ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) – Boating and watersport enthusiasts have a lot to be excited about Thursday, March 27. The Wharf Boat and Yacht show is kicking off in Orange Beach.
Dealers showing off boats and watercraft said sales have been picking up since the 2010 oil spill.
Scott Burt, the show’s promoter, said, “Boating here is doing surprisingly well. Its made an incredibly good comeback. The market has also gone through a dynamic change, and, boats themselves have become more efficient. That’s a big thing. Computers have made them far more efficient.”
Jeff Lovins with Legendary Marine said the biggest sellers in this area are Center Console Fishing Boats, selling even better than pleasure boats.
Lovins said, “24, 25 footers, what’s good about those boats, why fishermen like them, is they can fish this canal. They can go up in sloughs. They’re shallow boats, but they can also go four miles out and fish Lulu’s reef for snapper.”
What’s new in technology?
How about joystick control systems?
Captain George Mitchell with Yamaha Boats demonstrated the joystick, and said, “You want to forward, you go forward. You want to go reverse, you go reverse: sideways, either or, if you want to go sideways and twist..”
Even watercraft have evolved.
A Quadski was on display
It can travel on water or land.
How long does it take to get the wheels up or down?
Lovins said, “Its pretty quick: minute and a half, you’re ready to go.”
He said the Quadski will travel 45 miles per hour on water, 45 on land, and has a price tag of $45,000.
The show runs from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm Friday and Saturday, and 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday