New boats the latest item hit by a shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic

National News

LEWISVILLE, Texas (KTVT/CBS Newspath) – The lifting of COVID-19 restrictions has some eager to get out and onto the water.

But a boat shortage, which appears to be a byproduct of the pandemic, has some staying on land.

Chad Chaney drove from Forney to Lewisville with his daughter just to check out a new boat similar to one he ordered back in January and still won’t get for a few more months.

“It’s very tough. Everybody’s excited and waiting for the new boat. Hopefully it’ll be here soon,” Chaney said.

The boat Chaney got to admire has another owner, who also ordered it months ago, waiting to pick it up.

In fact, every new boat on Phil Smith’s lot is spoken for now that watercraft sales are up 34 percent this year, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Smith owns Buxton Marine, which is one of several dealerships along what’s known as a nautical mile on Interstate-35 near Lewisville Lake where the showrooms are surprisingly empty with boat season just getting started.

“Everyone is sold out of their inventory. Everybody is sold out of the new boats. They have very few available. It’s just a really interesting time we live in right now,” Smith said.

Smith said he would usually have 20 to 30 new boats on his lot. Every new boat that arrives already has an owner who purchased it sight unseen.

Why are boat sales booming? It’s not an easy question to answer. But dealers said they offer a lot of things people emerging from the pandemic are looking for.

“I think it’s a combination of people rediscovering what they can do with their family and also a combination of people coming out of the pandemic and wanting to do things,” Smith said.

Supply is also low because of a production shutdown last year.

There are still used boats available for those looking for one to ride on lakes this summer.

But those in the market for a new one are being told as of Friday that it wouldn’t arrive before September.

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