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Old 01-09-2007, 11:36 PM   #1
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Default Number of Cruising Yachts World wide?

Does anyone have an estimate of the number of cruising yachts world wide?
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:49 AM   #2
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Very tough number to pin down. I did some research with the help of Donia Cornell several years ago, just to try and get a rough feel for the # of yachts doing the major ocean legs around the world. Not only were the #s gross estimates but it's hard to know how 'gross' they were.

You'll have to define "cruising" more specifically to get #s which will mean something. Part-time? Full-time? What about all those cruising boats that are left on the hard for a period of time, from less than a year to (it seems when looking at them...) indefinitely. What about the many hundreds (thousands, worldwide?) of boats that never move and are just furnishing cheap living to their owners - are they 'cruising'? Lots of ways to skin the cat...

One option you have is to sum up the #s from the major cruising organizations around the world, then reduce that total by some factor (for people who belong to more than one). OCC, ICA, CCA, CA, OCC, SSCA ad infinitum. One catch with that exercise is that some memberships are for a 'crew' (up to two people) while others are per person.

Herding cats is easier, I think. Good luck!

Jack
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:36 AM   #3
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Thanks for the encouragement, yes I know, start general and try to get specific. You have already helped, because I only knew a fraction of those cruising associations.

I am actually trying to estimate the size of the market for equipment like Class B AIS receivers, and further, would there be a cruising yacht interest in long-range AIS. (Satellites relaying the standard AIS VHF transmissions) IMO/IALA etc., are studying the topic.

So the refined question is: "how many cruising yachts might fit AIS?" - 10%? 20%? 0f how many....

Fair winds, Richard
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:03 AM   #4
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Richard:

Well, the AIS receiver market has boomed at the Class B, recreational boat level, as you no doubt have seen. All the mfgrs are introducing standalone receivers and/or built-in AIS capability. I think you are over-restricting the Q, too. Many Americans who just sail on weekends and during vacation periods have a keen interest in AIS if they happen to sail near waters with heavy traffic (Chesapeake, FL coastal, Gulf Coast, Pacific NW and California coast, SF to SD, all come to mind). When we sailed along England's S coast and the Channel Is., AIS was just being introduced (2003-2005) and sailors thru-out N Europe seemed excited about AIS given the heavy traffic you folks see.

So...what percentage will ultimately fit it? I'd suggest you benchmark two other distributions of products: radar and chart plotters. Both could offer AIS integration (with new product generations) so one Q might be what historical market penetration have these products had. Then up the percentage because a) AIS reception is much cheaper, and AIS meets needs that are more basic than either of those two products, for certain waters, and c) it better suits smaller boats with less DC power generation capability.

But insofar as "long range", I have no idea what you are referring to. Satellite relay of AIS data for what purpose?

A paradigm shift will occur WRT AIS once smaller/poorer countries and island nations begin adapting AIS for coastal water navigation aids. Virtual channels and virtual buoys that storms can't destroy or sweep away, easily "moved" as dredging and silting occur. Key coastal marks that denote tidal rips, reefs and shallows, or underwater obstructions (temporary or geographical). The mind boggles...

Jack
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:26 AM   #5
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Jack:

I am hoping to get a response from various manufacturers, hopefully they do not regard their market size or share estimate as confidential information.

I think long-range AIS started in with the USCG wanting to keep an eye on all approaching shipping. I believe Orbcom are carrying an experimental receiver on one or more satellites for them. I hear there are Canadian and Norwegian experimental satellites due up soon. They will see how well a satellite can relay VHF AIS reports.

What use would that be to cruising yachts? Well, the Class-B has an alert message feature and the satellites could offer an SMS service using the Class A free text message (a feature that could be added to Class-B receivers) - if the demand was there in the middle of the oceans.

The satellites would also pick up the virtual bouys and there positions could be checked for changes and shipping informed in advance.

Richard
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Old 01-11-2007, 01:50 AM   #6
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Hi Richard,

Securing data. I suggest it tough to secure even close estimates on just boats out cruising - and agree with Jack that if it's AIS that prompting the research - then coastal boats of all kinds are possible users also.

Why not consider obtaining stats on boats built in recent years in each country? Most manufacturers belong to manufacturing associations and production numbers are normally in the public domain.

Then maybe extend back 10 years (could be longer at your choice) and moderate past years production levels using identifed recent year changes - and you should end up with some closer idea of at least the minimum size of the potential market.

I am not saying anyone with a 10+ year old boat should not be part of your stats - but feel further back than that will lead to too many errors in the estimates.

Good luck.

And when you've got the estimates - please share them here!

JOHN
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:22 AM   #7
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Hi John,

Yes, that is another line to follow, thanks.

I am also looking at the second hand sales dimensions. Assuming the average boat is held for about 10 years by an owner, there must be about 10 million candidates world wide. Not an unattractive market. Of those likely to go oceanic, maybe 1%? So about 1 000 000 cruising out there in any year. Assume 1% would buy a long-range AIS capability 100 000 units.

Blowing strong,

Richard
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Old 01-16-2007, 10:56 PM   #8
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For those still interested.

My current estimate is that there about 20-25 million leisure craft in the world. 17 million of these are in the USA. Of those, most are small motor boats, mostly with outboard engines. Assuming there are not many ocean cruising motor boats, I am still getting numbers in the low millions for registered sailing boats. Given that 8m might be the lower limit for oceans and electronics (OK - some brave people sail small), I am thinking there may be about 100,000 - 200,000 out there doing their thing.

Richard
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Old 01-28-2007, 12:08 AM   #9
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This might help, we were in Papeete on our boat in 2004 and 2005. The harbor master told us that 450 to 600 yachts a year check in. I sure that would include mega yachts (70' or more). We are also in the OCC which has 1200 more or less members. There are an estimated 250,000 boats between Santa Barbra and San Diego. There are 150 moorings in Neiafu, Tonga which were all full waiting to head south or to Fiji. New to the Cruiser Log.
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:04 AM   #10
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Welcome Horizon

Great info - thanks.

Enjoy your stay.
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Converted Post'
Originally posted by Horizon

This might help, we were in Papeete on our boat in 2004 and 2005. The harbor master told us that 450 to 600 yachts a year check in. I sure that would include mega yachts (70' or more). We are also in the OCC which has 1200 more or less members.
Thank you Horizon.

That also matches with my current estimates of the number of cruising yachts world-wide, maybe 10 - 20,000 active.
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:19 PM   #12
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I had recently read somewhere that the number of active cruisers was currently at 25,000. I don't remember where I read it.

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Old 01-30-2007, 12:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Converted Post'
Originally posted by Bajamas

I had recently read somewhere that the number of active cruisers was currently at 25,000. I don't remember where I read it.

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Thank Bajamas, that's is pretty much in the same harbour.

I learnt yesterday that in Europe there are some new 15000 yachts produced each year of a size that can be reasonably described as sea going. There seem to be about the same number on the second hand market at any one time. The US statistics will be much higher, I guess.
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:11 AM   #14
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Hi All,

I'm new to the forum and am very interested in these numbers. I'm writing a book about how I managed not to murder my newlywed husband while sailing across the Pacific on a 35' boat. In trying to sell the idea to an agent/publisher, I'd like to be able to point out how many folks are cruising, and of course multiply that ten-fold for how many are DREAMING of cruising (wink). So if anyone gets more concrete numbers and a publication or study to back it up, I'd be very interested.

Thanks! I'm enjoying the site!

janna
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