationwide Mutual Insurance, based in Columbus, Ohio.

Like all motorists, boat enthusiasts are caught in the wake of high
fuel prices, especially those who pay a premium to gas up at marinas.
However, boat owners indicate they are willing to “pay to play” saying gas prices would have to nearly double before they change their lifestyle.

Nationwide’s survey conducted by The Brandware Group, Inc. of 2,544
power boat, bass boat, motorcycle and ATV owners shows that two-thirds of boat owners indicated high fuel prices would not cause them to use their boats less often. In fact, boat owners are willing to pay about $2.70 more per gallon for fuel before they will consider docking their boats.

According to the survey, boat owners will be on the water just as often
as last summer, about 20 times, but expect to run their engines about 25 minutes less per trip.

It’s the passion for their boats and lifestyle that has enthusiasts
willing to pay higher fuel costs. Boat owners reported they spend 28
percent of their total leisure time on the water and 36 percent of boat
owners consider their time boating more important than all other leisure time.

Boat owners surveyed have been engaged in the activity for more than 17 years and have owned their current boat for about six years. About 80 percent plan to continue boating when they retire. Over the past five years, enthusiasts invested $6,848 on improvements and accessories for their power boats and $5,208 for their bass boats.

With high fuel costs putting a strain on boat owners’ wallets, they
should make sure they have the right protection against the unexpected so they don’t get hit with burdensome repair or replacement costs.

According to the survey, one in five power boat owners and one in three bass boat owners do not have insurance on their boat. Of those with insurance, about 35 percent don’t have liability coverage. About 40 percent of power boat owners and 53 percent of bass boat owners don’t have collision coverage. About one in five power boat owners and a quarter of all bass boat owners would rather take their chances than pay to fully insure their boats.

Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is a diversified insurance and financial services organization, with more than $158 billion in assets.

Source: Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

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