The market for leisure boats and related equipment in Iceland is relatively small compared with the majority of European States but on a per capita basis is not insignificant. However, with a population of only 320,000 and an economy still suffering from the catastrophic financial melt down in 2008, the demand for recreational boats and marine accessories has been subdued in recent years.
Industry estimates suggest that the Icelandic leisure boat fleet numbers some 1,000 boats of over 6m (19ft) of which at least 850 are motorboats. Annual registration of boats of over 6m in length is in theory compulsory, but it seems unlikely that the official figures, which suggest a smaller fleet, are entirely accurate.
The number of inboard and outboard powered boats in the country of under 6m is estimated at approximately 9,000 units, and given Iceland’s heritage, as with the larger boats, many of these are used for semi- professional fishing as well as for recreational use including RIBs and inflatable.
In the past four years the number of imported boats has fallen sharply, but it is believed that there has been a slight pick- up in 2013 .The same goes for outboard engines, which in former years reached a peak of close to 300 units. By 2012, however, the number of outboard imported runs less than 100.
NOTE: This is an excerpt from the country report included in the August/September issue of IBI magazine. IBI Plus subscribers can download the complete report from the IBI Plus website.