Last July 2013, a report published by the business news website, “The Commercial Appeal”, sent boat builders and makers in panic. The said report stated that, there has been a shortage of used boats in the market that prompts the sellers to increase the price of their units, affecting the sales and production of boat manufacturers. And according to the report, it prompted dealerships to seek trade-ins to increase the sales of their newly released and manufactured boats.
But in some cases, boat buyers are paying more than 25 percent from the suggested retail price for a used boat that is in very good shape and released roughly two or three years ago. With this kind of deal, their sales went up to 50 percent. This encouraged them to trade-in or to sell their old marine vessels than to sell or trade-in their new ones just to clear their inventory. These deals paved way to the new “normal” in the boat-buying trade, making used boats a premium and a hot commodity. It is safe to say that boat builders were negatively hit by this change and so as the economy as the boat sales serve as one of the indicators for a strong economy. And the high price of materials such as aluminium and wood added to the pressing problems.
Somehow, the boat makers were able to turn the table and use the problem to their advantage. Since the shortage affects the pricing of old boats, they made a sales pitch and entice boat buyers with reasonably-priced new boats that are as durable and as stable as the used vessels.
What made them successful on this endeavour is when they were able to introduce new types of boats that are entirely different from the old ones, in terms of construction, hull, and material. Boat builders, like Aquatruck, reinvented boat-making and add something new into the mix – plastic boats. Although there are traditional boat owners that are quite sceptical about this new type of boat, there are modern vessel owners who are looking forward on using this type of boat rather than acquiring old aluminium or wood-made ships that need high maintenance. Nowadays, most commercial boats for sale are made of plastic, or to be more specific, polyethylene.
Back then, polyethylene was known for its effective sealing features that war technicians used to seal the cracks in their machineries. But with the continuous advancement and innovation, researchers were able to develop and made better this material to make it stable for building other machineries, and that includes boats and cruises.
As expected, this change brought by innovative boat builders is slowly pulling the boating industry back on the game. Retail sales of new powerboats are expected to surge, according to Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. This is apparent as they see the enormous surge of pontoon boats sales.
The Consumer Appeal finished their report on a positive note with a statement from Dammrich, saying, “...the steady sales (of boats) increases we are seeing is being reinforced by the slow uptick in consumer confidence, housing and spending,”