The salesmen who were smiling through their Ray-Ban sunglasses this weekend at the Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota, Fla., were hiding a lot of old pain.
By last spring, just when they thought they had navigated the reefs of the Great Recession, they were stuck talking their way past the huge oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. But the signs are improving with each boat show and each new sale.
"It's not back 100 percent, but I would say 60 percent," Ron Johnson, manager at Chris-Craft Tampa Bay, told the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota, Fla., while sitting in a 25-footer powered by Volvo and priced at $123,000.
"Nobody's segment was untouched," said Darren Plymale, sales manager at Galati, a high-end brokerage with eight sites, mostly on the Gulf. For the survivors, the world is starting to look navigable again.