National Recreational Boating Safety Surveys (NRBSS)

In 2014, the results of the U.S. Coast Guard's 2012 National Recreational Boating Surveys were released. NASBLA/ERAC spent hours seeking explanations of how the participation and exposure hours data were generated, considering the merits of using exposure hours as the denominator in risk ratios, and developing compilations of state-level data. Products associated with those explorations--by ERAC and the Coast Guard--are presented on this page.

In December 2020, the Coast Guard released the results of the 2018 Participation and Exposure surveys.** In follow-up, an ERAC team continued exploring the survey findings and methodologies in partnership with the Coast Guard--this with an eye toward what could help the states better understand and apply the most recent data to their RBS programs (see Webinars 2022, below) and how the committee could best provide input to the next iteration of the NRBSS on behalf of the states. For a good part of 2023, team work in this area was put on pause pending the Coast Guard's solicitation for and selection of a vendor for the 2026 NRBSS. With the selection announced in late 2023, initial team "brainstorming" on data wants and needs, and a December stakeholder engagement (virtual) session, ERAC is poised in 2024 to offer input on behalf of the states in questionnaire development, other aspects of survey development as warranted, and the future outputs of the surveys. 

**See also, an errata sheet for the 2018 survey reports

Webinars (2022)

Exploring the National Recreational Boating Safety Surveys (May 12 session recording; and PDF of May 12 slides and presenter notesOn May 10, 2022, with a repeat on May 12, national webinars sponsored by ERAC presented background on the 2018 surveys, how they were conducted, and some of the major findings. But the panelists--state and Coast Guard members of ERAC--also wanted to give states and other stakeholders a better understanding of the risk ratios generated via the exposure hours collected as well as the overall benefits of using the surveys' findings. A set of "quick polls" conducted during the webinars gathered feedback on attendees' familiarity with and use of the surveys, thoughts on what might improve future products, and interests in delving into the methodology and application of the survey data. 

Webinars (2023)

NRBSS Stakeholder Engagement Session, Dec. 12, 2023 recording and PDF of presenter slides and notes, and results from the interactive polls and Q&A. 

Research Brief (ERAC, July 2015) 

2012 NRBS State-Level Data

2012 NRBS Fact Sheet Series by USCG

2012 NRBS Survey Methodology

Resources mentioned in the Small Craft Advisory articles

  • Downloads of the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2012 NRBS summary report, and the questionnaires, methodology reports, and micro-data files [NOTE: the supporting materials for the 2012 survey currently are not available on the USCG webpage; links will be reinserted when those items are restored.]

2012 Exposure Hours – data weighting methodology – simplified explanations

2012 Participant Survey – data weighting methodology – simplified explanation

Other 2012 NRBS resources provided by the U.S. Coast Guard

page last updated Dec. 27, 2023

The NASBLA Lighthouse

Spotlighting information, tools and resources for your reporting, data and research needs and challenges ...

RESOURCES - Incident Reporting
On the Horizon
Get Equipped
Lighthouse Discussion Forum
Lighthouse Library
About ERAC