Boats are still difficult to buy in Lake Havasu City, as supply hasn’t matched up to demand that was set last year during the start of the covid-19 pandemic.
The lack of supply could be due to labor shortages at boat manufacturers, Havasu’s USA RV-Marine General Manager John Meyers said. Meyers added demand has slowed down a bit since last year, but the supply chain hasn’t caught up yet.
“I haven’t had a boat on my lot for sale to the public available in 14 months,” Meyers said. “Everything has been preordered. As soon as it comes in, it is gone to a customer who ordered it three months previously.”
Three months is the standard wait time for customers who ordered their boats at USA RV-Marine, but that hasn’t stopped interested buyers from being frustrated by the lack of boats on the lot.
“People go ‘Where’s all the boats?’” Meyers said. “Well, it goes back to (the fact that) they can’t produce them fast enough.”
Meyers considers the low stock at USA RV-Marine as “unprecedented” and the inability for consumers to buy a new product off the lot is something he hasn’t seen before. The used market has also been affected by the high demand and low supply. Meyers said the used market has “gone through the stratosphere” with the lack of supply.
Since demand for boats has increased, pricing has gone up for consumers and retailers. Cowboys RV Mart is one of the local retailers affected by the price surge, as its manufacturer increased its cost for boats.
“Our manufactures have increased their prices about 30% versus usually 2% from year-to-year,” Cowboys RV Mart Sales Manager Cerena Madrid said. “Same with used boats. We’re having to get people on consignment to buy them used.”
Among the two Havasu retailers, the most popular models that customers ask for are pontoon boats, which are commonly used for watersport activities including tubing, waterskiing and wakeboarding. Tritoon boats – a type of pontoon with three hulls – are also popular. Deck boats are another popular model and are wider and more spacious.
Most of the lot at Cowboys RV Mart is filled with recreational vehicles with some used boats available. Madrid said the lot currently has six used boats – most of them being open bows. They are sold out of new ones until 2022. Once the next year comes around, Madrid said she can’t order anymore until the manufacturing for 2023 occurs.
“They have to pick from what we already ordered, which is not here yet because they’re still trying to catch up manufacturing-wise,” Madrid said. “We’ve ordered some for inventory for 2022, but they haven’t started building for 2022 yet. They’ve already presold all of what they can build.”