Boat sales up so far this year

February 2011 News
Local lakes look a bit more like deserts right now than bodies of water, but with the warm weather some folks are already thinking about hitting the water. The proof is in the number of people who showed up at a boat show in Kingsport Saturday.

The Reicherts say they miss the good old days back when they owned a boat.

"I like to fish. She likes to sit and read books," explains Donald Reichert. "I like to swim." chimes in Sarah Reichert.

The couple say they've agreed to buy a boat this summer. The only problem is they can't seem to agree on which one.

"I'm wanting a fishing boat because I like to fish. She's thinking more of a pontoon boat because she likes to get up and walk around, sunbathe." says Donald.

The owner of Laurel Marina says this year pontoon boats seem to be the hot item, but wake-boarding boats are selling fast, too.

"The economy impacts all of us in a lot of different ways, and of course boating is something you don't have to do, but everybody needs to have fun!" exclaims Dale Thomas, the owner of Laurel Marina.

At least one shopper I found says rising gas prices may deter him from making a big purchase.

"It gets down on you thinking about it more. Everytime I think about getting a boat, gas goes up," complains Howard Hensley.

There are ways you can save out on the water.

Local marina owners tell me right now it will cost you around four dollars a gallon to fill up your boat with gas. You can make that gas last even longer by having a four stroke engine.

"We just don't use half the gas now that we used to use," explains Thomas. "With the engines that are out there now, you can boat for a long time for no more money than if you were playing golf."

The Reicherts say once they compromise, they'll be out enjoying the beautiful lakes in our area.

"If you really want a boat, we'll get a boat and we'll worry about the gas prices later," says Sarah Reichert. "We may not go out as often," adds Donald.

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