COVID-19, as well as being a global pandemic, has economically affected just about every industry, as the fishing/boating industries are no different. Let’s take a look at what’s happening, and what will happen looking ahead.
In regional Victoria, we are fortunate enough that boat servicing hasn’t stopped all year. Customers can still drop their boat off for service or fit out without issue at Richardson Marine. Businesses in Melbourne however, have been forced to close their doors to general customers with boat services. Our workshop has seen changes to ensure the best hygiene and social distancing practises. Undoubtably the biggest change in the boating industry has been in sales. With less Australians being able to travel this year, or go out and do the things they love, many people who have previously saved money for travel are now looking to spend that money on toys- including boats. The number of enquiries and sales has increased dramatically over the last few months, meaning boats are rarely spending much time in the sale yard. Both new and used boat markets are proving popular. Sales of marine electronics have also been much higher than usual, with Garmin sounders arriving one after the other into the store. Unfortunately with increased demand, there has also been a decrease in supply. Earlier this year, Stabicraft closed their factory for four weeks due to New Zealand’s lockdown, which meant a serious delay in boats being built. Whilst the factory was shut, orders kept coming in left, right and centre. Seacruiser boats, being built by one man, didn’t shut, however Wayne has still been flat out with a large list of Seacruiser boats to build. Thankfully, we stocked up on Anglapro boats earlier this year, meaning we had, and still have, some tinnies to sell on the spot, but Anglapro orders are still growing. Despite the popularity of boats at the moment, it is still a great time to buy, be it used or new boats, here at Richardson Marine.
Fishing has been very interesting to say the least in 2020. In April this year, the Victorian Government banned fishing in Victoria for several weeks, meaning that sales of fishing tackle dropped dramatically. There was much uncertainty, not just in the Tackle Shack but in all fishing stores, some of whom closed their doors temporarily. Thankfully, come May, the ban was lifted and anglers could once again hit the water. We have definitely seen a few more anglers taking up fishing over the last few months as they search for ways to keep occupied during the lockdowns. Great weather has also helped good sales of fishing tackle and other accessories in winter 2020. The AFTA (Australian Fishing Trade Association) Trade Show is typically held in August, however clearly that could not go ahead this year. This lead to companies hosting online trade shows of their own, or new product releases. Despite factories been shut overseas, and freight delays, companies have still brought out some exciting new gear for the upcoming season, some of which can be found in the Tackle Shack right now. The largest effect of the virus on fishing is on stock supply. With more anglers taking up fishing, and others buying new tackle, there has never been a greater demand for fishing tackle in Australia. In addition, with factories being closed overseas, supply has been cut dramatically, meaning many products out of stock. This stock issue may continue into summer unfortunately, however you can be assured the Tackle Shack has prepared and will be stocking every item you need for fishing this coming summer. It seems that companies with good stock are the companies with the most business at the moment. If we can’t get one item, rest assured we will have an equally high quality item to substitute.
We hope that all this will be over soon just like you do, but just remember that we can still go fishing and boating in Victoria, and shop for your favourite fishing tackle in store, and hopefully that’s the way it stays for good.