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Trends seem to roll in and out like waves in the transportation industry. Take boating, for instance. It was never suffering exactly, but when COVID hit, sales began to boom. Even though the pandemic is officially over, boat sales are remaining strong.

It all started with the pandemic

Being on lockdown was a real drag, but people got creative in finding ways to get out and about while still isolating. Boating was just one of these ways.

Boats Groups reports that many new boat owners are now eager to upgrade. In fact, 40% of millennials who have purchased a boat during that time period plan to buy something bigger and better. 

Further data reveals that many of the people who plan to upgrade are going to pay cash. This is an astonishing 73% of the people who purchased during the pandemic, and 64% of this number is millennials. 

Sales are still going strong

Recent data reveals that sales have hit their peak, and are slowly decreasing. It’s not enough to make a real difference, however, as things are still looking up for the boating industry. Rather than being a cause for alarm, it’s more like things are getting back to normal. 

There are several reasons why the boating industry is slowing down. One of the biggest reasons is that interest rates are on the rise, which has put a damper on a lot of things. The important thing to take note of is there are still plenty of people interested in buying a boat. Even if they aren’t purchasing at the moment, they’ve probably got their eyes on the boat they plan on buying next. 

Another reason why people aren’t buying as fast is that they’ve reported changes in their lifestyle. They’re moving, or planning to, which often takes priority over luxury items such as water crafts. Others have reported health reasons which prevent them from being able to use their boat.

Further data reveals that some sellers who aren’t going through dealers simply don’t have the time to get on their boats, or they already own multiple water crafts. Still others have a boat, but they are planning to downgrade to something that is easy to maintain and care for.

Things may have been even better in terms of sales thanks to a supply shortage. With so many people suddenly interested in owning a boat, it quickly became difficult to purchase one. This is no longer a problem as supply chains are picking up again, at least for the time being.

How is this impacting the boating industry?

There are several key factors now in play thanks to the sales boom. The first is that there are more jobs. According to Axios Miami, there were an estimated 141,860 jobs as of March. This is great news for anyone who makes a living on the water.

Another side effect is that the average value of a boat is going up. This is fantastic for boat dealers or anyone looking to sell. For buyers, it can prove frustrating as prices have risen from an average of $103,629 in 2019 to $139,152.

Boats are on the market for fewer days now. When a boat goes on sale, it tends to be there for 187 days, as opposed to 261 in 2019.

Will this trend continue? It will for the time being. Things will probably begin to die down, only to rise again, as this is how the industry tends to work. In the meantime, boat dealers are enjoying the bounty, and boat owners are enjoying the water.


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