Boating by the numbers 2018

  • 1.5 million adults (42% of New Zealanders) were involved in recreational boating last year.
  • Kayaks remain the most popular craft used by boaties (33%), followed by power boats under six metres (22%), and dinghies (11%).
  • Last year 19 people died in recreational boating accidents on New Zealand waters. Of these, 18 were men - 14 over 40 years (the highest fatality group).
  • Lifejackets remain the most prevalent form of safety device taken on boating trips.
  • The number of boaties wearing their lifejackets all, or most of the time, on the water, remains stable at 75%.
  • The percentage of boaties having at least two ways to signal or call for help if needed ‘every time’ has risen to 43% in 2018 from 38% in 2017.
  • The percentage of boaties checking the weather before heading out on the water has risen to 85% in 2018 from 81% in 2017.
  • The decision to avoid alcohol ‘every time’ either before or during time on the water has risen from 61% in 2017 to 67% in 2018.

Incoming Chair of the Safer Boating Forum and Maritime NZ Deputy Director Sharyn Forsyth said the 2018 Ipsos survey is encouraging and shows that boaties’ safety behaviour has improved in the four key risk areas identified and targeted by the 23-member Safer Boating Forum.

This survey is a good indicator of how prepared boaties are in the run up to Labour Day weekend, which is traditionally when boaties get back on the water. Unless they properly prepare their boat, make good decisions before they leave and check their gear, it can also be a time when fatality numbers start to rise. It’s fantastic to see that 92% of boaties say that boating safety is personally important to them as attitude influences behaviour.

...Ms Forsyth said.

The agency's summer Safer Boating campaign is encouraging boaties to check and wear their lifejacket and take a VHF marine radio.

The Ipsos 2018 Recreational Boating Survey was conducted amongst the general adult public regarding their boating habits. The purpose of the survey was to examine the extent to which the New Zealand adult population currently participates in recreational boating activities, with a focus on safety-related attitudes and behaviours, and awareness of Maritime NZ’s recent recreational boating safety campaigns and related activities.

Find a series of informative infographics herebelow: