Contact: Megan Standard
(916) 651-5692

November 17, 2003

Boating & Waterways Commission Approves $3,673,000 in Boating Projects

The Department of Boating and Waterways has completed the Statewide Boating Needs Assessment 2000-2020. The study is a comprehensive assessment of boats and boating facilities statewide. It includes an analysis of existing boats and facilities, as well as projections of boating needs through 2020.

The boating needs assessment (BNA), conducted approximately every five years, is used to assist Boating and Waterways to allocate funds for boating facilities, including: launch ramps, wet and dry storage, and support features throughout the state.

The study determined that boating contributes approximately $16.5 Billion, about 1.2 percent, to Gross State Product annually. In addition, boating contributes $1.6 Billion to State and Local taxes. Finally, there are more than 8,500 boating related business in California contributing more than 284,000 jobs to the economy.

The BNA is divided into five volumes. Volume I summarizes the most current information on boaters and boating facilities at the statewide level. Volume II provides statewide data by region. Volume III presents survey methodologies. Surveys of boaters and facility providers as well as regional workshops were conducted. Volume IV provides results and methodology for a law enforcement component of the study.

Finally, Volume V summarizes the economic impact of recreational boating on California's economy, and provides demand projections for boating and boating facilities through 2020.

The primary objectives of this assessment were:

  1. To obtain a better understanding of boater's needs
  2. To develop an updated inventory of boating related facilities statewide
  3. To determine current boating related facility repair/replacement needs statewide
  4. To develop a demand model for estimating future recreational boating use and forecast future boating related facility and recreation demand statewide
  5. To determine the economic impact of boating on California's economy

Summary of Findings

First, an inventory of existing boating related facilities was completed. In 2001 there were more than 818 publicly and privately owned recreational boating facilities statewide serving more than 925,000 registered or documented vessels and nearly 100,000 non-registered/non-motorized vessels. Of that number, 546 facilities offered boat launching and 222 offered dry storage. The facilities are spread out on approximately 250 different waterways.

The study estimates an increase in California's boating population over the next twenty years by approximately 18,215 boats per year, or an average of 1.95 percent per year. This annual increase is higher than the anticipated increase in California's population. California boaters boat an average of 44 days, and average 22 trips each year. The average number of boaters on a boating trip is up from previous studies to 3.7.

Over the next twenty years there is an estimated need for the following new facilities statewide:

Construction Costs of Additional Facilities (2002 - 2020)
  Number   Cost
Launch Lanes
Vehicle/Trailer Parking
Dry Storage
Wet Storage



In addition to these figures, there is a need for upgrades at surveyed facilities (approximately 2/3 of surveyed facilities need or will need upgrades within 10 years) totaling more than $142 Million over the next 10 years.