The study "the future of sustainable on-water propulsion" was conducted among representatives from the nautical industry. The participants were recruited from the boat (under 24 meters) and engine manufacturing as well as associations and water sports enthusiasts. They were asked about current sustainability trends in personal interviews.
The study was initiated by the renowned water sports trade fair, boot Düsseldorf, and developed in cooperation with the European Boating Industry, the European association based in Brussels, and supported by the ADAC/German Automobile Club. It conducted an online survey with its members from the water sports sector and thus achieved a comprehensive evaluation of their attitudes towards alternative propulsion systems. A summary of the study, prepared by the Spanish consultancy Sea Teach SL, is available for boot trade visitors only in the business area of www.boot.com.
The aim of the study was to compile relevant data on the needs of boaters. On the basis of this, manufacturers can develop products - boats and drives - that meet their needs and offer tailor-made solutions. For the industry, these findings are fundamental in order to take a stand vis-à-vis European policy-makers.
Summarising the study, it becomes clear that boaters clearly support sustainability and are in favor of the use of alternative drives and fuels. At the same time, however, they are critical towards paying significantly higher prices or compromising on range and safety. A clear focus on one decarbonization technology is not yet evident at this stage. The industry must continue to develop with foresight and react to new demands from politics and, as a result, to the expectations of customers.
Conclusion: All players should work together towards the goal of a sustainable boating industry and pursue comprehensive solutions. Manufacturers showed concrete approaches and developments at the "blue innovation dock" at boot Düsseldorf 2023 last January. Together with the industry, the trade fair and European Boating Industry will further expand the sustainability forum at boot 2024 and offer a space for the latest innovations with public appeal.
All current information and a review of the "blue innovation dock" 2023 are available at https://www.boot.com/en/Visit/B2B_Section/Professional_Program/blue_innovation_dock.