Rusty Collins of Eagle Lake Marine in Edwardsburg, Mich., can’t wait for the lake to start thawing.

“Once the snow starts to melt, people are going to start to get the itch,” he said. And it’s going to get busy in a hurry, he believes.

As reported by the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, Eagle Lake Marine saw a lot of activity at the Michiana Boat & Sports Show at the Century Center in South Bend the first weekend in February.

Interest is definitely up. Eagle Lake Marine has even added an 11th staffer.

“You can really tell that stuff has turned around,” said Collins, a technician/salesman, who started at the business four years ago. “We actually decided to pick up another employee this year to give us some more help because it’s picking up.”

New powerboat sales are expected to increase 5% to 7%, according to the Chicago-based National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

An even bigger example is what’s going on at Nautic Global Group in Elkhart and Syracuse. The company is adding 70 people right now just to keep up with the demand of its five boat brands. And several hundred already work at its three facilities.

“We are currently expanding production across our five boat brands — Hurricane, Rinker, Godfrey Pontoons, Polar Kraft and Parti Kraft — and that has led to the need to hire 70 new positions for our Elkhart and Syracuse facilities,” said Doug Sexton senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nautic Global Group.

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