Small Boats Can Make a Big Impact

epoch small boats

Small boats are ideal for electric boating, making a bigger impact on wide scale adoption of electric boating

Epoch has always focused on electrifying smaller boats because we think there’s more potential to get more boaters to go electric with small boats and vessels.

Recreational Boat Size Trends

Around the turn of the century, the U.S. recreational boating industry was building and selling about 500,000 boats every year. By 2010 that number had dropped to less than 200,000 and has only recently crept back up to around 300,000 boats per year.

boat sales history
based on NMMA statistics

Despite steady population growth and historic economic growth between 2010 and 2020 the volume of boats manufactured and sold in the U.S. only exhibited modest yearly growth through the decade.

Between the late aughts and today the average price per boat in the U.S. has nearly doubled from $90,000 to $160,000.

Builders realized that big expensive boats are a safe bet during the 2008 economic crisis. While the middle- and lower-class buyer segments were tightening their belts to weather the storm, the 1% remained flush and were looking for new toys. This created a double win for boat builders that avoided bankruptcy during the collapse. They were able to refocus their offerings to premium vessels with higher margins. They were also able to focus their business on a class of customers that would be largely unaffected by larger macro-economic trends, which allows for easier forecasting.

This data and background information show that nearly 200,000 potential boat buyers are being sidelined simply due to economic factors related to the gentrification of the boating industry. Epoch is building boats to serve not only people buying boats today but also to bring back these sideline customers.

Is it the right call?

Small Boats Sell

We’re seeing a trend with big companies launching small boats… and having a lot of success.

Every time that a boat builder focuses on the entry point of the market – especially with easy-to-use, accessible, affordable, and fun boats – they win.

90% of new boats sold are under 26ft & retail for less than $50K

boat share by size
based on NMMA statistics

Whether you’re looking to buy a new electric-ready boat or electrify your existing small boat, we know there is a big market for both.

At Epoch, we are hyper focused on educating boaters about the benefits of switching to electric outboards. And by targeting small boats – the heart of the recreational marine market – going electric should be fast, fun, affordable and easy to use!

A Bigger Environmental Impact

We also know that more small boats switching to electric will help achieve profound environmental impact. Due to emissions related exemptions, the recreational boating industry has become an outsized source of pollution. The U.S. segment of the industry is estimated to be responsible for yearly emissions of 70 megatons of CO2e, injection of 90 million gallons of unburnt fuel into our waterways, and non-CO2 pollution equivalent to 600 million cars. Global impact is estimated to be 5x larger.

boating environmental impact

Wide scale adoption of electric-ready boats and electric outboards can mitigate 70% of these emissions.

Wide scale adoption means targeting the entry point of the market. Small boats.

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