Increase in boat sales during the COVID-19 pandemic

Boat dealers here in Northern Michigan and across the country are seeing an increase in people buying new boats, especially after stay-at-home orders lift.

“Customers want to boat and they want to boat today,” said Walstrom Marine President Tom Ervin. “We have already sold out a few product lines until the end of the year.”

Suppliers also attempt to track orders.

“We have a strong ongoing demand,” says Ervin. “We have supply chain issues with our manufacturers only going up after the state shutdowns they’ve all been through.”

Ervin says he sees more and more families buying their first boat and staying rather than traveling for the holidays.

“We’re bringing a lot of people into the industry, and they’re learning about boating and they’re all enjoying it,” Ervin says. “Everyone has been locked up at home for a long time. The weather in northern Michigan is turning beautiful. Everyone is on the water right now and wants to be on the water.

Elk River Marina owner Jim Trierweiler is selling his business. He hopes that these new boat buyers will need a marina and that the new owners will keep the same property.

“I have the only gas on Elk Lake,” Trierweiler said. “We have all these rental boats that people rely on year after year to come and use them.”

Ervin thinks this is the future the industry should look forward to.

“Everything indicates that next year starts just as strong [as this year]said Ervin.

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