The results of a new study focusing on boat ownership experiences will be revealed during a webinar scheduled for tomorrow at 1 p.m. (ET), and dealers who attend stand to gain important new insights. Meanwhile, interests in Canada and the United States are fighting to keep nuclear waste from being stored in the Great Lakes Basin.
Left Brain Marketing was retained to field a comprehensive study on individuals who purchased a boat in 2020 or 2021. The study was funded by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
The webinar, titled “Enhancing the Boat Ownership Experience, will take a deep dive into the findings and key takeaways from the study, and it couldn’t be more timely. It will identify the coming challenges associated with boat shopping and the ownership experience.
“Findings from this study will help us, as an industry, improve and enhance all stages of a boater’s journey to purchase and throughout their ownership experience,” says Ellen Bradley, NMMA senior vice president of marketing and communications.
Some of the takeaways:
• Though finding a boat during the pandemic was difficult, boaters were satisfied with the shopping and purchase experience. However, better product training in the delivery phase is desired.
• Boaters often cited dissatisfaction with the cost and the turnaround time for dealer maintenance and service work.
• Used buyers are just as satisfied with their boat as those who new purchase new but are far less likely to visit a dealer for maintenance or service work.
• Used buyers who visit a dealer for maintenance or service are mostly happy with the quality of the work performed, but echo the cost and turnaround issues.
On a positive note, a majority of first time and repeat buyers said they intend to remain in boating. However, underutilization and the cost of ownership are key risk factors for defection.
The webinar will share ideas on how the industry can help enhance and improve the experiences for boat owners, something experts agree will play a critical post-pandemic role if we expect to enjoy continued sales growth.
No nukes in the Great Lakes
That’s the message that continues to resonate with boaters, conservationists, Native American tribal nations and members of Congress as two new nuclear waste sites have been proposed in Ontario.
Last year, Ontario Power Generation abandoned plans to store low-level nuclear waste at a site in Kincardine on Lake Huron after a massive public outcry from interests in the United States and Canada. Low-level radioactive waste “comes from reactor operations and from medical, academic, industrial and other commercial uses of radioactive materials,” according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Now a group of Canadian power companies, calling themselves the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, is proposing a new facility in the Great Lakes Basin to store high-level radioactive waste. High-level waste is “primarily spent fuel removed from reactors after producing electricity.”
The proposed sites in Ontario are in Ignace, about 80 miles from Lake Superior, and South Bruce, 26 miles from Lake Huron. The NWMO would store around 64,000 tons of waste in an underground facility known as a deep geologic repository. High-level waste can remain radioactive for tens of thousands of years.
U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee, D-Mich., along with 19 other members of Congress have sent a bipartisan resolution calling on President Biden to ensure the Canadian government does not permanently store nuclear waste in the Great Lakes Basin.
Kildee says when American interests considered building a nuclear dump site in the Great Lakes Basin in the 1980s, the Canadian government opposed the idea, which ultimately led to it being scrapped. Now, he says, he wants the Canadian government to once again oppose the idea of storing highly radioactive waste in the Great Lakes Basin, the largest source of fresh water in the world.
“Permanently storing nuclear waste in the Great Lakes basin does not make any sense,” Kildee says. “The Great Lakes are central to our way of life. Storing nuclear waste so close to our shared waterways puts our economies and millions of jobs at risk in the fishing, boating and tourism industries.
Find another place for your waste!