Boat sales boom after coronavirus derails summer plans


Summer waters are wide open and more Americans than ever are heading to sea.

Now that coronavirus-related boating restrictions have been lifted in all 50 states and the pandemic has canceled various summer plans, including camps, sporting events and vacations, the boating industry is seeing a spike in interest to get out on the water.

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 70% of boat dealers reported sales growth in May, the highest number since July 2018.

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Personal watercraft sales in May were up 75% from May 2019. Boat manufacturing and wholesale shipments were up 16-160% from April, when the virus first shut down the industry .

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Google searches for other water-related products like paddleboards, life jackets, kayaks and wakeboards increased by 70-100%.

Dante Grover, owner of Al Grovers Marina in Freeport, New York, told Kristina Partsinevelos of FOX Business that the increase in business with partner company Strong’s Marine has been surprising.

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“It’s kind of shocking how it turns out,” Grover said. “We were prepared for the worst and turned around and set records almost every day.”

Strong’s Marine boat sales are up 42% while monthly leases are up 60% from last year. By the end of June, Strong estimates revenues will exceed those of 2019.

Investing in a boat is also attracting consumers due to lower fuel prices and insurance costs. Some families even pool money to make a joint purchase.

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