Boat sales booming after coronavirus sinks summer plans

Boating restrictions have been lifted in all 50 states

Summer waters are wide open and more Americans than ever before are setting out to sea.

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Now that 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 to get out on the water.

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 70 percent of boating dealers reported they’ve had sales growth in May, the strongest number recorded since July 2018.

Driving into the sunset.

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Personal watercraft sales in May increased by 75 percent compared to May 2019. Boat manufacturing and wholesale shipments increased between 16 and 160 percent from April when the virus first shut the industry down.

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Google searches for other water-related products like paddleboards, life vests, kayaks and wakeboards have increased 70 to 100 percent.

Dante Grover, owner of Al Grovers Marina in Freeport, New York, told FOX Business’ Kristina Partsinevelos that the increase in business with partner company Strong's Marine has been surprising.

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“It’s kind of shocking how it’s taken off,” Grover said. “We were prepared for the worst and we’ve actually spun it around and have record being set almost every day.”

Strong’s Marine boat sales increased by 42 percent while monthly leases up 60 percent since last year. By the end of June, Strong’s estimates revenue will surpass that of 2019.

Investing in a boat is also attracting consumers due to lower fuel prices and insurance costs. Some families are even pooling money together to make a joint purchase.

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