Boat Sales Skyrocket In Pandemic As Families Seek To Social Distance Outside


Friday, July 3rd 2020, 9:20 pm
By: Brooke Griffin


TULSA, Okla. -

Boat companies across Green Country said sales have spiked during the coronavirus pandemic.

So far this year, companies said they have had at least double their normal amount of sales. They said since people can’t go on vacation, they are boating instead.

Ugly Johns Custom Boat’s managers said boating is the perfect way to social distance and stay safe with your family.  Ugly Johns Custom Boats has several locations throughout Oklahoma and Texas. Once the pandemic began shutting places down, Dowd said he was worried about the financial health of his business.

“We really didn’t know what was going to happen back in March,” Dowd said. “We didn’t know if we would sell a boat when this thing hit.”

Manager John Dowd said once people began to realize they couldn’t safely go anywhere this year, they started buying boats. Then Dowd said they quickly realized they had an entirely different problem: their marinas and showrooms across the state couldn’t seem to keep enough boats in stock to sell.

“Ugly John has been in business for 46 years and he said this is the best year he’s ever had since starting his business,” Dowd said.

He said boat sales have skyrocketed since the pandemic began in March. Ugly Johns Catoosa location Sales Manager Jason Smith said they have been pulling hundreds of boats in from all over the country and even Canada to meet the demand but that still hasn’t been enough.

“We’ve probably done close to double we’ve done almost a year’s worth of business, we have sold somewhere in the hundreds of boats,” Smith said.

They said their customers realized boating with their families is really the only safe way to have fun and stay cool this summer.

“Probably make people really happy over the years having these memories,” Smith said. “You can use a boat every day of the week instead of a vacation that lasts a week.”

Smith and Dowd said they’ve sold everything from small to large boats, some of them even costing more than $2 million. They said is something they don’t see most summers since people spend their money on vacations instead.