High gas prices are crushing the power boat industry. Higher interest rates aren't helping either.
Consumer anxiety is clearly drifting from Wal-Mart and General Motors up the economic ladder. "Our products aren't necessities," Brunswick CEO Dusty McCoy said on the conference call. "Customers have to be financially able to complete the purchase, but feel comfortable making the purchase." Thanks to higher interest rates and concerns about employment, the types of people who would be expected to buy these luxury items aren't pulling the trigger. All but the wealthiest of the wealthy are feeling the pinch in some way. McCoy noted that sales of large yachts that its Hatteras unit makes have been strong, but the cruisers, the midsized boats that cost in the low six figures and are the most profitable line, have been particularly weak. The economic tide may still be rising. But it's not lifting all boats.
This perhaps explains the dragon boat craze.