With Surge In New Boaters, Some Worry About Safety On The Seas

Marshfield Harbormaster Michael DiMeo and his assistant John Doyle patrol the area outside Green Harbor in Marshfield. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

In a normal year, drivers passing 3A Marine in Hingham would see a parking lot filled with boats: brand new fishing boats, center consoles and cabin cruisers.

But this past year has been anything but normal. All 3A Marine has left is one solitary used boat.

Call it another side effect of the pandemic. More people than ever want the fun⁠ — and social distancing ⁠— of boating. The National Marine Manufacturers Association reported a 13-year high in boat sales last year, and 2021 is on pace to surpass that.

But while demand has swelled, supply has dried up because of factory closures and problems shipping parts.

Inventory has been so tight that even 3A Marine’s owner has been left high and dry. Ed Lofgren, 84, usually gets a new boat every year from a manufacturer. But not this year.

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