Looking for ways to continue to social distance while enjoying time with family and friends, boating has become a safe haven for many, and boat sales have surged as a result. With March being stagnant in boat sales due to the rising concern of COVID, late April and May told a different story. According to a new report from the MRRA/Baird/Trade Only, seventy percent of surveyed dealers reported retail growth in May; up from just 20 percent prior months, the strongest recorded in the Pulse Report since July 2018. Research is showing that more people are actively searching for boats, with boat sales forecasted to surge during summer months.
Most industry experts believe the spike in boat traffic is due to a wave of interest in social distancing activities. After months of stay-at-home orders and additional time on their hands, people began to search for a means of escape. As boating enthusiasts, we know that there is no better way to spend the day than on the water; and now others are discovering boating too! Recreational boating provides a way for families to get outdoors and adventure safely. Since the pandemic, the marine market has seen a significant increase in new customers as people began to browse for boats online, dreaming of better days on the water.
Instead of planning for vacations and social events in the upcoming months, consumers have turned to boating as a new way to enjoy time with family and friends. According to Pulse Report, used boat sales also increased from recent months, with 74% reporting growth. Not to mention, a stronger interest in late-model trade-in activity. Furthermore, the report states that dealers reported increased consumer interest in listing their boats for sale.
With that being said, the pandemic also caused worldwide OEM shutdowns which left new boat inventory scarce. Many manufactures lost 30-60 days due to the shutdowns, which resulted in a 15-20 percent loss of production. While this may have affected some dealers, because of our relationships with builders and our inventory management process, we have several new yachts in stock and available for immediate delivery. Some dealers are also struggling to keep pre-owned inventory in-stock— which is a good problem to have. Many boat dealers are actively searching for pre-owned listings as the demand for used boats increase.
It’s clear from this data that recreational boating is hotter than ever. With more people eager to get outdoors and safely spend time with family and friends, boating offers a positive stance to an uncertain reality. Whether you are looking for a boat to purchase or looking to sell your current boat, our sales professionals can help you with your next steps. Reach out to a sales professional to start your boating venture.