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    Boat Sales are Surging as People Seek Safe Recreation During Pandemic

    Boat Sales are Surging as People Seek Safe Recreation During Pandemic

    “We’ve literally had a wait as many as six people deep today, on a Friday. On the weekends, it can get pretty hectic”
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    People who have been trapped in their homes for months, and looking for a form of recreation that allows social distancing are increasingly turning to boating.

    Some areas are reporting a massive spike in boat sales. It’s a win for people and the economy.

    On the west coast, John Carroll reports at KPBS News:

    RV, Boat Sales Spike Amidst Pandemic

    The coronavirus pandemic has meant changes of all kinds in how we live our lives. That includes vacationing.

    Lots of people don’t want to get on a plane, train or bus. That may be what’s behind a big increase in the sales of RVs and boats.

    The Vice President and General Manager of RV Solutions in Kearny Mesa, Matt Leffingwell, has been in the RV business for 25 years. He said he’s never seen anything like this.

    “We’ve literally had a wait as many as six people deep today, on a Friday. On the weekends, it can get pretty hectic,” Leffingwell said.

    That scenario is playing itself out at RV dealerships across the country. Sales were already doing well. Figures from the RV Industry Association show a nearly 11% jump from June of last year. But they’ve really taken off since the pandemic hit.

    “It’s not just the vacation, but even just traveling. (People are) going to go back and stay in New York for a month to visit family. They don’t want to fly. And how else do you do it?” said Leffingwell.

    On the east coast, Courtney Carter reports at WPRI News:

    Pandemic leads to increase in boat sales, traffic

    Boat shop owners in Rhode Island say they’ve seen a boom in business lately and it’s due, at least in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Mike Farman, a yacht broker at Brewer Yacht Sales in Warwick, says sales for anything water- related, including boats, jet skis, and yachts, have taken off since the pandemic hit.

    He believes being on the water is a way for people to get out of the house while staying socially distant.

    “This year is busier than I can ever remember,” Farman said. “What’s happening this year that’s different than most is, of course, the virus, and that’s causing people to do different things with the rest of their lives and certainty their summer.”

    Farman said he’s seen a lot of people without a job due to the virus, now with a lot more time on their hands.

    “The people that are older and either retiring or forced to be furloughed, and they always had a dream of boating, so its a perfect opportunity to shelter in place with loved ones,” he said. “The younger folks, they’re not in school, some of them are laid off and half the family is not working, and they need to do something safe with the family, so they made a decision to buy a boat and live their dream.”

    Here’s a video report on this phenomenon from the Associated Press:

    One aspect of boating that is likely playing a role here is the freedom it affords one.

    After months of crazy lockdowns and rules, people are starved to get out and feel like they can be independent and have some fun.

    This is also probably contributing to the rise of the Trumptilla rallies.

    Featured image via YouTube.


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    stablesort | August 12, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Above ground swimming pools are rarer than hen’s teeth here in the upper-midwest.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | August 12, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    1 Chronicles 16:11

    “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.”

    NavyMustang | August 12, 2020 at 12:48 pm


    I bet there will be some great deals on slightly used boats and RVs come next year!

    BOAT = Break Out Another Thousand.

    (Always fun watching new boat owners at the boat ramp. Brand new boat and trailer and a vehicle not fit for pulling it up the ramp.)

      Paul in reply to MrE. | August 12, 2020 at 1:10 pm

      LOL, that was me in my early 20’s. As soon as I got my first “real” job I bought a house as soon as I could. Then I bought my first boat (grew up on my Dad’s boat). Then I realized the old beater I’d been driving since college could barely tow the boat. Priorities.

        MrE in reply to Paul. | August 12, 2020 at 1:46 pm

        Around here it’s not just a wet boat ramp that’s the problem, but one covered with seaweed, barnacles and the like. May as well hose it down with WD40.

        There’s a shallow bay near us, protected by the spit, that stranded a new boater for 10 hours last season. The tide was barely high enough to launch and when the boater returned 2 hours later, there was 100 yards of mudflat between his boat and the ramp. Rather than motor around the horn to the marina and hail a taxi to fetch his boat and trailer, the captain instead beached her. One of the guys in a bright yellow slicker sat on the gunnel, arms folded angrily, and occasionally swatting at the squadron of seagulls that were strafing them. Wife and I chuckled all the way through our picnic lunch.

          tom_swift in reply to MrE. | August 12, 2020 at 3:20 pm

          The bay I used to mess around in had so many flats that “boating” meant walking through the shallows pulling a boat behind. There’s nothing quite like stepping on a skate when you expect a nice foothold on sand—a bit like a bathroom carpet made of sandpaper which tries to escape while you’re standing on it. For a good laugh take a look at the place on Google Maps. Search for “Little Pleasant Bay” and select Satellite View—best collection of sandbars this side of the Hackensack River. I had a great time as a kid.

      4fun in reply to MrE. | August 12, 2020 at 8:52 pm

      While waiting to get the boat back on the trailer one night a bunch of us were just circling waiting our turn. New guy with a nice cruiser had just put
      his brand new boat in the water. We watched as he turned around to be sure he was clear then pushed the throttle ahead full.
      The screech and white marks on the cement were hilarious. The laughing echoed around the area for a while. I’m sure he was in tears knowing he’d ruined the hull and would need some special help getting the boat off the ramp.

    Was going to wait until next year to list ours.. but you’ve inspired me to list it now.

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