THE SHOP

November '20

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46 THE SHOP NOVEMBER 2020 T he marine market comes alive for mobile electronics retailers during the hot summer months. It seems everyone wants to have the loudest system on the lake. This means plenty of opportunity for selling marine audio products, even for shops that typically operate in the automo- tive market. If you are currently installing 12V audio, the jump to marine isn't much of a stretch. And if you are an interior specialist who works well with vinyl, there should be no issues expanding into handling a boat cushion job or two. On boat electronics systems, there is no common ground, so negative wiring has to be run back to the battery. Meanwhile, cutting into fiberglass can make your arms especially itchy with dust that never seems to dissipate. Other than that, however, marine audio could be an opportunity, as more people are spending time on the water. Novice shops may want to leave specialty equipment such as autopilots, integrated DGPS with connectivity or thrusters to marine mechanic professionals. But smaller jobs on smaller crafts are there for the taking. THE DEMAND IS THERE According to the National Marine Manu- facturers Association, more than 100 mil- lion Americans go boating each year, and 62% of boaters have an annual household income of $100,000 or less. With the retail price of a new aluminum boat package averaging $36,000, and new three-passenger personal watercraft (PWC) averaging $12,000, there's an opportunity for boating to attract even more partici- pants looking for responsible ways to spend time outdoors with their families. New data indicates that Americans are doing just that. In May, the recreational boating industry saw an unprecedented MAKING A Car audio shops look to the marine market. By Brett Solomon SPLASH The marine market comes alive for mobile electronics retailers during the hot summer months, when it seems everyone wants to have the loudest system on the water.

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