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The Growing Demand for Boat Storage CRE Investors Race to Solve the Problem

By Yasmim Mendonça  

Boat owners are grappling with the issue of where to park their vessels as they get bigger, more expensive, and more powerful. This has led to a surge in demand for dry dock and wet slip storage, with commercial real estate (CRE) investors racing to solve this problem. As the trend towards larger boats continues, leisure enthusiasts look to marinas to elevate their experience. Today’s ships are more accessible than ever, resulting in a larger market of boaters who require the services of a marina.

The boating industry has witnessed unprecedented demand as boating has become the outdoor recreation of choice. Boat sales skyrocketed to a 13-year high in 2020, with the National Marine Manufacturers Association projecting the boom to continue through 2021. As of early January 2022, NMMA is projecting new boat sales to surpass 2021 totals by as much as 3%.

To cater to the growing demand for boat storage, CRE investors are buying marina properties and building new marinas. TopSide Marinas recently acquired the 4.9-acre April Plaza Marina on Lake Conroe, marking the company’s fifth marina acquisition. New Port 32 CEO Austin Schell plans to build one of the best marinas on the East Coast after buying a marina property in Palm Beach Gardens.

Despite the surge in demand, the boating industry faces supply chain disruptions across the nation and world, impacting boat builders and dealers like never before and limiting growth in 2021. In 2019, boats smaller than 50 feet sold for about $25,000 less than their asking price. Last year, that discount was $16,000; this year, it is just under $14,000. Even for boats more significant than 50 feet, the value has shrunk from $87,000 in 2019 to $75,000 last year and $70,000 this year.

Yasmim Mendonça is a writer for BestStocks.com. Her  focus is on uncovering early-stage ideas with the potential to have a lasting impact. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in finance, an MBA, and two tests completed – the CFA and CMT.

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