Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The National Recreational Boating Survey

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by Dr. Philippe Gwet, Mathematical Statistician, U.S. Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety and Dr. Glenn Haas Professor, Colorado State University, Vice President

The National Recreational Boating Survey has undergone a major redesign to collect extensive information about the U.S. boating population, recreational vessels, and boating activities. Survey data will support strategies to reduce accidents and casualties and will be used to plan for future demand and participation.

The redesigned survey includes questions to help determine what motivates boaters to boat safely, what boating safety campaigns influence them and by what delivery system, and why individuals completed a boating safety instruction course.

The Coast Guard will implement the next two surveys in 2011 and 2013 to measure:

  • exposure

  • boat and boater hours on the water

  • boat hours in docked recreation

  • boating participation and boat ownership

  • total annual participation overall

  • total annual participation by boat type

  • total boat ownership

  • boating safety awareness and behaviors

  • life jacket use

  • reasons for life jacket use

  • alcohol use and boat operation

  • economic impact of recreational boating

  • money spent on boats

  • money spent in communities on boat trips

  • negative event incidence and risk

  • actual and reported accidents that cause injury and boat damage

  • boat statistics

  • features of boats such as hull material and propulsion systems

Three Survey Types
This data will be collected through three survey instruments—the boat survey, trip survey, and participant survey.

The boat survey collects information about the number and type of boats as well as information about how much money boat owners spend on their boats.

The trip survey will proceed monthly during the survey year. The sample will be boats that have responded to the boat survey and will sample individual trips and collect information about what happened on those trips: how long they lasted, what safety events occurred, and what money was spent.

The participant survey collects information about who spent time boating during the year.

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