After decade long recovery boating industry returns to peak

DOTHAN, Al. (WTVY) – The boating industry is seeing some of its highest sales in nearly a decade, Nationwide.

The latest National Marine Manufacturers Association’s recreational statistics indicate that unit sales of new powerboats increased 6% in 2016, that’s 247,800 boats sold. They are expected to increase an additional 6% in 2017.

But you don’t have to tell that to one local dealer who’s enjoying one of the best seasons yet!

H20 Sports and Outdoors on Reeves Street in Dothan is a one stop shop for all types of boats. New or old ski and wake board boats, off shore, pontoons, center consoles and your water sports stuff needs.

Frankie McLaney opened his boating business with his wife in 2008, he said people thought they were crazy for starting one in the first place.

“The worst time you could open a boat business, or any business, was in 2008. The economy crashed, and nobody saw what was coming. Here we are in Dothan, Alabama with no water and we open a boat dealership!” said McLaney.

Nearly 10 years later and business is booming for the H20 Sports owner. The store sells boats all over the country as far as Idaho, Pennsylvania and Michigan, they even sell in Australia. Boat sales typically are slower during winter months and start picking back up as the weather gets warmer.

Brandon Nall has worked in sales at the store since February, he said just in April alone, they sold around 30 boats.

“People are not afraid to spend more money, the banks are loaning a lot easier now, jobs are picking up. I feel like the economy is finally in the place where it needs to be to help push the boat industry,” said Nall.

“We got a boat for anybody in town, the Wiregrass, or nationwide,” added McLaney.

Sales aren’t slowing down yet, according to the NMMA, increase is expected to continue through 2018.

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