Boating appears to be the main outdoor activity

Many industries have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, but there is at least one industry that has benefited.

Outdoor recreation such as hiking, camping, boating and fishing were among the safest activities to do during the height of the pandemic. However, one activity stands out from the others.

Boating has been one of the most exciting outdoor recreational activities in the past year. It was the biggest conventional activity for the nation as a whole at $ 30.8 billion in value added in current dollars and was the largest conventional activity in 39 states, according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Tom Slikkers, president and CEO of Tiara Yachts, a Netherlands-based boat manufacturing company, said there were uncertainties about the impact of the pandemic on its industry.

“As we learn more about COVID and things we could do safely and things less safe, outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, biking, camping, boating boating, fishing and surfing have become the natural benchmark for many people. , “he said.” Boating and camping were probably the two main purposes that many people started to put their energy into, as it allowed them to isolate themselves and be with their immediate family or loved ones. friends and not necessarily run the risk of being with a lot of people. ”

The increase in water activities includes yachting, canoeing, rowing and fishing.

With the increased interest in boating, the demand for boats has also increased. Slikkers said Tiara makes lower volume, more luxurious boats, traditionally producing less than 200 ships per year. TThis fiscal year, Tiara is on track to manufacture around 250 boats, according to Slikkers.

“We are grappling with the demand for boats,” he said. “The demand coupled with the supply chain issues that are happening now, due to the other side of COVID, this combination is not a great combination for a boatbuilder or anyone in the manufacturing. , the challenges of keeping people healthy and employed and building your product is not an easy proposition today. We are working on it. I wish we had a magic wand that we could use, but material challenges and human challenges have made it exceptionally difficult on a day-to-day basis. It is not one item. It is a combination of a multitude of different items that appear in a given day.

Some of the boats the company makes include 39 Coupé, 44 Coupé, 49 Coupé and 53 Coupé. The company launched the 48 LS, the latest model in its portfolio, in February.

To meet demand, Slikkers said Tiara is hiring new employees and trying to get individuals back into the workforce. It is also investing in another area.

“We are invest in new automation and robotics in certain areas of our facilities that could to relieve human interaction and take the human interaction that we have and move it to a different area of ​​our business that we can’t automate, ”he said.

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