Who is the ‘typical’ Aussie boat owner?


You and I both know life on the water is better, but new data shows a growing number of people in Australia agree. A study by Roy Morgan Research, reported by, has found that boat ownership in Australia is on the up and up.

While this does not surprise us in the slightest, we thought it would be interesting to share some of the findings from Roy Morgan’s research.

Here is what we discovered.

Hello to half a million new boat owners

That’s right. Since 2012, a whopping half a million people have become boat owners for the first time. Overall, 2.6 million Australians reside in a home with some type of boat (this includes speedboats, motorboats, canoes, dinghies, rowboats, yachts and sailboats).

What is the most popular kind of vessel?

Roy Morgan’s findings show that the award for ‘most popular new vessel’ goes to the dinghy, canoe and rowboat. There are 1.5 million people in Australia who own one of these kinds of boats, which is an increase of 1.1 million since 2012. Phew!

Motorboats beat yachts

The data also indicates that motorboats and speedboats are more commonly owned than yachts or other kinds of sailboats. There are around 1.3 million individuals in possession of motorboats and speedboats in Australia, while only 166,000 own sailboats. (In 2012, this figure was 176,000 so interestingly; we’ve seen a reduction in the number of people owning sailboats in the past 5 years.)

We all love dinghies

It’s probably no surprise that 270,000 Australians have a motorboat, as well as a dinghy, canoe or rowboat in their household. This goes for sailboat owners too, with 67,000 owning a smaller vessel, as well as their yacht or sailboat.

Boat ownership Graph for BLOG

* Data source: Roy Morgan Research.2

Who loves boating the most?

The study looked at the socio-economic status of boat owners to discern who was most likely to be a boat owner in Australia. Middle class Australians** were more likely to own a boat than those on the lower socio-economic rung.

  • 7% of middle-class boat lovers owned a dinghy, canoe or rowboat.
  • 3% owned a motorboat or speedboat.
  • 3% owned a yacht or sailboat.

** Roy Morgan uses thousands of ‘data points’ from respondents to determine socio-economic quintiles. For more on their methods, please head here.

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