Climate right for increased boat sales

Posted at 7:31 PM, May 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-08 19:37:08-04

WEST MICHIGAN -- With more freshwater coastline than any other state, it's easy to see why boating is huge part of Michigan's economy. Watercraft dealers say it's something of a perfect storm for boat buying and so far the weather is good.

“Ah a bright sunny days are always the best to sell a boat, you can’t beat it," says Andy Usik business manager at Hall's Sports Center.

Add in low interest rates and buyers start itching to get behind the wheel of a new boat.

“The economy itself I think has improved and consumer confidence is up," explains Usik, "So consumers are willing to spend a little bit more on some higher ticket items for family fun, boats certainly being one of those.”

It's full throttle ahead on the lake too, because gas prices are down a dollar and lake levels are high. So with all the ingredients for perfect boat buying coming together how are the dealerships looking for 2015.

Usik answers, “In talking to our peers everyone seems to be up as a whole in 2015 in the boating industry. We just came off of our best first quarter and our best April since the early 2000s. We’re definitely feeling fortunate about that.”

People are buying and slip owners are noticing.

“It seems like there’s less slips available so that’s a good sign," says boat owner Cory Hamilton.

Captian Ron Tabiadon noticed too adding, “I’ve seen a lot of newer people here this year.”

Fishermen who went out today brought in a good haul too.

“We caught a giant salmon," says Daniel Iakolev who came up from Iowa to fish Michigan waters.