Recession's wake doesn't scare Delaware boaters out of water

Published online: May 04, 2011 News
Viewed 202 time(s)

As his customers shied away from luxury items amid a global economic downturn, Ted Link said, he made a business decision to give up selling new boats.

But Link, of Link's Marine in Newark, said he's been able to sustain his business with service, which has held steady.

That connects with the conclusions of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which last week reported that the industry saw a decline in new boat sales last year, but an increase in participation in recreational boating.

People who already owned boats were spending more on them, the group reported.

Spending per boat increased six percent from 2009, and after-market accessory sales also increased by six percent, the group reported.

The association estimated that 32.4 percent of American adults participated in recreational boating in 2010, up 14 percent from 2009, and the highest level since 1999.

But overall power- and sailboat sales decreased by 4 percent, the group said. New-boat sales fell by 10 percent.

Within the new-boat market, small fishing and water-sport boats did best, declining by 4 percent.

The industry, said association president Thom Dammrich, "remains alive and well," showing that boating is still "a recreational activity Americans aren't willing to forgo in times of economic recession," even in a time when fuel prices are rising rapidly.

Don Short, owner of Short's Marine in Long Neck, said he's seeing a trend of customers trying to downsize to smaller boats, especially those who owe more on the boat than than it's worth.

Pontoon boats, he said, are becoming more popular.

Sales and service are flat over last year, Short said. But certain segments, like the higher end, tend to be coming back a little stronger, he said.


You May Also Be Interested In...

April 16, 2015

Breaking News

The National Marine Manufacturers Association canceled the Progressive Chicago In-Water Boat Show, which was set to take place June 11-14, and will stop producing the annual show.
April 16, 2015

West Marine announces new "Deck Out Dad" social media contest

West Marine has launched a new social media campaign called Deck Out Dad!
April 03, 2015

66 Days At Sea

We are happy to report that after being adrift at sea and lost for 66 days, Louis Jordan has been rescued 200 miles off the coast of South Carolina.
April 01, 2015

JC Manufacturing becomes JC TriToon Marine

Formerly known as JC Manufacturing, the Indiana-based pontoon manufacturer has officially changed its name to JC TriToon Marine.
Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Instagram!  Follow us on Twitter!  Follow us on YouTube!