Boat shows in Florida will likely see an increase in attendance this year, as more owners find replacements for their damaged vessels, according to marine industry experts.
The aftermath of Hurricane Irma led to the destruction of more than 1,000 boats, which could no longer be salvaged or repaired due to the damages. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) expects this to propel boat sales in the near future.
NMMA President Thom Dammrich said that boat sales in the state would likely increase in next 12 to 18 months after the storm. WALK-WINN added that the sales of bass tracker cover products would eventually pick up as well, as buying protective equipment for vessels is similar to purchasing the same for new cars. Boatyards may also expect to be busier in the next six months due to the increased need among owners to find replacements.
For those who depend on boats for their livelihood, they may have already begun to look for new boats, according to Dammrich. The Miami International Boat Show, for instance, will be one of the best venues to scout for replacements. This also provides sellers with an opportunity to clear their inventory before the end of 2017.
Aside from the Miami boat show, the recent Progressive Insurance Tampa Boat Show also attracted more participants. NMMA said that 18,561 people attended the event, and its initial report showed strong sales during the event.
Despite a change in schedule due to Irma, the event still notched a 12% increase in attendees, according to Kevin Murphy, the boat show’s managers. Murphy noted that exhibitors encountered “quality crowds filled with serious buyers.”
While the recent hurricane in Florida inflicted significant damages, the aftermath presented a silver lining for businesses. Damaged boats mean that owners will seek new products from sellers and suppliers.