Rochester, N.Y. – Going, going, gone.
So far, boat experts say it's shaping up to be a great season.
“Pontoon boats and jet boats, those are the two hottest things going,” Rochester Boat Show Manager, David Heimes said.
Heimes says 300 boats and 14 boat dealers take up two floors for this year’s show.
“We're taking up more space than we ever have before,” Heimes said.
The Rochester Convention Center was filled with consumers like Donald Thompson, ready to buy.
“What I'm looking for is a fish and ski boat,” Thompson said. “I'm going to purchase one.”
Just a few years ago, the boating industry saw fewer sales.
The recession hit Georgia-based boat manufacturer Chaparral hard.
Bill Mudgett, with Chaparral Boats, says the company lost about half of its business.
“We lost a lot of good dealers, unfortunately that had been in the business for a long time,” Mudgett said.
It was a different picture for the Rochester area.
“The recession really never hit us,” Heimes said. “It was a little challenging at times, years ago with some financing but we never had a lack of people wanting to buy boats.”
Now, Mudgett says his company sales are up 24%
He says Chaparral has sold more than 2,000 boats in the past year.
Mudgett attributes that growth to the company’s prices.
“We came out with an entry level product line that's more affordable than it has been in ten years,” Mudgett said. "They just feel a little more comfortable now with the discretionary income to get back into boating now and having fun."
Another reason boat dealers are seeing more sales - gas prices.
Some boaters tell 13WHAM News that paying for gas is less of a concern now.
Rochester is also near great waterways, such as the Finger Lakes and the Great Lakes - yet another reason experts say boat sales did not drop off that much.
The Rochester boat show goes until Sunday from 10am to 5pm at the Rochester Convention Center.