Skip to main content

Looking forward to the spring thaw

  • Author:
  • Updated:

We all know this old chestnut from Mark Twain: “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.” This year, a “few minutes” only seemed to make things colder.

I think a lot of folks from the Midwest to the Northeast and plenty of places in between are ready for winter to pack up and leave town, and for nice, warm spring weather to emerge.

Good weather is good for the boat business. A cold, damp spring — like the one many of us experienced last year — not so much. NMMA president Thom Dammrich says last spring hurt business.

With warmer, drier weather, the industry might have been up another 2 or 3 percent, perhaps more, Dammrich told me Tuesday. “Weather has an impact, no doubt about it,” he said.

Dammrich made that point during his presentation at the industry breakfast at the Miami International Boat Show last month. He showed a slide that summed up two significant risks to growth: Washington and the weather.

“Weather is one of our industry’s biggest threats,” he told the audience. As cold and entrenched as this winter has been, Dammrich said Tuesday, “I don’t think weather has hurt us yet. The boat shows have been really strong.”

But he did note that spring weather was probably a better predictor of growth for the coming year than even strong winter shows.

At the breakfast, Dammrich — tongue in cheek — showed three slides depicting the weather forecast for winter, spring and summer, according to the Farmers’ Almanac. Its forecast for winter was “right on the money,” Dammrich said. The slides shown here suggest good boating weather for much of the country once the spring thaw takes hold.

“If they are right for spring and summer,” Dammrich said, “we’ll have a gangbuster season.”

With good weather, we may see 5 to 7 percent growth in unit sales and 8 to 11 percent in dollars this year, Dammrich said.

Everyone I know is rooting for spring.



Northpoint Expands Marine Presence

Northpoint Commercial Finance has partnered with Elite Recreational Finance to offer retail financing.


BRP Reports 71% Increase in Q3 Revenues

The Sea-Doo manufacturer had total revenue of $2.7 billion, but North American marine retail sales were down 47%.


Airmar Announces Training Dates

Certified Installer and SmartBoat system classes are being held this month in New Jersey and next year in New Hampshire.


The Survey Says …

Surveying customers to find out what they think about your business has never been more important.


Marine Development Inc. Changes Hands

Mick Webber, the former president/CEO and owner of HydroHoist, has purchased the company from its founders.

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 10.06.58 AM

Yanmar Reports Record First Half

Supported by overseas growth in construction equipment, generators and components, the company announced net sales of approximately $3.5 billion.


FWC Accepting Vessel Turn-In Applications

The program disposes of unwanted, at-risk vessels before they become derelict at no cost to owners.


Walstrom Acquires Grand Bay Marine

The transaction expands the company’s footprint in the Great Lakes region and brings the Regal, Starcraft, Godfrey, Bayliner, Robalo and Berkshire brands to Walstrom’s portfolio.


Indmar Co-Founder Dies at 95

A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Dick Rowe dedicated himself to the recreational boating industry for more than four decades.