The summer waters are wide open and more Americans than ever are putting to sea.
Now the coronavirus Boating Restrictions have been lifted in all 50 states and the pandemic has canceled various summer plans, including camps, sporting events and vacations. The boating industry is seeing a peak in interest in getting on the water.
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 70 percent of boat dealers reported They had sales growth in May, the strongest number since July 2018.
PWC sales increased 75 percent in May compared to May 2019. Boat manufacturing and wholesale shipments are up between 16 percent and 160 percent since April, when the virus first crippled the industry.
Google searches for other water-related products like paddleboards, life jackets, kayaks, and wakeboards have increased by 70 to 100 percent.
Dante Grover, owner of Al Grovers Marina in Freeport, New York, told FOX Business’ Kristina Partsinevelos that the surge in business with partner firm Strong’s Marine was surprising.
“It’s kind of shocking how it’s taken off,” Grover said. “We were prepared for the worst and actually spun it around and set a record almost every day.”
Strong’s Marine boat sales are up 42 percent since last year, while monthly rentals are up 60 percent. According to Strong’s estimates, earnings will exceed 2019’s by the end of June.
Investing in a boat also attracts consumers due to lower fuel prices and insurance costs. Some families even pool money to make a joint purchase.