MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you’re struggling to find a new or used boat these days, you’re not alone and you can blame it on the coronavirus pandemic.
Boating is a great way to socially distance yourself in the middle of the ocean and is becoming so popular that boat factories are scrambling to catch up with demand.
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When the Miami-Dade marinas reopened after being closed during the pandemic, there was a huge rush for water.
Boating is a big respite from the slump water and coronavirus restrictions.
“Boating is social distancing at its best,” said Krissy Wiborg of Bob Hewes Boats.
Bob Hewes Boats in North Miami has been selling boats for over 90 years and cannot keep a large inventory.
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“Sales are at an all time high, inventory is at its lowest and we’ve never seen anything like it,” Wiborg explained.
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 70% of dealers nationwide reported increased sales this spring. Boat sales were up 59% in May from April.
“We see more young people coming in and buying boats than we normally would, it gives them something to do, to get out,” Wiborg said.
Families seek vacation opportunities and activities that keep them close to home, a social distance they can control. Boat financing is attractive because of the low interest rates. Nationwide boat retailer MarineMax said nearly three-quarters of its online inquiries came from new buyers.
“A lot of manufacturers have had to increase their production. They came back expecting a lull in production and had to scramble to increase production. Right now, every manufacturer is supported on the production lines, ”explained Wiborg.
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Used boat sales have also jumped 74% this year.