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The numbers are in, did you buy the boat?

It's been a great year for boat sales from the 2021 - '22 boat show season. Fort Lauderdale recorded $899 million in direct sales over the 5 days of the show ($179.8 million per day) which generated $85.4 million in sales tax to the state of Florida. The Miami show was expected to be a strong event as well with predictions over $1B in sales.

In speaking with Midwest based boat dealers, they’re having success at their own events and the local shows they attended. Manufacturers are still behind run rate production as noted by the cancelation of several shows due to inventory constraints. Dealers are taking pre-orders at these events. I spoke with a European based manufacturer who is taking orders for 2024.

What does this all mean?

  • Many of the sold new boats won’t be delivered in time for the 2022 season, especially larger boats

  • Inflation & gas prices are up significantly but not impactful...Yet

  • Used boat sales are still strong

  • A lot of chatter about boaters spending more time anchoring at sandbars and common anchorage areas

So should you buy a boat? Yes, if you

  • have a passion for boating, don't put it off hoping that prices come down any time soon

  • can cover the increased costs (15 - 20%) of a boat

  • rather spend time making memories and enjoying the outdoors today than saving money for a trip in a uncertain world tomorrow

  • can act quickly on a sale and line up a thorough inspection before making a payment

Other variables. Gas prices shot up in February/ March. Who knows what that looks like in the future. Plan for it to be higher. Slips have also gone up in many locations. I've seen 25% increases locally in the upper Midwest. There's a popular acronym (YOLO - you only live once). That's wrong. You live everyday. You only die once. #buytheboat #boatinglife #boatingseason. Subscribe to the community here.

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