Are boat sales sinking? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Are boat sales sinking?

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May 30, 2008

Albany--Sky high prices at the pump are draining money out of South Georgian's pockets, one way or another its forcing folks to make cutbacks.

But as summer approaches many people still want to hit the water in a new boat.

As it heats up in south Georgia staying inside or cruising on the water are some of the only ways to stay cool.

With talks of how expensive things are because of gas prices, businesses are also feeling the crunch.

"We're just like anybody else, when you got the economy like it is and everybody telling you how bad it is well we're naturally listening and hearing some of those effects," said Scott Romero, Sales Manager at Huggins Outdoors. 

And because times aren't as good as the use to be boat sales aren't either.

"Basically what we've done is drop our prices, it's one of those things where we're just clearing out our inventory, and righting it of if we can just break even," said Huggins.

According to Huggins between 12 to 15 boats leave the lot each week, business isn't great but it's good.

"It's good, I mean it really is, people are still out boating and enjoying life," said Romero.

With gas prices higher than this time last year it'll probably cost the average boater about $40 to $50 more to go out on those weekend trips.

Jamie Neal wants a jet ski and knows after the purchase he'll spend more to get it to the water.

"I mean gas, honestly it'll probably be like $150 to $200 to go ride a jet ski for a few hours, it's really not worth it but, then again I think it's worth it."

With new four stroke technology which burns less fuel is another selling point for those looking to hit the water.

"It's just like driving your vehicle, if you're hammering it all day then naturally you're going to burn a little more gas," said Neal.

And those prices are on a lot of people's minds.

"I think about it, but that's all I really do is think about it, I just like to have fun dude, and I mean you got to pay, it's going to go up."

It certainly will, gas prices are expected to continue to rise as we head into summer.

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