Local marina impacted by nationwide boat shortage


POLK  CITY, Iowa — A nationwide boat shortage is impacting local marinas as wait times for new boats jump from a few weeks to several months.

Big Creek Marina pontoon boats are completely booked for the weekend. Owner, Mark Crawford, said it’s a burden not to have his usual inventory.

Big Creek Marina was hit by the derecho last year and lost six pontoon boats. Crawford said he ordered five new boats last August. 

“We were supposed to get them in January, February. Then they said it was going to be May. that went to June. Now we’re in July, we still haven’t received them,” Crawford said. 

Normally, Big Creek Marina has 30 boats on hand but this summer it has 24. 

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the sale of boats across the country lept to a 13 year high in 2020 while many manufacturers had to shut down due to the pandemic. 

Crawford said local dealers are also suffering from this shortage since there is little to no new boat inventory in stock.

“All the dealers are backed up. They can’t get boats. If they can get a boat they can’t get a trailer. If they can get both of those, they can’t get a motor,” Crawford said. “It’s shipping, it’s anything to do with logistics, drivers, it’s just slowed completely down.” 

All boats are booked at Big Creek Marina this Fourth of July  weekend. Crawford said to book a pontoon boat on weekends, call well in advance.

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