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Despite $4 A Gallon Gas, Boat Sellers See Rising Sales

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By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The ice is barely off the lakes, fresh snow is on its way, yet spring fever is in the air.

Boat sellers say they’ve seen a jump in sales after the long winter. In fact, they’re making a record amount of sales this season, and they say the economy has a lot to do with it.

Justin Ditrich and his wife have recently come across some good fortune in the economy and are now in the market for a boat.

“She got a promotion, and I got a full-time job,” said Ditrich, who was looking at buying a fishing boat with his wife on Monday. “We get to make the fun choices now if we want to add a boat to the budget.”

He had his eye on a used 17-foot fishing boat at Hannay Marine. It’s the boat he wanted, and since he felt confident about money and his job, he was ready to buy.

Other Minnesotans are feeling the same.

“Everybody that comes in the store the last couple years, you see a lot of the, ‘I’m looking for next year,'” Hannah Marine’s Sales Manager said. “I think this year we don’t hear that as much.”

He said new boat sales are driving the increase in sales and that fishing boats and pontoons are the most popular. Along withe Hannah Marine, there’s another Twin Cities boat dealer that has seen a 30% increase in sales this season.

Newer boats are more fuel-efficient and dealers don’t think the high price of gas is keeping people from buying. It certainly isn’t swaying Ditrich.

“This boat doesn’t come around used that much, so that might make it affordable,” he said.

It’s the right time, he believes, to buy and finally enjoy summer on one of 10,000 lakes.

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