Dealers tout industry’s recovery in Michigan

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The marine industry in Michigan — the third-largest market in the country — is showing clear signs of revival.

That’s the theme of a mainstream news report by The Voice, a newspaper that covers the region between Lake St. Clair and southern Lake Michigan.

“We sold a lot more boats than we have in previous years, and 70 percent of the boat buyers we had were either new owners or returning boaters looking for a second option. That means the size of the boating pie is getting larger,” Eric Foster, general partner at Belle Maer Harbor in Harrison Township, told the publication.

Foster said the difference in boat sales started to become clear to him at the Detroit Boat Show in February.

“We’ve had two back-to-back growth seasons that have exceeded the national average. That’s for new boat, motor, trailer and accessory sales,” said Nicki Polan, executive director of the Michigan Boating Industries Association.

To no one’s surprise, pontoon boat sales are leading the charge.

The sales on these have exploded,” Foster told The Voice, attributing much of the sales appeal to affordable and improved design.

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