Boat Dealers: ‘Perfect Storm’ Creates Best Sales in a Decade

A familiar sound of summer on lakes across Northern Michigan–boating season is here.

Many boaters are anxious to launch their boats right now and it appears more people are buying new this year.

Reporter Charlie Tinker went to Grand Traverse County’s Silver Lake and spoke with excited boaters and dealers.

“It’s nice to… take a nice easy cruise around the lake and enjoy being on the water,” said Scot Ogden, an avid boater.

Ogden loves the water, and so do a lot of other people… docks–filled with activity.

The surface of Silver Lake, teeming with eager boaters who can’t wait to head out.

I spoke with one of these eager boaters: “(How’s it feel to be on the water?) Great, this is the first time this year. In fact, I haven’t been out all last year, so it’s the first time in two years.”

And then there’s those who watch–people who don’t have boats… until they decide to go out and buy one–the beginning of a banner year for boat dealers.

“We’re moving a lot of boats quickly,” said Brian Rogers, a salesman with Traverse Bay Marine. “People realize spring is finally here.”

Dealers tell us this is shaping up to be the best season they’ve had in ten years-looking at this lake, it’s beautiful; this time last year, parts were still frozen over and this year, people are just excited to be spending a little time outside.

“It’s basically the perfect storm,” explained Rogers. “Lake levels are up, the ice is gone, interest rates are down, gas prices are down-everything’s come together this year.”

At Traverse Bay Marine all of these boats will soon find new homes with new buyers and, as for the people who already have boats—it becomes a rush to get them into the water.

“As the days get warmer, people want their boats and they’re working late until 9-10 o’clock at night trying to fulfill all the orders, getting the boats on the water, making people happy,” related Rogers.

“I look forward to going out every May, getting the boat in the water and bring it in in November,” said Ogden. “[I] try to extend the season as long as I can.”