Another sign that New Jersey is getting back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic is the return of the Atlantic City Boat Show to the Atlantic City Convention Center.
“I would say 75% of the boats we’ve sold here so far are first-time buyers,” says Tony Sandora, of Schooner Island Marina & McKee Yacht Sales.
The pandemic paused the boat show in 2021, but did not halt sales.
“I’ve been doing it for 18 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Sandora.
He says sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic, with more people looking for a way to get out of the house, but still social distancing and feeling safe with their families. Sandora says inventory is currently low, but it’s not the boats themselves that are in demand.
“Engines are what hold everyone back. But Honda and Yamaha that we deal with are increasing their production. So I think by the start of next year I think they’ll be caught up and I think everything will hopefully be back to normal,” Sandora says.
Back at the Progressive Atlantic City Boat Show, potential patrons can not only check out all the boats on display, but also hop in a kayak or hop on a paddleboard and test it out on the water.
“Yesterday we installed, I think, three or four different models and everyone can try them. Not all of them can spin inside the pool, but half of them can and you can come in, get on the boat and try them out,” says Bill Wiggins, owner of Fanatics Marine Supply.
The boat show is open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.