Canadian dollar fires up sales at Vancouver boat show
The annual Vancouver International Boat Show at BC Place this weekend is giving many aspiring boat skippers a chance to get a sneak peek at the vessels of their dreams, and those dreams might just be a little bit more affordable this year.
On the second day of the show, Aaron Fell of Breakwater Marine says business already booming.
"We did somewhere around seven to eight times more sales than first day last year," Fell told CBC News on Friday.
Industry experts say after a five year slump, things are picking up. New boat sales in Canada reached $2 billion in 2012. Used boat sales are up 17 per cent and new boat sales are up 13 per cent over last year.
And since almost all boat are manufactured in the U.S., now that the Canadian dollar is up, prices have come way down, Fells notes.
"The $130,000 boat five years ago is now $98,000," he says.
And the exchange rate isn't the only savings. Boats are actually cheaper in Canada than the U.S. this year because of a new U.S. law requiring all American boat motors be fitted with catalytic converters, meaning they cost about $4,000 more.
Canadian boats don't require the converter, making boats one of the very few things that actually cost less here.
While that is all good news for new buyers, it is not so good for those selling a second-hand boat.
"If you bought your boat eight years ago, it's not a good thing because you bought at a high exchange rate and you are selling at par."
That is, unless you're trading up for a new boat, says Fell.
"They may take a $5,000 dollar hit on a boat trading in, but they are going to save $35,000 to $38,000 to buy a new boat, therefore saving some money," Fell estimates.