Sales, optimism grow in New Jersey

NEW GRETNA, N.J. — The marine industry may be on the upswing in New Jersey, if Viking Yacht Co. is any indicator.

The company is expected to sell 55 to 60 boats during this fiscal year, which ends July 1 — an increase of 42 boats over last year. It has also called back about 200 workers; most of who were put on furlough last fall. Overall, the company employs about 780 people in New Jersey.

The Asbury Park Press examined the state of the New Jersey boating industry and found that some area boat deals are reporting better sales. Still, boat sales have seen better times: In 2010, New Jersey boat sales were at about $183 million; in 2006 it was $414.7 million.

For Viking, most growth has been in international sales, which now makes up about 35 percent of its business.

According to Melissa Danko, executive director of the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, optimism is rising even if overall sales have varied per dealer.

“Overall sentiment has been much more positive in terms of heading in the right direction,” Danko told the Asbury Park Press. “I think we are seeing signs of improvement, some signs of recovery. There is always a piece of negative that may impact us along the way, same as other industries.”

To read the full article, go to: N.J. boat industry tries to turn the tide

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