The Pandemic causes another shortage – Boats

Chattanooga, Tenn (WDEF) – If you are planning on hitting the lakes and rivers this summer by boat, you may find yourself on shore. The pandemic is yet to blame for another shortage-boats.

With the pandemic pushing more people to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, the desire to be out on the water is causing a national boat shortage.

“It was anything everyone had left to do during the pandemic. It’s a good family event. Hey out on the water away from the virus. I think one thing just fed another, they got behind on production and here we are; everything backed up but everything kept selling and it’s still selling,” says Lee Haas, Owner of Chattanooga Fish-n-Fun store

“Last March when the pandemic really got started , nobody bought anything. Then halfway through April of last year somebody turned on the spigot And all of a sudden we started selling everything that we had. If it would float and had an engine we sold it. Right now it’s May and we have sold out of about 90% of our inventory for the year. Our busiest month of the year is June. Come June we will have zero boats to sell,” says Chris Finch, Owner of Moses Watersports.

With the boat supply lower than it has ever been, manufacturers are months behind and that’s  causing buyers to purchase boats a year in advance & at higher prices. 

“It’s easy to see a 10% increase in the price of boats. The simple truth is, there is no inventory. So if there’s no inventory but there is still a super high demand for it. It’s going to cause some inflation. People are coming in today, putting a deposit down on a brand new boat that they know they will not get until August, September or October,” says Finch. 

With more people, especially first time boat owners, anxious to get out on the water this summer,  TWRA says they will be out in full force making sure everyone is staying safe-while having fun. 

“Boating safety begins at the boat ramp. Days before you get on the water make sure all of your equipment is operational. We want to minimize the incidents we have on the water. We’re out here to have fun. Everyone is out here to enjoy the lake but we want to make sure everyone goes home at the end of the day. Having a sober operator is one of those ways to ensure safety on the water,” says David Holt, District Boating Officer for TWRA.

If you are lucky enough to purchase a boat, TWRA wants to remind new boat owners to become familiar with their vessel before hitting our beautiful waterways.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Regional News