Northern Michigan Boat Dealer Seeing Strong Sales, Months Long Wait on Inventory

Boating was a popular activity across northern Michigan this weekend, with boats filling lakes across the area.

In fact boats have become a popular item over the last year, with new boats hard to come by, and dealerships trying to keep up with demand.

Whether its pontoon boats, fishing boats or even sail boats, boats are hard to come by right now.

Walstrom Marine in Traverse City says the wait time can be anywhere from four to six months.

“Covid had a play, we have a lot of new boaters in the industry and I mean we’re in northern Michigan, so Traverse City is thriving, northern Michigan is thriving, we’re getting a lot more folks up into the area and that means more boat sales. To sum it up basically we’ve been in a boat show atmosphere for the last year and a half, meaning it’s just been crazy,” said Matt Schwartze, Sales at Walstrom.

It’s a similar story at Sailsport Marine where owner Scott Wilson says supply chain issues are also limiting inventory.

“It’s crazy, weather they’re coming from the east from Asia, China, I’ve got boats coming from England, containers are next to impossible to get to put the boats on, I’ve got boats coming from Singapore that I’ve been waiting 4 months for and they just can’t find the container to fit them in,” said Wilson.

And this trend is expected to continue until the end of next year and possibly into 2023.

“We’ve got presold boats out until fall pretty much and now people are asking if I should put a deposit on a boat for next year, and yeah, probably,” said Wilson.

“Next year we’re going to be in the same type of atmosphere, pre selling a lot of our inventory. We’re forecasting next year’s sales to be just as good if not better,” said Schwartze.

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