Boat sales skyrocket, but inventory is low

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December 14, 2021

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City Marina in Charleston, South Carolina, is filled with just about any type of boat you could imagine, except, one to possibly buy.

Due to global supply chain shortages, boat manufacturers do not have the raw materials to build new boats.

This has also impacted the yacht brokerage business. The local boat brokerages at City Marina have had a hard time gathering inventory for their clients.

Greg Williamson, a yacht broker at Ashley Yachts, says that his clients are waiting six months longer than usual to get a new boat.

If a client were to order a brand new boat, Williamson says they would wait “best case one year, worst case two.”

This has led to an increase in the sale of used boats, leaving local brokerages with a very narrow supply.

In a normal year, boat shows around the US are for brokers to show off their unique boats, but with limited inventory, it has been hard.

“We represent some high end builders in Europe who pride themselves on delivering the boats on time and this has been a very unusual time for them,” said Williamson. “We always use client’s boats for the boat shows anyway, but we’ve been suffering from the delays and have missed a few boat shows because of it.”

Despite the negative forecasts on what would happen to the boating industry after COVID-19 hit the global economy, it is returning. Boating is allowing people to stay distanced, but still be active on the water.

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