Hi gang, Rick here at Used Pontoon Boats. Tidbits from the Grand Strand Boat Show in Myrtle Beach, SC.
On the eve of the 24th annual Grand Strand Boat Show, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was testifying before the House Budget Committee in Washington on the outlook of the United States economy. Meanwhile, with fears of a recession reverberating through the country, boat vendors were undauntedly setting up their spiffy displays of boats of all types and sizes at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, preparing for the show that runs today through Sunday.
David Perry, owner/operator of Marine Service Center in Murrells Inlet, shrugged off media reports of a sluggish econ omy after helping his crew roll a Triton center console into place. The economy and gas prices and all that stuff have got every body worried to death, but you've still got to have fun, you still got to go fishing, said erry said.
Boat and motor manufacturers have taken the fuel price and economy issues into consideration when designing their products and, as a result, boating is as simple as it ever has been. The trends have been to more economical and the engines are very user-friendly, they're just a turn-key start, kind of like your automobile, said Perry said.
The days of having to worry whether you can get your motor started or whether you need to choke it or what ever are gone, so it makes it very easy to operate your boat now. A lot of people are getting into boating just because of that _ it's so easy to do. The price of gas has gone up but the engines are getting much better fuel mileage than they used to get, so it kind of all evens out.
The seasoned boating enthusiast and novice a like can check out all the new styles for 2008 from john boats to center consoles to yachts at the Convention Center or The Marina at Grande Dunes, which is hosting an in-water display. Stuart Ricks, owner/operator of Coastal Marine in Myrtle Beach, notes the variety of options available to the boater in the Myrtle Beach area, from the open Atlantic Ocean, local estuaries such as Winyah Bay or Little River Inlet and rivers such as the Waccamaw and Great Pee Dee. The variety is reflected in the models Ricks carries and are on display in the show.
I carry saltwater boats, freshwater boats, ski boats, pontoons, cruisers ... I try to carry a little bit of everything, Ricks said. Some boat vendors offer incentives to buy now at the show, while others take a slower approach. Everything's got factory incentives to buy right now. If you wait, you may not get these incentives. Even if you're not planning to use the boat until March or April or May, you can purchase it now and wait to pick it up later, and get the factory incentives we're offering right now.
Brent Ballard of Tailwalker Marine in Georgetown looks forward to associating with his customers, old and new, at the show. ``Boat shows give you an opportunity to represent your company, more so than just coming to a sales show, Ballard said.
I would sum up the Miami boat show as a buyer's show. Here most of the people who buy these boats are not spon taneous. They've thought about it for a long time, they've gotten their wife's permission _ it's a long, drawn-out [process].
The Myrtle Beach area and its growing population are a bit immune to the economic problems other parts of the country are experiencing and, as Perry says, ``We've got a lot of water here, too, you know. You've got a lot of retired people moving down here, they've got a lot of money and they're paying cash for boats instead of financing, Ricks said. I think we're in a good area. I think we're doing better than Florida is right now.
Florida's been the No. 1 state for years and years. People have got to have fun _ there's places you can go on the water and enjoy your boating in a crowd and there's places you can go with no one around you.
The boat show was founded in 1984 by a group of five local dealerships whichthat included Wacca maw Marine, Coastal Marine, Marine Service Center Murrells Inlet, Nautica Marine and Tail walker Marine. Almost a quarter- century later it has grown with the Myrtle Beach area. The boat show is an oppor tunity to come view all the boat ing products in our area and easily be able to distinguish the differences between them because they're all sitting there, Ballard said.
You can absorb all the product from the different dealerships here and see what sets them apart. The show also has something to offer those who are not in the boat-buying market, with fish ing seminars each day on a variety of subjects. Most of the seminars will touch on popular saltwater species such as red drum, spotted seatrout, floun der, king mackerel and cobia and will be conducted by knowl edgeable local guides. Thanks to Gregg Holshouser - For The Sun News
Used Pontoon Boats, By Rick Ostler
Used Pontoon Boats-North American Waterway
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