NewsPinellas County


Local boat salesman says boat sales surge during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 17:24:47-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Bill Aston has been selling boats for 25 years and this is the busiest time he’s ever dealt with.

“I truly have not seen anything like it,” said Aston. “I think we have more first-time boat buyers than we’ve ever seen before.”

Bill works at Central Marine Service in St. Petersburg. Just like boat dealers across the country, they are reporting unprecedented sales.

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas took a survey and found more than 70% of dealers were either completely out of boats or had low inventory.

“People are looking for a healthy way to social distance, or as we like to call it nautical distance,” said sales manager Jake Sanders.

Boats come at all sizes and prices and used boats and boat clubs are also options.

“The pandemic has given people the opportunity to refocus on their families because people don’t have the opportunity to travel,” said Sanders.

“People are tired of being in their homes and I think they see everybody else on the water,” said Aston.

Experienced boaters say they can tell there are many newbies out on the water.

The Coast Guard recommends safety courses for those who are new to boating.