Local boat shop gears up for another busy season

Local News

As the weather continues to warm up, more people are heading outdoors. A boating business in Shelburne expects a busy season on the water. 

John Freeman owns the Small Boat Exchange, which sells and repairs new and used boats.

“People wanted to escape being cooped up in their house and this was a great way to do it,” Freeman said. 

Last year their sales increased by 20%. Freeman said demand is likely to remain high because boating is a great way to socialize while staying safe.

“You can feel normal,” Freeman said. “You can be out on the water with your family, no mask and actually feel normal.” 

Last year, he spent a lot of time on the water with his family.

“But it was great because we could go see other people out on boats without really being that close to each other,” Freeman said. 

The marina opens in mid-May. Now one problem is getting products in stock.

“So, the supply chain is basically broken, we can’t order out boards,” Freeman said. “ I mean you order an outboard now, it’s July,” Freeman said. 

Vermont Fish and Wildlife is reminding everyone to take safety precautions on the water seriously.

“The law requires each person on the boat to have a personal flotation device readily accessible,” Lieutenant Carl Wedin said. 

Lieutenant Wedin said it’s important to know the water is still very cold.

“Don’t let the warmer weather fool you, just because it is warm outside, doesn’t mean the water temperature is just as warm,” Lieutenant Wedin said. 

Freeman said if you are looking to get a boat, get it soon.

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