BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) – Many people are looking for fun ways to spend time this summer, while also practicing social distancing. One of those ways is on boats, and workers at Carteret County marinas say they’re seeing the benefits.
Radio Island Marina employees in Beaufort say boats sell less than a week after they arrive on the lot. It’s a first for the marina’s dockmaster, William Newbern.
“I really haven’t seen it quite this good ever, to be honest with you. It is exceptional,” said Newbern.
Newbern says people are realizing boats have built-in social distancing.
“Everybody’s looking for an avenue and still get out and about without being too close and keeping safety in mind,” said Newbern.
Businesses is buoyant for Radio Island Marina and 70 West Marina in Morehead City.
“I’ve been here 27 years and I don’t think I’ve seen it like this since the late 90’s,” said Jay T Bried, general manager at 70 West Marina.
Bried and his team are constantly selling boats. The high demand leaves them with little to no steady inventory.
“We’ve got boats coming in but we can’t get them in fast enough,” said Bried.
Customers tell bried the pandemic is leading them to find news ways to spend their money.
“And there were so many people we talked to that had money earmarked for vacation, or they were going to Europe, kids we’re going to go to camp, well now they don’t have. They have this income they wanted to waste,” said Bried.
The biggest challenge for both marinas is keeping up with the flow.
“Just the craziest things that we normally stock in the ship store have just been hard to get,” said Bried. The dockmaster says, “More people out more boat are breaking, more service to be done. more usage on the dock, more dock repairs.”
While the summer season is coming to an end, both Bried and Newbern are optimistic about business for the upcoming fall months.