Perth show gets the thumbs up

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Organisers say feedback from exhibitors was all positive for WA show.

Organisers of the Club Marine Perth International Boat Show are hailing the recent show held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre and Elizabeth Quay venue as “a fantastic show” with “nothing but positive” feedback from exhibitors.

Presented by the Boating Industry Association of WA (BIAWA), this was the second year for the event in its CBD venue. It recorded more than 14,500 visitors over the four days of the show, plus other attendees taking part in the free events held alongside it.

“The BIAWA delivered a fantastic boat show at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre in the heart of the city, and Elizabeth Quay was well utilised for both new boat displays and a range of boating activities,” said BIAWA president Sheryl Swarbrick.

“The Club Marine Perth International Boat Show was made possible with the dedication and support of the West Australian boating industry. The event was completely sold out and this year we filled all six pavilions within PCEC. We were pleased to have strong support from government agencies, with the new Marine and Roads Information Hub on Elizabeth Quay, which was a popular attraction for visitors.

“The entire weekend was buzzing with excitement and entertainment, but was also an extremely important event for the boating industry as it was an opportunity to launch new products onto the market, and to make sales.”

Exhibitor feedback

The BIAWA said it was pleased with feedback from show exhibitors, most of whom it said were kept busy all weekend with enquiries and making sales.

Michael Pittman from Riviera said he was pleased to be able to connect with a lot of Riviera owners at the show and that there was a lot of interest in the new Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht and the 53 Enclosed Flybridge which were being released in Western Australia for the first time.

Sam Nicholas from Fleming Yachts was exhibiting in WA for the first time in several years. Being new to the show, he said he hadn't been sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by the visitor response.

“More and more people are becoming educated about this style of boat,” he said. “People are doing their research before they get to the show, and from this we’ve had good levels of qualified leads.”

Dinghy World were also at the show for the first time, launching the New Zealand brand Blackdog Cat. Vince DeLuca from Dinghy World said he was overwhelmed by the response and that it was great to be displaying the boats on the water.

“Blackdog Cat is new to the WA market and the show has been great for us as we’ve been able to take people out for demos,” he said.

“The response has been excellent. We’ve made at least one sale but for us it’s all about gaining leads, and we are pleased with what we’ve achieved this weekend.”

Rob Kirby from Kirby Marine had similar feedback, saying show numbers were good and that he’d had plenty of enquiries. Kirby Marine were launching the new Yamaha XTO engine and had found a lot of visitors were just as interested in the boats as they were the new engines. All in all, he said he found a lot of quality visitors at the show.

Evan Moore from One Brokerage agreed with the quality of visitors at the show, commenting that having the show in the CBD is exactly what Perth needed. With perfect weather and good leads, the show was truly successful, he said.

Mark Brown from Yamaha said there was a lot of interest in the new XTO 425hp 5.6 litre V8 outboard, as was to be expected, and that sales overall for the show were good.

“We’ve had a few sales of Waverunners, but the big thing people are interested in is the high horsepower motors,” he said.

Mercury were also releasing its all-new V8 and V6 FourStroke range at the show, along with the new 15/20hp FourStroke portable outboards. Brendan Fuller from Mercury said the general sentiment of the show was good, and that they had received more interest at Perth than other boat shows around Australia.

“Perth people are definitely interested in the high horsepower engines, the big V8s have been extremely popular,” he said. “Being at this show has been great for Mercury, we’ve definitely got a lot of people talking about these new engines.”

The new Brig Eagle 8 from Sirocco Marine was making it world debut at the show having arrived in Perth just in time for the first public viewing. Neil Webster from Brig said the show had been very successful for them, and that they were happy with the results.

Boating activities

This year's show also featured a range of free on-water activities presented by the Outboard Engine Distributors Association (OEDA) as part of the Discover Boating program. These included powerboat demonstrations with different ages groups testing their skills at driving a boat, and Tackers Sailing with children taking a ride and sailing small boats.

Andy Fethers from Swan River Sailing said the Discover Boating program had been a brilliant addition to the show, offering visitors a boating experience they might not otherwise be able to access.

“Last year we ran the Tackers Sailing for kids, and that was hugely popular. The addition of powerboats this year has been amazing and we are grateful to OEDA and their supporters for the opportunity to present the full Discover Boating experience,” he said.

“Over the weekend we had almost 2,000 participants in the boating activities, which is terrific and shows just how popular boating is. We will definitely continue working on presenting these types of experiences for people to get involved in.”

Other on-water activities included the popular water ski demonstrations from ShowSki WA, demonstrations of kayaks, stand up paddle boards and the new Hobie Mirage Eclipse, and kayak rides.

Industry legend

At the opening breakfast of the show, the BIAWA presented its inaugural Legend of the Industry award to Martin Box. Having worked in the industry for more than 50 years, he founded Martin Box Marine over 40 years ago, now one of the largest and best-known boat dealers in WA, and was a foundation member of the BIAWA. The award will continue to be presented annually at the show.

Plans are already underway for the 2019 Perth International Boat Show although dates are yet to be finalised.


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