Whisker Whackers

Boat Production Forecast Improves

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Editor’s Note: I have heard many reports in 2020 about anglers waiting on their new boats to be delivered. When COVID-19 hit, it limited production lines severely. It is good to see this encouraging report that indicates boat building production will be up in 2021.  

In the latest Forecast on U.S. Boat Building Production from ITR Economics, growth in boat building production is expected to be constrained through 2020 and into the first quarter of 2021, turn up in mid-2021, and hold steady through 2023. 

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The latest ITR Forecast for boat building was upwardly revised compared to the July report, following data from the Federal Reserve Board which showed production in the third quarter increasing compared to the second quarter in response to the surge in consumer demand for new boats. 

“Boat shipments through September are at about 90% of where they were a year ago due to a halt in production at the onset of COVID-19 and now pandemic-related supply chain constraints,” notes Vicky Yu, senior director of business intelligence for NMMA. “As those constraints are lifted, we should see a healthy pickup on boat building production as manufacturers work through their backlogs to fulfill new boat orders rising from the uptick in retail sales over the summer.” 

Expectations are similar at SeaArk Boats, a builder of several catfish model boats. COVID has had a positive impact on sales while at the same time making it difficult to build a workforce.    

“I have more boats on order at one time than ever before,” stated SeaArk Boats president, Steve Henderson. “Dealers are very low on inventory. My problem has been getting them built. Pre-COVID, we had 155 employees. I have struggled to get more than 125 currently. I see 2021 being pretty good. Not sure about 2022 at this point though.”  

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