The start of boating season 2021

Andy Adams 2018 Edited 400

May 25, 2021 

This May 2-4 weekend may not have had the momentum and excitement that normally ushers in boating season and we hope that has not dulled your business results.

Boating became a hot-spot last summer as one of the few (and we think – one of the best) ways to enjoy the summer weather while still observing the COVID-19 protocols and social distancing, but we sense a change this year. The surge of COVID-19 cases peaked a little over a month ago and provincial governments across Canada responded with varying levels of restrictions. Many are still in place for this long weekend.

At the federal level, the weak and uneven vaccine roll-out and the apparent political fumbling may have left Canadians confused and undecided about their vacation and boating plans. One large and successful marina in Ontario sent their customers a message less than two weeks ago, basically pleading for customer direction on boat launch requests. Apparently some 40% of their customers had not yet responded to the marina, to request that their boat be launched.

Was it the expectation of more lockdowns and restrictions? Typically, the marina billings go out at this time of year. Were customers expecting ongoing restrictions and therefore were reluctant to pay?

In BC and Ontario last week, we got into some glorious summer weather, but Quebec was expecting cloud and thunderstorms going into the weekend. The local weather may alter people’s weekend plans a bit, but launching the boat is a seasonal thing – not just something you do on a whim.

We expected a more enthusiastic start to boating season 2021, but maybe people are just wary (and weary). Let’s cross our fingers and get those boats into the water anyway. There should be loads of great days ahead.

It’s also National Safe Boating Awareness Week – mention that to your customers and help them to be properly equipped for a safe season on the water. We hope that you and your customers got a great start to the summer this past weekend!

Andy Adams – Editor

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