Recreation specialization: Hierarchy of boating subactivities revisited

Stuart P. Cottrell, Alan R. Graefe, John Confer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A typology of boating activities and subactivities, first published in the Journal of Leisure Research (1986) is revisited. This paper investigates the relationship between degree and range of specialization in boating activities of a random sample of Maryland Chesapeake Bay large boat owners. A specialization index includes four domains identified in previous research: participation, equipment, skill, and boating related interests. Differences between sail and motorboaters were distinguished along with subactivities of each including dayboaters, cruisers, and racers. It was assumed that overall degree of specialization would increase, while the range of specialization would decrease as one progressed through the boating hierarchy. Although the reliability assessment of the specialization index was low (Alpha =.60), results suggest that the predicted pattern for degree of specialization existed among boaters in general and sailors in particular. Similar to the 1986 study, sailracers had the highest mean specialization scores, while sail and motor dayboaters the lowest. For range of specialization, data patterns showed homogeneous activity groups to be slightly differentiated internally, becoming more specialized and segmented and containing numerous subgroups with varying levels of experience. However, results do not support the predicted decrease in length of the continuum at the.05 levels. An overview of problems with the additive index approach and suggestions for future research are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-47
Number of pages13
JournalWorld Leisure Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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