Builders buoyed by luxury buyers
BOAT builders at the luxury end of the market reported strong buyer interest at the Sydney International Boat Show.
The beauty parade of boats at the Sydney International Boat Show marina is a hotbed of competition between local and overseas builders, motors and sails, all vying to grab the attention of the discerning buyer at top end of the market.
This time around, most exhibitors reported strong interest from buyers with some notable sales of new boats, even for models that are yet to make it to Australia.
Here’s a quick wrap of some of the announcements and new models unveiled this time around.
Maritimo kicked off the show with the debut of the new S48 model, the first one of which is going to the Cannes boat show while the second has been sold to a Sydney customer, their fourth boat in just three years.
Introducing the new model, Greg Haines, sales and marketing manager, said the S48 has a new saloon and galley which distinguishes it from the M48 and is designed to make entertaining easier. “It is a very social vessel,” he commented.
With a beam of 5 metres, Haines said the S48 suits the European market and will be available with options to bring it up to European specifications.
New models for 2016 from Maritimo include the M70 yacht fisher which is basically the M65 with a new transom and game chair for fishing. Feedback from the US suggests that customers who are used to game fishing boats want to be able to fish on their yachts.
The M61, a mini version of the M65, will be released in time for the Sanctuary Cove Boat with two boats already sold to existing customers.
Another new model is the M54 which is due by Christmas 2016 and designed to fill the gap between the M50 and M58 models along the lines of an M48 but with a completely new internal layout.
An M48 fisher model with a different transom and a kill tank is going to New Zealand in April 2016 and, driven by customer demand, this design will also become an option.
Riviera used the show to give the red carpet treatment to the new 57 Enclosed Flybridge model which was moored front and centre at the company’s display.
The new model is based on the 53 but revamped with a new cockpit design, upgraded electronics and all-new dashboard on the flybridge. It’s available with either shaft or pod drive.
Another new model announced at the show is the 575 SUV which is a variation on the 676 SUV model. According to Wes Moxey, the SUV range has been very successful for Riviera with up to 39 SUV models sold so far.
Talking about the overall market, Moxey said the US is picking up, New Zealand is very strong and Australia is strong with pockets of weakness such as WA. Overall, the company has grown 94% over the past three years and forward orders are looking better than for many years, he said, with the main complaint from dealers being the wait-time for new boats.
One consequence of this is that the biggest competition to new boats is coming from the healthy second-hand Riviera market. It is this, according Moxey, which drives the company to develop new models that are very different in style and features.
“We have to be innovative in order to compete with ourselves,” he said.
The new kid on the block at Sydney was Elandra which was exhibiting at the show for the first time. Although still just a young company, Elandra features a seasoned boat-building pedigree with the likes of Luke Durman, Grant Senior and designer Tom Barry-Cotter.
At Sydney, the company showed two of its 53 models which have both been sold to NSW customers, one at Lake Macquarie and the other in Sydney.
Barry-Cotter told Marine Business that a third boat is under construction and a deposit has been taken on a fourth. Another boat, possibly the fifth, is slated to be taken to the US where Elandra will introduce the brand in 2016.
“The USA is definitely an economy that’s on the up and it will be a great market for the brand,” said Barry-Cotter. “The dollar works in our favour, as well as here in Australia against the imported brands we’re up against.”
Elandra also announced plans for a 49 model for release at the 2016 Sydney International Boat Show.
With typical Gallic style, Jeanneau began Day 2 with a breakfast reception of champagne and croissants for media and customers. CEO Jean-Paul Chapeleau, alongside Paul Blanc, Asia-Pacific sales director, and Erik Stromberg, sailboat product director, introduced the latest releases in power boats and yachts.
These include a bigger version of the Leader motor boat, the Leader 46, due to be officially launched at Cannes in September alongside a new Prestige 680 model.
Erick Stromberg highlighted three recent sailboats in the Jeanneau range – the Sun Odyssey 349 launched a year ago which has now sold 300, the Jeanneau 64 also launched last year which has 30 sold with two boats per month under construction, and the new 54, a smaller version of the 64, which was unveiled to dealers at Dubrovnik last month and, likewise, gets its first public outing at Cannes.
The highlight of the stand was the 349 which, according to Jeanneau, is “the boat that everyone wants”. Locally there are about 20 on order or already in Australia with a couple being sold to customers during the show.
Multihull Solutions brought the Fountaine Pajot MY37 power catamaran (pictured) to Sydney just months after the first hull was launched.
On a post-show outing down Sydney Harbour on the MY37, Mark Elkington of Multihull Solutions said the new catamaran had been well-received in the local market with two boats already sold.
The company has also signed five orders ‘off the plan’ for the new Fountaine Pajot 40 yacht launched in June which is due to be officially released at the Paris boat show in December, just in time to mark the French company’s 40th anniversary.
Multihull Solutions is also strengthening its foothold in Sydney with a new office due to open in the coming weeks at Birkenhead Point marina.