Rebounding boat market has positive impacts in the East - WRBL

Rebounding boat market has positive impacts in the East

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WASHINGTON, N.C. - It's been a tough couple years for those in the boat market after the recession hit them particularly hard.

One manufacturer hit hard by the recession was Grady White Boats in Greenville.

"The overall boating industry had probably gone down as much as 80 percent and we've seen that come back across the board," said Shelly Tubaugh, the VP of Marketing for Grady White.

She said they had to lay off more than 100 employees during the recession, but have since started hiring some of them back.

"We look at the retail demand and then we gage out what we need to have an appropriate production to meet that demand," Tubaugh said.

Another business hit hard was Carolina Wind Yachting Center in Washington.

"It was like turning a switch off," said Owner David Norwood.

But after a few tough years, his business is also starting to turn around.

"We're getting more walk-in traffic, phones are starting to ring again, people are looking at advertising about getting back on the water," Norwood said.

Some boaters in the area, like Paul Del Rio of the Jeanie B, offer lessons to those interested in learning how to sail.

"The sailing concepts are quite easy," Del Rio said. "It can be taught within several hours."

He said he's seen the interest people have in learning how to sail increase over the past few years.

"From the difference from now and three years ago, it's tripled at least," he said.

To learn more about boating lessons offered by Captain Paul Del Rio, click here.

To learn about job openings at Grady White Boats, click here.
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