By Captain Scott “Fraz” Murie
I’ve talked with many dealers and salesmen recently because I’ve been in the market for a boat. I just wanted a 25- to 28-foot outboard platform but come to find out there isn’t much to choose from. I had no interest in a boat until all my summer plans came screeching to a stop because of the pandemic. We were set to take a 30-day trip out west to visit a few national parks and do some fishing in Montana. This summer I’ve found out the entire nation was in the same situation as I was.
What I’ve learned is that boat sales are at record numbers. Some companies are reporting their best sales ever in April, May and June! From personal watercraft to luxury cruisers, center consoles to sportfish yachts, sales are up and in some cases more than 75 percent. Companies are telling me that their inventories are slim and that they are having trouble getting new units because manufacturers have been forced to shut down.
It’s not just sales that are up, but services are at record-breaking numbers also. And it all makes sense. When summer camps, playgrounds, state parks, water parks, amusement parks and even rest stops on the highway were closed, people across the nation took to the water. The money that was allocated for vacation was put into boats.
People like me that weren’t even interested in owning a boat are now proud owners. I actually never bought a boat for myself but a good friend of mine did and I’ve enjoyed using his! There really isn’t a better way to spend time with family and friends than being out on the water fishing, teaching your kids to ski or just throwing the hook and soaking up the sun while having a cold drink.
Every boat company that I’ve spoken to tells me the same thing—they have never seen sales like this before. A lot of these companies make it easy to buy a boat, too. Offerings like no money down, no payments for six months and financing for decades are certainly attractive. It’s a little scary really. My thought is when this pandemic is over there will be some killer boat deals out there.
So, if you’re going stir crazy being cooped up in the house then maybe buying a boat is not such a bad idea. Or you can do like me and use your friend’s.
—That’s my two-minute warning