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Dealerships shed light on watercraft shortage

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) -- The recreation industry fared well in a pandemic year, but now, we are seeing the flipside of that.

Watercraft demand is outweighing supply.

"It's been interesting. It's been trying. It's been fun, but product has been more difficult to get than we normally see," Ryan Kimball of Al's Specialty Marine said.

"If we backed all the way up to 12 months ago, as we entered the pandemic there was a resurgence for marine product and just the desire to get outdoors," Mike Wooden with River Valley Marine said.

Increased interest, coupled with supply chain issues has things backed up.

"On a normal boating season, you will see a boat purchase to out on the water in 7 to 10 days," Kimball said.

Now? That's not the case. If you are lucky, a boat on the floor may be available, but if you order, you may not see your purchase until the end of summer.

Personal watercraft are no different.

Mike Wooden with River Valley Marine says, it's really a positive thing because people continue to turn to recreation to reconnect.

"People are looking to reconnect with family. Maybe Grandma or Grandpa is looking to buy a pontoon. They are looking to reconnect with their kids," he said.

He also mentioned, manufacturers see the demand and are ramping up production through these summer months.

Many are turning to used boats for purchase, but the boats just aren't available, or overly priced.

"With new boats drying up, used boats have driven up also," Kimball said.

Dealers say there's not much that can be done, other than playing the waiting game.

"Be patient with us, we will order you what you want, and hopefully have something for you late summer early fall," Kimball said.

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Kamie Roesler

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