WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Crocker's Marine near the Wrightsville Beach Bridge has kept people on the water for 40 years, but now it looks like the company itself has gone under.
When you call the business you hear a message that even other local boat dealers don't want to hear.
Thank you for calling Crocker's Marine. As of October 29th we have closed permanently.
SaltWater Marine owner Joel Romig said he's seen the decline. He knew things would be slowing down, but he didn't think it would be like this.
With major boat builders like North Carolina's Fountain Boats declaring bankruptcy, and McKee Craft closing for good, there is trouble on the rough seas of boat sales. That has Romig finding other ways to keep his head above water.
"Boat sales are obviously off right now, with the current state of the economy, but service has been strong, so we have been holding our own with service," said Romig.
In the wake of what happened at Crocker's Marine area boat dealers are optimistically looking at the horizon.
"I would predict slow growth over the years," said Romig. "People have been using their boats, they aren't afraid of fuel costs. I think that basic boats and skiffs will start to sell first, and then you'll see things start to graduate to the bigger boats once again."
Crocker's Marine is closing both Wilmington locations and its Morehead Marine in Morehead City.