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Apr 21, 2020

By Andy Adams

Boating Industry Canada surveyed the recreational boating stakeholders in Canada on the business impact brought on by the current COVID -19 situation.  The survey results present a picture from the broad perspective with all segments represented from right across Canada. With the concentration of the industry in Ontario it naturally led in overall responses followed by British Columbia and then Quebec.

All major firms were represented across the broader segments of Dealers and Retail. Wholesaler distribution , and Marinas and related suppliers.  Respondents were asked to classify themselves in a tighter view resulting  in 47% of the response coming  from the marine dealer dealers. 81% of the respondents were in the owner and management Job function .

Table 1:  Profile of the responses by segment in detail






















Clearly the impact of the relative provincial responses and regulations about the workplace have had their impact and sadly as one might expect 70% of the industry has indicated a loss of 30% of sales. On average the industry across the entire country is estimated to be in excess 27%

Table 2: How the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our industry

















One of key findings and insights is evidenced by what business actions firms have taken in response to COVID -19. Personal and laying of staff sadly lead the responses followed closely by a move to shorter hours while going more online for communication ( orders) and changing delivery and drop off protocols. 

Table 3: The Boating industry actions to date




















Another effect of the current situation is affecting the supply chains in the industry was indicated by a 65% response to the affirmative that respondents are experiencing supplier and material disruptions.

A balanced reaction whereby clients are asking for deferred payments appears evenly split across the country.

Perhaps the greatest feedback came in the open comments made by over a third of those that responded. Concerns ranged from the possibility of a boating season and the challenges of working apart and remotely. Others focused on operations and doing all they could to manage costs like electricity or controlling purchases .

There I no doubt this has rocked our industry and the efforts by all the boating associations across Canada have gone a long way into supporting all this industry does. This week I will be reaching out further so stand by for an update next week. 

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