Coronavirus has had an impact on every sector of the industry and in every country of the world. The COVID impact on sailing is also something to take into consideration.
We could see the effects of the pandemic through the empty seafront and marinas full of docked yachts when the lockdown was first set.
Once the lockdown was removed, however, boat owners were the lucky ones who could ‘escape’ the whole stressful situation on that very first day. No one really had a destination in mind. Everyone just wanted to be outside in open air, open water, and surrounded by nature. Yachts meant freedom AND social distancing. This perfect combination resulted in a sudden increase in interest for all charter companies and boat brokers.
Organized events however such as regattas, races, ocean cruisers, and boat shows have all been canceled. Unfortunately, no one can say for sure how long this situation is going to last. As a result, several reports have been generated to create a prediction on how the future of boating might look after the COVID impact on sailing.
Selling boats has become quite challenging this year as boat shows have been canceled since no one can travel to explore the new options hitting the market.
This situation has also decreased the number of jobs available in the marine industry this year. What seems to be doing well is virtual reality. While many people cannot participate in regattas this year, this hasn’t stopped them from enjoying virtual regattas through e-sailing. Online gaming has seen a massive rise in interest since the beginning of the pandemic. The marine industry however is concerned that they are not performing as well as online sports and are not offering an alternative solution that could work IRL (in real life).
In addition, marine engineers are not yet sure of how to use the increased interest in e-sailing to help the industry like walkthrough videos have been doing for real estate.
While virtual reality might work for cars and houses, boat designers seem to be skeptical about exhibiting their boats this way. As a result, the virtual boat shows have not yet taken off.
There are however some brokers that are experimenting with online tools in order to allow people to explore their boats as much as possible. These tools allow people to visualize themselves on the boat and see if the boat is a good fit for them or not. 360° web tours are also available.
The marine industry is finding itself in a difficult spot, trying to reinvent how boat viewings and test sails are done. ‘Thinking outside the box’ seems to be the phrase of 2020!
All in all, the COVID impact on sailing will generate more virtual reality options and increase the usage of apps. With social distancing being the main concern for everyone, apps and software are the way to go.
TheBoatAPP will continue to help boat owners, yacht lovers and anyone working in the marine industry to better maintain and manage their boat from a distance. Discover more options on our website!