Boat show returns, but supply chain issues could put a damper on Minnesotans’ dreams

Greg and Shirley Smith traveled from Austin, Texas to purchase a few boats for their new property on Lake Sturgeon, just south of Duluth. But they will have to act quickly if they want to be sure of being able to get in the water this summer.

“The truth is, you need to get ahead of the supply cycle now in this country. If you’re looking at a big purchase and you want it five months from now, you better buy it now” , said Greg Smith.

After a one-year shutdown due to the pandemic, the Minneapolis Progressive Boat Show 2022 is relaunched at the convention center with over 600 craft ranging from fishing to pontoon boats and everything in between on display.

Show organizers say marine industry sales increased 14% in Minnesota in 2020 due to the pandemic, as many Minnesotans turned to the state’s 10,000 lakes.

“The marine industry has definitely found its niche with COVID because families recognize each other between fishing and water sports, boating is a great way to socially distance and spend time with family and friends” said boat show manager Darren Envall.

The Minneapolis Boat Show is held at the Minneapolis Convention Center January 20-23.

But show organizers say supply chain issues have hampered demand, with many manufacturers typically taking six to eight months to deliver orders.

Boat show visitors can get around this by buying floor models, and some dealers have boats in stock that they are ready to sell.

Supply chain issues have affected the marine industry like any other industry, so it’s great to be able to talk to them, order your custom boat and get an idea of ​​when it will be ready for you” , Envall said.

The Smiths say they are ready to pull the trigger on their big purchases because they want to keep hope of spending the summer on the water afloat.

“Most people say they can deliver it in May. That means June, but as long as we have the bulk of next summer with what we’re buying today, we’ll be happy,” Smith said.

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