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A jet boat is a boat thrust forward by jets ejected from the rear of the craft. Unlike powerboats or motorboats that require external propellers below or behind the boat, jet boats intake water into a pump-jet, and then expel it through a nozzle at the stern. Jet boats were initially conceived by Sir William Hamilton in 1954 to navigate the fast-flowing rivers of New Zealand that are too shallow for propeller driven boats. Jet boats offer a large amount of seating space coupled with a swimming platform. Jet boats are often used in militaries because of their ability to perform crash stops. Recently, there has been a marked increase in the use of jet boats in the form of rigid-hulled inflatables and luxury yachts.

Versatility and flexibility of jet boats make them popular market choice

The key drivers of demand in the jetboat market comprise police patrols, passenger ferry services, adventure tourism, and navy & military end-use. The use of hull designs and ever-improving technological advancements should transform the global jet boat market in the years ahead. A prominent feature of the jetboat is that it lacks an outer rotating part, making it much safer for marine biology and swimmers alike. An important area of the jetboat market to keep an eye on would be its application in adventure tourism. An increasing high-net-worth (HNI) population, engine innovations aplenty, rising tourism from rapidly growing economies, and larger jet boats able to accommodate more passengers attract customers to the worldwide jet boat market. Although recreational boating represents a small portion of the overall leisure industry, it is on track to grow at an impressive rate, making it unwise to ignore.

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Gas guzzling jet boats without the performance to match chief constraint

The primary restraints in the jetboat market are fuel efficiency and performance. The price to performance ratio of most jetboats is not ideal, especially when compared to alternative options, and their low fuel efficiency does not help matters. Furthermore, an economic recession can have a devastating impact on the jetboat industry as adventure tourism dries up and nations reduce their military budgets and delay or even cancel acquisition of patrol jet boats.

North America and APAC propel forward in the global jet boat market

Jet boats were created to navigate the fast-flowing waters in Oceania as propellers often strike rocks there. Thus, jet boats have become a popular choice for riverine and coastal tourism across the world. Oceania, North America, and APAC lead the way in the jetboat market.  It is estimated that a third of the US population participates in some form of recreational boating activity, making this prosperous nation critical from a profitability standpoint. In terms of growth, China, India, ASEAN nations, and South Korea have demonstrated a greater interest in jet boats for their flexibility and versatility. A rise in per-capita income in emerging economies in APAC allows customers to spend on discretionary purchases such as jetboats. Latin America and MEA are unlikely to contribute much growth or revenue in the jetboat market in the immediate term due to the presence of less ports and a lower spending capacity.

Global Jet Boats Market Players are: Yamaha, Sea-Doo, Glastron, Chaparral Boats, Scarab Boats, Renaissance Marine Group, Northwest Boats, Duckworth Boats

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Innovation doesn’t come cheap – manufacturers working overtime

The jetboat market is largely consolidated in the hands of a few major companies and they frequently incorporate newer technologies into their products to stay ahead of rivals. Some companies actively involved in the jetboat market are Yamaha Motor Corp, Custom Weld, Rec Boat Holdings, Bahamas jet boat, Snake River Boat Builders, and Outlaw Eagle Manufacturing.

Will short-term COVID-19 hit on the jet boat market be a long-term blow?

In Q1 2020, the Marine CEO Sentiment Report – a quarterly publication to assess the needs and situation of American marine manufacturing – stated that the recreational boating industry is among the more vulnerable due to COVID-19. As per the report, 81% of manufacturers reported a sales decline in Q1, and 54% reported substantial declines. 15% have permanently closed some manufacturing sites and 71% are facing supply chain disruptions, making them unable to market their wares. In conclusion, the short-term forecast of the jetboat market is quite sobering and it will be sometime before the market is able to recover from this.


  • What is the market size and growth rate of the global and regional markets by various segments?
  • What is the market size and growth rate of the market for selective countries?
  • Which region or sub-segment is expected to drive the market during the forecast period?
  • What factors are anticipated to impact demand and supply trends in the market during the forecast period? 
  • What factors are likely to drive market revenue growth during the forecast period?
  • What are the key technology and other trends shaping the market?
  • What are the key opportunities in the market?
  • What are some of the strategies implemented by key companies operating in the market?
  • What is the COVID-19 impact on the market?

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