The recent growth in the economy and stabilizing oil prices have led boat dealers in Houston to expect a rebound in sales in 2018, following the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Several dealers exhibited more than 1,000 boats during the 63rd Annual Houston Boat Show. Much of the anticipated increase in sales will stem from owners who want to replace their damaged boats.
The Boat Owners Association of The United States’ initial estimates showed that last year’s hurricanes damaged or destroyed more than 63,000 recreational boats. The damages reflected around $655 million in property losses. By the start of 2018, many dealers from the Houston trade show handled inquiries from those who already received their insurance money.
These inquiries may likely add to the number of boats sold during the show. Other than dealers and manufacturers will benefit from the increasing demand for accessories and ancillary products, including a boat cover or a boathouse from Rockport and other coastal cities.
The boat industry’s sales activity road to recovery has taken a slow pace, unlike those in the automobile sector. This gradual rebound occurred since most people had to prioritize the replacement of flood-damaged cars and home repairs.
Now that they have the time and money, boat owners have sought to buy new vessels. For instance, dealers have sold more pontoon boats not just because of the hurricanes, but also due to the launch of better models. Sales in this segment increased more than any other type of vessel in 2017, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
The worst is likely over from the aftermath of the recent hurricanes. Despite the significant amount of boat damages and losses, the silver lining for the industry involves a pickup in demand for the replacement of vessels in the future.