Boater registration is on a downward spiral in CT - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Boater registration is on a downward spiral in CT

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Owning a boat can be expensive, and that is one of the reasons boating registrations are on the decline. (WFSB) Owning a boat can be expensive, and that is one of the reasons boating registrations are on the decline. (WFSB)
EAST LYME, CT (WFSB) -

A new report said boater registration is down in Connecticut and has been on a downward spiral for the past 10 years.

Owning a boat can be expensive, and that is one of the reasons boating registrations are on the decline.

Tobey Russ, owner of Three Belles Marina in East Lyme, said he is all too familiar with the decline in boater registrations.

In 2006, there were more than 112,000 boats registered in the state.

Ten years later, it is just over 98,000, which of course coincides with the economic downturn.

Now people opt for smaller and cheaper if they choose to own at all.

“As a result of the aging population of American economy, we're also seeing a big change as a result of that demographic, so what's happening is people are going away from the larger more expensive boats and going to center console runabouts, so they're downsizing and I think that's a direct reflection of what's happened in the economy,” Russ said.

It can cost hundreds of dollars in gas to take a boat out for the day, not to mention slip fees or insurance.

"Most people don't realize that the upfront costs are nothing compared to the long term costs of having a yacht like this,” said Peter Deberardinis, of Debar Marine Service.

It is also perhaps a bit generational. Millenials seem to be less interested in the big and fancy, and more interested in the inexpensive and athletic.

Paddle board and kayak sales are on the rise statewide.

"I think it's more fun to like get energy out, you look more fit, people are having more fun honestly,” said Ben Russell.

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