Friday, May 23, 2008

Repo Boats

I'm not here to jump on the bandwagon of proclaiming the end of boating due to the poor economy and rising gas prices.

I AM here to point out good deals when I find them.

With Memorial Day weekend upon us here in the States, and thus the official start of boating season, the latest media trend is reporting about the boating industry being in the dumps.

First, it was simply about how boat sales are down and those who are keeping their boats are keeping them at the dock because gas prices are so high.

The new version of that story is even more sensational. The media has latched on to the story of the boat repo man. First, Neal sends me an article from the NY Times about a repo man in Michigan: Economic Tide Is Rising for Repo Man.

Catchy title.

Next, I see the same repo guy - in virtually the same story - on a website for NBC affiliate WKYC of Cleveland/Akron. This time, with video.

What irks me about all this media coverage is that it is a classic case of the news outlets trying to say, "ha ha, look at that rich guy getting his boat reposessed!". Meanwhile, it's usually a young family who thought they could afford that slightly bigger boat. Maybe they would have been fine if the economy were stronger, but they are getting screwed because their take-home pay is getting lost in the wake of not only rising gas prices, but also non-boating expenses that are increasing such as insurance and groceries.

Anyway, like I stated yesterday, this isn't the end of the boating world as we know it. In fact, there's never been a better time to get into boating. All those repo'd boats are being sold at rock bottom prices, many of them on FirstBoat's boat auction site.

Should you feel bad? The bank is going to sell the boats to somebody. It might as well be you! Just make sure you re-name your boat as soon as you get it so that the original owner doesn't hunt you down in an angry rage.

Related links:
  • Rename your boat to hide it from the repo man or to protect yourself from the original owner: Custom Boat Names

  • Shop for boat auctions, including repo'd boats, at FirstBoat.com

  • WSJ: Economic Tide Is Rising for Repo Man

  • WKYC: Repo man snagging boats in Lake Erie

  • Website of the repo man featured in all the news articles: www.harrisonmarine.com