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Used-boat sales on the rise for Detroit dealer

Used-boat sales are picking up in the Detroit area, according to a family that has been in the boat business for more than 100 years.

Four generations of the Velger family have owned and operated boat dealerships around Detroit, and they’ve seen their share of ups and downs, according to C&G Publishing.

Rick Velger, who owns and manages Hideaway Harbor and Yacht Sales in Harrison Township along with his brother Bob Velger, said his great grandfather William Velger started selling bait and renting boats in Detroit in the late 1800s.

“Our biggest year for sales was in the mid-1980s,” said Rick Velger, 47. “There were many years, in the ’80s and ’90s, when the economy was good and people had money to spend on yachts or cruisers. Then it began to sink, but sales are coming back.”

Hideaway Yacht Sales calls itself the world’s largest Rinker dealer, but the business also carries Sea Hunt, Polar Kraft, Hurricane and Xcursion pontoon boats, which Velger said are a very popular and inexpensive way to get into boating.

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