MBIA says sales up in Michigan

LIVONIA, Mich. - Boat sales and water levels are up in Michigan and boating deaths are down, the Michigan Boating Industry Association reported in a recent release.

“Many dealers at our recently held Detroit Boat Show reported increased sales as compared to the 2005 Detroit Boat Show,” said Van Snider, MBIA president. “Increases were seen across the board at the boat show - both large boat and entry level boat segments.”

One dealer reported visitors to the Detroit Boat Show were buying boats “in numbers not seen since the late 1990s.

The MBIA said the most current data available from the U.S. Coast Guard shows Michigan fatalities in 2003 at 29 - down from 38 in 2002.

“While there are fluctuations every year, by and large, boating is getting safer,” Snider said. “As an aggregate, boat registrations continue to go up while fatalities go down.”

MBIA said the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is reporting that Michigan water levels are up. According to the Corp of Engineers, all of the Great Lakes are 7 to 15 inches above last year's levels. Lake Superior is up 7 inches over last year and at its long-term average, while Lake Michigan-Huron up 8 inches over last year but still 9 inches below its long-term average. Lake St. Clair is up 9 inches over last year and 4 inches above its long-term average, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are up 15 inches over last year and 9 and 7 inches above their long-term averages, respectively. The six-month projection from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers calls for further increases in the water levels.

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