Part shortages lead to challenges for boat shops and dealers around the Ozarks

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2022 at 5:22 PM CST
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DADE COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - Supply and demand issues are hurting some businesses in the boat manufacturing industry. Some business owners around the Ozarks are having trouble with getting parts, furniture and fishing supplies they need.

Steve Brehm owns Steve’s Lil Boat Shop in Stockton, Missouri. He said the past two years have not been smooth sailing.

“You have more people buying boats because it’s a great activity,” said Brehm. “I don’t blame that a bit, but you’ve got more repairs, and that means more parts. We don’t have the capacity.”

Brehm has been in the business for 52 years. He said the supply and demand issue makes it difficult to purchase parts. Part shortages have caused Brehm to lose a third of his sales, but he says it can also be frustrating for the customers.

“They get mad at me like I build the parts, but I don’t,” said Brehm.

Just down the lake is Mutton Creek Marina and Campground, which also sells boats. Manager Josie Howard said Mutton Creek has been purchasing used boats to fill the gaps.

“We ordered 10 or 12, and we are probably going to get 8,” said Howard. “If you can’t get the stuff to build a boat, you can’t buy a boat.”

She said it’s mechanical pieces and beyond that are hard to acquire.

”From simple filters and simple things to big parts to rebuild a motor,” said Howard. “Furniture is a big deal. The boat furniture is one of the main problems. [I’m] having problems getting that. You can build a boat, but you need to have seats for people to sit in.”

Mutton Creek is expecting another busy summer, but Brehm said his boat repairing days are coming to an end. His shop is up for sale.

“I never thought it end like this, “said Brehm. “It’s a bad deal. You’re caught between a rock and a hard place. I know people want to use their boats. They want to use it in the summertime. I can’t get the parts. I can’t make them. It’s a vicious circle.”

It’s not just boat parts these businesses are having issues supplying. It’s also fishing line and tackle.

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