Boat, motorcycle sales warm up

Pontoon boats have replaced fiberglass boats as hot sellers at Shy Beaver Boat Center in James Creek.

“The fiberglass market of all brands and sizes continues to struggle to maintain popularity and get back to previous market levels,” said Wayne Price, sales manager. “The growth in our industry is contributed solely on the shoulders of the pontoon segment. Pontoons continue to gain in popularity. The fiberglass market has clearly taken a back seat to today’s buyer’s,” Price said.

Article Photos

(Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich)
Scott Myers and April Stetter of DuBois check out a Kawasaki 1600 Mean Streak at Steve Seltzer Powersports at 443 Sabbath Rest Road, Altoona, on Monday.

Today’s boaters are looking for 23- and 25-foot long boats rather than the 19- to 21-foot boats that were popular several years ago.

“With the lake (Raystown) having heavy weekend use, small fiberglass sales are limited. Everyone wants larger – 23 and 25 feet – to enjoy a pleasant ride through heavy waves from other boaters and handle the capacity needs,” Price said.

“Customers looking at today’s 23 foot and 25 foot fiberglass prices often pause. It often encourages them to take a second look at a pontoon that was once the inferior grandparents’ boat. They quickly learn pontoons have entered a new era in luxury and performance filling yesterday’s fiberglass boat prices,” Price said.

Pontoon boats are much different today.

“The traditional 20 mph mom-and-pop pontoon has been replaced with engines up to 350 hp supercharged 4-strokes, and quality is that of a fiberglass boat, with new vinyl floors and low maintenance. It is the living room comfort you need to spend hours in a cove with family and friends. Now they can deliver on aggressive speeds and tube rides,” Price said.

Sales of used pontoons also are up.

“The pre-owned market continues to be very strong and seems to get stronger as new fiberglass prices reach new norms. As 2016 approaches, all indicators are pontoon sales will continue the upward trend,” Price said.

Sales of pontoon boats as well as bass boats and Deep V boats are up at Glendale Boat Sales in Fallentimber.

“This year, we have sold more pontoon boats. I try to have a variety of colors and models that I think will sell,” said co-owner Tammy Caracciolo. “We are doing well with used pontoon boats. I can’t keep them in stock; within a day or two, they are gone. I got two in the last week, and they were gone by the weekend. We have a waiting list for used pontoon boats.”

Meanwhile, motorcycle sales have been brisk at Apple Harley-Davidson in Duncansville.

“We have seen an increase in sales. Last month was our busiest month in a bunch of years,” owner Joe Apple said. “Touring models are the most popular for us. They are the bigger models, ones you can ride and not be tired after riding all day,” he said.

Local powersports dealers also are doing well.

“When I look at the business based on what this location did last year, we are up about 35 percent,” said owner Greg Sloan of Five Star Powersports, Duncansville, which purchased Cernic’s Suzuki, Yamaha, KTM in April.

“The last month (May), we were up 100 percent over what they did last year,” Sloan said.

Sloan said he is selling a “little bit of everything.”

“We are selling a lot of watercraft and an awful lot of ATVs and side by sides. About 40 percent of our sales are street bikes, 20 percent are off road dirt bikes and the other 40 percent is made up of ATVs, side by sides, watercraft and scooters,” Sloan said.

Sales also are up at Steve Seltzer Powersports, Pinecroft.

“This is our busiest time of the year, from April to August. Our sales are up a little bit over last year, Seltzer said. “Nationwide, Honda is up, Kawasaki is a little flat. We are seeing more sales this year in the ATVs and side by side off road vehicles.”

Banik’s Sales and Service, Carrolltown, is doing a lot of side-by-side business.

“The Can Am side-by-sides are hot, they have recently taken off. Our most popular items are Honda and Can Am ATVs and side by sides. ATVs and side by sides sales make up about 50 percent of our business,” owner Andy Banik said.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.

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