National Marine Manufacturers Association president Frank Hugelmeyer took to Fox Business with an opinion piece on why boating is the ideal summer activity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Echoing the disappointment that many are feeling with canceled vacations, closed community pools and shuttered summer camps — as well as the stress that Covid-19 has had on the country — Hugelmeyer highlighted how an increasing number of families are taking to the waters as an escape.
“First-time boat buyers are on the rise as Americans are recognizing that boating is one of the safest and most accessible atmospheres to enjoy quality time with their loved ones and improve their mental health outlook during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hugelmeyer wrote.
The opinion piece can be read in full here.
Hugelmeyer cites recent data that shows positive sales numbers for recreational vessels and PWCs — some categories have seen increases of 160 percent in May — as manufacturing facilities come back online after many were shut down for up to two months in the spring.
The boating business is booming, he concludes, but Hugelmeyer also underscores the importance of our nation’s facilities and the people behind the product.
“What has been lesser known is the strong, uniquely American industry behind it — made up of small businesses, manufacturers and mom-and-pop shops across the country,” Hugelmeyer wrote. “With 95 percent of boats sold in the U.S. made in the U.S., becoming a boater is a great way to stand with the 35,000 businesses and 691,000 American workers our Made-in-America industry supports.”
Hugelmeyer sees recreational boating as serving a vital role going forward for the foreseeable future.
“Since the founding of our great nation, boating has been a favorite American pastime,” he said. “At this critical time, we look forward to playing a restorative role in the health and wellness of our country’s citizens and welcoming more people to the lifestyle in the months and years ahead.”
Jeff Moser is editor-in-chief of our sister publication, Soundings Trade Only.