Boat sales rebounding in South Florida June 27, 2014

Registrations of new boats increased 14 percent in the year ending in March, industry tracker says.

By Arlene Satchell, Sun Sentinel
6:00 AM EDT, June 24, 2014

More people in Palm Beach County are taking to the water in new boats.

Registrations of new boats increased 14 percent in the year ending in March, after jumping 25 percent the year before, according to Info-Link Technologies Inc., a marine industry tracker based in Miami.

he reasons: an improving economy, attractive financing and people who are tired of waiting to buy, marine retailers say.

“It’s been crazy. We’re extremely busy,” said Steve Sprague, vice president of Tuppen’s Marine & Tackle, one of the oldest and largest marine and tackle outfits in the county. “We’ve just been going like wild fire.”

Tuppen’s has two locations in Lake Worth and one in Hypoluxo. Just last week, Tuppen’s delivered seven boats across South Florida. And more deals are in the pipeline.

The rebound is a relief to an industry that weathered tough years after the recession. New-boat registrations in Palm Beach County totaled 1,268 in 2008, but the numbers declined for three years after that and increased only 8 percent from 2011 to 2012.

The total number of recreational boats registered still has not recovered. It fell from 37,051 in 2012 to 36,852 last year.

Boat and supply dealers say the industry seems to have bottomed out. Both big and small boats are in demand this year, they say.

“We’re seeing a lot of new people coming into boating,” Sprague said.

Taiwan yacht builder Horizon Yachts, which operates its U.S. headquarters in North Palm Beach, has seen high interest in its luxury yachts in the past six months. Read more.


Boat Sales pic

Paul Cummings, general manager of MarineMax in Pompano Beach stands inside a Boston Whaler Dauntless, one of the boat dealer’s popular sellers. Also popular (in background) are the SeaRay outboard sundeck and the Scarab jet boat. (Susan Stocker/ Staff Photographer / June 19, 2014)

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