Skip to main content

Boaters gear up for Memorial Day weekend

Boating business owners around the country are hoping Memorial Day weekend — the traditional start of boating season — will be the beginning of a profitable summer.

In central Illinois, marinas along the Illinois River are readying for a busy weekend.

“We've seen a tremendous number of boats going in the water the last two weeks,” EastPort Marina harbormaster Michael Childers told The Journal Star newspaper. “I see it coming back slowly. We've probably sold seven or eight new slips this year.”

There’s also been recent activity at National Marine, a boat shop and marina in Peoria Heights, owner Patrick Ward said.

“Since we came through the [wet spring], we've 'dumped' 30 boats, with another 30 to go," he said, referring to plans to put customers' boats in the water.

“We're moving forward. When we had that week of 80-degree weather in March we were wall-to-wall with people. Then it died down. But in the last five to seven days we've had people looking at new boats.”

It’s the same story in Tennessee, where Elm Hill Marina has every boat rented and about 80 percent of its boat slips are taken.

The recent spike in gas prices could even lead to more traffic on Percy Priest Lake, with people reluctant to take long car trips. “If they can’t take a huge vacation, people are going to rent boats,” office manager Mandy Reilly told the Tennessean newspaper.

Area lakes, such as Old Hickory and J. Percy Priest, should see big crowds this weekend, with officials expecting a 50 percent spike in boaters, compared with the average weekend.

The National Park Service estimates that there will be 150,000 to 180,000 visitors at Nevada’s Lake Mead during the three-day weekend, on par with the number the lake had last year.

“We are gearing up for our biggest weekend of the summer,” park service spokesman Andrew Munoz said.

Related

VOLVO-EARNINGS

Volvo Penta Reports Q4, FY22 Results

Net sales of $470 million for the quarter were a 33% increase compared to the prior year period.

Pulse-Report

DEALERS: Are You Improving the Service Experience?

Our monthly Pulse Report survey asks this and other questions about your dealership. Take the survey here.

NMRA-SCHOLARSHIP

NMRA Sets Scholarship Deadline

Students pursuing education in the marine trades can apply for the National Marine Representatives Association awards until April 1.

MARINE-PRODUCTS

Marine Products Reports Record Q4

The builder of Chaparral and Robalo boats reported net sales were up 42% for the quarter and 28% for fiscal year 2022.

1_SHURHOLD

Shurhold Appoints COO

Forrest Ferrari has years of management, business development, IT and quality-assurance experience.

MOBILE-CATCH-CENTER

RBFF, Pure Fishing Partner for a First Catch Center

Pure Fishing will equip a mobile trailer with tackle and gear to bring fishing experiences to areas of South Carolina where participation is low.

Norm

An Oft-Overlooked Sales Opportunity

A recent report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation showed that women comprise 37% of all anglers. If you haven’t tapped this segment, you’re missing out.

1. 2023 new boat retail outlook

Too Many High-Priced Boats

To wrap up 2022, marine retailers reported lower demand, expressed more negative sentiment and voiced concerns about rising inventory. Boat prices and the economy remained top of mind for dealers in December.

Soundings Nov 2022

New-Boat Registrations Continue to Slide

As the gaudy sales figures from the pandemic continue to return to more realistic numbers, the main segments of the recreational boating industry saw new-model registrations of 4,421 in November, a 30.3% drop from 6,340 during the same time in 2021. .