Demand for Boats and Motorsport Vehicles Remains High Despite Inflation

FOX VALLEY (NBC 26) — While inflation across the country is driving the price of boats and motorsport vehicles, there are still ways to save so you don’t get anchored at high prices.

Demand for boats and motorsport vehicles outstrips supply as more people look to hit the trails or the water.

“It’s not just one thing that’s holding up the show. It’s a lot of little things,” said Jay Vanderloop, owner and chief sales officer of Ken’s Sports.

Immediate availability of motorsport vehicles can be difficult to achieve due to supply chain issues and increases in fuel and shipping costs. Components such as tires, plastics, and brackets are stuck during deployment, forcing dealers to wait weeks or even months for product.

“Almost every week some manufacturers have a price increase or surcharge,” Vanderloop said. “And it doesn’t matter if it’s a major unit, like an ATV or a motorcycle. It is also jackets, bibs, helmets. These too have increased. So it’s a bit of everything. »

According to the manufacturer, Vanderloop said these costs have increased between 2% and 10%.

“We see it getting worse before it gets better on the motorsports side,” Vanderloop said. “On the navy side, things are starting to look up a bit.

Vanderloop said the concessionaire’s current supply of marine lines is stable. He said pontoon, fishing and boating boots are selling well.

There are around 60 boats on display in the showroom and over 200 new and used boats in stock. But in about five months, Vandeloop said the supply will run out.

It’s a similar story at Sport-O-Motive in Appleton.

Quinn Nofzinger, owner of Sport-O-Motive, said sales have increased by 25% as demand remains high and products leave the showroom floor.

“There’s such a huge demand. It’s been hard to get stock,” Nofzinger said. “As we get closer to summer, I expect all of these boats to be sold.”

There are approximately 30 boats in stock at Sport-O-Motive. Nofzinger said the inventory they currently have is all 2022 models that arrived from last year’s order. Since it takes longer to receive the product, Nofzinger said it will be difficult to replace some models once they run out.

So what can you do to save your hard-earned money? Like used cars, used boats sell for more than normal.

“A lot of people are selling these products for what they maybe paid two or three years ago,” Nofzinger said.

Vanderloop said people should do additional research on used products.

“Sometimes this second-hand stuff, for not much more money, you can look at new if it’s available,” Vanderloop said.

Maintaining a current route is also an option. Both Ken’s Sports and Sport-O-Motive have a service department that’s doing a lot of business right now.

Vanderloop said the cost of parts has increased between 5% and 8%, meaning a $300 repair job could cost $320 now.

Despite higher prices, boat sales are up nationwide. The National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that retail unit sales of new powerboats are expected to exceed 300,000 units for the second year in a row. An estimated 1.1 million used boats were sold in 2021.

“We don’t expect inflation to have a significant impact on boat sales this year,” said John-Michael Donahue, vice president of North American public affairs for the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “We continue to see increased consumer spending, steady wage growth and positive consumer sentiment. These are really strong indicators for our industry historically.”

NMMA predicts 2022 sales will be 3% higher than last year.

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