Boat Sales Increase During COVID-19 Pandemic

Boat dealerships here in Northern Michigan and across the country are experiencing an increase in people buying new boats, especially after stay at home orders have been lifted.

“Customers want to go boating and they want to go boating today,” said Walstrom Marine President Tom Ervin. “We’re sold out of a couple of product lines through the end of the year already.”

Suppliers are attempting to keep up with orders, as well.

Boats Web Image“We got high demand going on,” Ervin says. “We’ve got supply chain issues with our manufactures that are now just ramping up again after the state closures they’ve all experienced.”

Ervin says he’s seeing more families buying their first boat and staycationing rather than traveling for vacation.

“We’re bringing a lot of folks into the industry, and they’re getting a taste of boating and they’re all enjoying it,” Ervin says. “Everybody’s been cooped up in their home for a long period time. The weather in Northern Michigan is turning beautiful. Everybody’s on the water right now and wants to be on the water.”

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

“I’ve got the only gas on Elk Lake,” Trierweiler says. “We got all these rental boats that people count on year after year to come up and use.”

Ervin believes this is the future the industry has to look forward to.

“All indications are that next year is starting out every bit as strong [as this year],” Ervin says.

Categories: Coronavirus, Michigan This Morning