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Storm gives boating industry a boost

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Hurricane Sandy, the bizarre superstorm, damaged or destroyed 65,000 recreational boats and is blamed for roughly $62 billion in damage.

The storm, which blew offshore of South Florida the weekend of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in late October, came ashore in New Jersey the following week, wreaking havoc on property as far inland as Chicago.

“Hurricane Sandy was the single largest loss to recreational boating since we began keeping track in 1966,” said Scott Croft of Boat Owners Association of the U.S.

With insurance companies paying claims on those loses, many boat dealers reported their best sales months ever in December and January. New York’s boat show in early January was also labeled a success.

“Technicians who work in the yards are coming back to work to fix boats,” Jeff Vaughn, vice president of sales for Boston Whaler, told CBS News. “People are buying boats, so people are hiring sales people. So we’re actually seeing our businesses and dealerships grow and become more stable.”

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