After more than a year of COVID-19 safety precautions and a long winter in many parts of the country, a day on the water may be just what the doctor ordered. The only problem: Lots of other people have the same idea.
This summer is expected to bring record boat traffic. The marine industry reports a 35% increase in first-time boat ownership from last year with 350,000 people nationally purchasing their first powerboat and another 65,000 buying their first personal watercraft, according to figures from Info-Link Technologies and the Coast Guard.
“2020 was a different year in the course of the boating industry and sales,” Water Sports Foundation Executive Director Jim Emmons said. “With social distancing and summer trips being canceled because of the coronavirus, people turned to boating in a big way.”
“It’s all about nautical distancing,” said Gavan Hunt, the vice president of sales for Chris-Craft Boats based in Sarasota, Florida. “Truly, it was a freedom people needed and wanted during the pandemic. It’s one of the few places you could be with family and not be worried.”
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