JOPLIN, MO – There’s a shortage of boats for sale this year, and one local dealership is finding both boats and parts hard to come by.
“Marine Center” in Joplin doesn’t have any boats in its inventory.
Just a short list of boats they’re helping other people sell.
“Normally the lot is full, and so a lot of people think ‘oh they must be going out of business.” Says Sandi Groth, Marine Center Co-Owner.
While Marine Center isn’t going out of business, they are out of boats of their own.
The last one they had in stock was back in April.
Groth says although sales were up last year, when they went back to put orders in, in the fall, they were out of luck.
“Whenever we, they processed the orders, and pretty much all of the boat companies, their production was full for the year, so we could not even add a single boat to our order.” Says Groth.
Not only is it a struggle to find boats, but parts too.
“If we have a boat in for repair, and it may need several components, well one of them may be readily available, but there may be one that’s back ordered for three weeks.” Says Groth.
Groth adds she’s even had people reaching out to her throughout the country.
“I’ve had people calling from Louisiana looking for pontoon boats, that’s how scarce they are. People calling from Western Oklahoma and Western Kansas.” Says Groth.
Luckily for one of her customers, John Heitz, he bought a new motor last year, just missing the shortage.
“I’m glad I did because there’s so many boats out there that was purchased last year and the shortage is really bad, that people are waiting on parts and stuff, they’re really hard to come by right now.” Says Heitz.
Before this year, Groth says that they would have at least two rows of boats that wrapped around the building.
Now the dealership only has six on the lot, but they don’t even own them. They’re selling them for other people, and only making commission off of them.