KIMT NEWS 3 - Many industries have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but one luxury item is still selling pretty well these days. Believe it or not, sales of boats are rising with the tide.
It's the perfect summer activity for the family, without having to worry too much about crowds or social distancing.
"We can start you out with a boat you can tow with a Ford Focus," said Joshua Wegner with Northstar Powersports and Marine in Albert Lea. He says first time buyers are looking for watercraft with a lot of functionality.
"A lot of the new stuff is focused on kind of your crossover fish and ski. A family boat that you can still take up north with your friends and go fishing."
Many of his long time customers are holding onto their boats instead of looking to upgrade.
"It's been an odd summer though, it's been fewer trade ins and many more first time buyers," said Wegner.
If those first time buyers are looking to save a buck and buy used, it might be harder to find what you're looking for. Wegner says used boat inventories are low. He also mentions boating is an easy hobby to pick up and you can learn to navigate the water with the right amount of help.
"Go out with a friend or family that spends a lot of time out on the lake. Hire a guide and go out with somebody that knows a body of water and you're going to pick stuff up not only for that lake, but other lakes too."
Over in Clear Lake, Gail Marske is about to cast off with some family and friends. As a boat owner, she understands why so many people are deciding to go nautical this summer.
"It's probably one of the best things to do right now with everything going on in the world, is to get out on the water and not go to a public pool, so a lot of people are doing it," said Marske.
With a month of summer remaining, there's not much time left to start enjoying lake life.