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How The Marine Industry Bounced Back From COVID-19

When the COVID-19 virus slowly began to infect North America, many people began preparing for a short-term adjustment to their lives. But what people failed to anticipate was how destructive this virus would eventually become. What started as a small threat quickly evolved into a worldwide pandemic, forcing businesses to adjust to a new long-term reality. Unfortunately, many industries, such as marine manufacturing, were hit hard, resulting in a significant drop in production and sales. However, as more people became comfortable with leaving the safety of their own homes, many recreational boat dealers saw a rapid increase in demand over the summer. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, outdoor recreation activities have proven to be a popular choice among those needing a change of pace from staying home while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.

The New Normal

At the start of the year, there were some reports that suggested the marine industry would see an increase in business in 2020. But as the virus hit, there were many uncertainties that followed, and the recreational boating sector was one of the most vulnerable. According to a Q1 report published by the National Marine Manufacturing Association, 81% of manufacturers reported declines in business, and 54% of manufacturers reported declines in sales on what would have otherwise been a positive year. In addition, 15% of manufacturers have permanently closed facilities and 71% of manufacturers faced supply chain disruptions, as well as increased pricing pressure from dealers who were unable to sell product. Thankfully, this dreadful decline did not last long.

Towards the end of the spring season, many recreational boat dealers began seeing a huge spike in demand. Although this news brought a lot of excitement, there were certainly some questions that needed to be answered as to how the marine industry could handle this new demand. With many employees now working from home, the manufactures now had to work around the lack of trained personnel. In addition, because the coronavirus has presented such an anomaly in activity, there is also a struggle for executives to determine new pricing strategies, how much product to order, and why this demand increased in the first place. There are plenty of questions that still need to be answered but one thing is certain… Piedmont Plastics is here to help. 

Piedmont’s Marine Products

Marine products have been core to Piedmont’s product offering since 1985. Our commitment to the marine market is evident with our very own exclusive Piedmont Marine Grade® (PMG®) line of products. In addition, our extensive offering of marine materials has a variety of unique benefits and can be fitted for countless applications.

Marine Grade Acrylic Sheet offers high impact resistance, superior performance, high customizability, and competitive prices. Piedmont offers a wide variety of PMG brands, including PMG Ultra® which is a marine grade acrylic sheet offered by Piedmont and is backed by a 10-year warranty. PMG® Ultra can be found in common applications such as cabin doors, bent companionway doors, consoles, hatches and boat dash panels. Another brand we offer is PMG® Plus which is ideal for boat windshields. We also offer PMG® HR™ (Heat Reflective) and PMG® SB™ (Solar Block) which are perfect for hull side windows thanks to their ability to reflect up to 50% of infrared radiation and protect against UV radiation respectively.

Marine Grade Polyolefin can resist rotting, swelling, splintering, discoloring or delaminating when exposed to humidity, water, or the sun. This material also offers superior flexibility and toughness and often lasts longer than teak and other common marine materials. Common applications include boat hatches, cup holders, swim platforms and marine upholstery substrate.

Marine Grade ABS materials offer moisture resistance, screw retention up to 1000 lbs/psi, and a rigid design. Some ABS products are even designed to easily adhere to fiberglass and commercial adhesives with no surface preparation. Some common applications include cleat blocks, bulkheads, stringers, and transoms inserts.

Marine Grade PVC Foam Sheet is known for its excellent staple and screw retention, superior impact strength, and its ability to withstand moisture, resisting rot, warpage, and delaminating. Common applications include marine upholstery substrate, block out panels, backer plates, and sub flooring.

Contact Us

At Piedmont Plastics, we offer a wide variety of performance plastic materials for your marine applications. Contact us to inquire about our various solutions or call us today to speak with a marine plastics expert!