Sales up at Melbourne Boat Show

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Exhibitors report good response from visitors with sales off the floor.

While official visitor numbers are not available yet, feedback from exhibitors at this year's Melbourne Boat Show was generally very positive with a number reporting increased sales and leads from the show.

The four-day show was well-supported by local manufacturers such as Bar Crusher, Whittley, Haines Hunter and Spy as well as a good contingent of overseas boats across the pleasure boating and fishing sectors. Feedback from exhibitors to Marine Business and on Facebook reported a good turn-out of visitors this year who came along prepared to buy.

Scott O'Hare at Aussie Boat Sales, representing Chaparral, Robalo and Polycraft said they had sold boats off the floor at the show and had another 30 or so test drives lined up post-show, mainly for Chaparral and Robalo but also Polycraft.

“The Polycraft products really surprised us,” he said. “They were very well-received.”

O'Hare said he thought visitor numbers were up on the previous year but, more significantly, they were high quality visitors which resulted in more leads than last year.

“From the moment the show opened, I didn't come up for breath until it closed,” he said.

“Extremely good. By far the best show we've done,” said Rohan Veal from 38 South Boat Sales who was presenting the new Jeanneau Cap Camarat 7.7 Walk Around and Glastron power boats.

“A lot of people came to buy this year,” he said. “We took a deposit for the Walk Around on the first day.”

There was also strong interest in the Jeanneau Merry Fisher 605 and the Marlin 795 with a "pile of paperwork" and a number of test drives lined up post-show.

Veal said that while previous appearances at the show had been about establishing the brands, this year attendees had come along prepared to buy. Equally there were buyers who had not bought a boat previously who found exactly what they were looking for on the stand.

“It's a big investment but well-worth it,” said Veal.

Alan Whittley from Whittley Marine said the show delivered a lot of buyers with more money to spend. Interest from the public was across the entire range of Whittley boats from the Sea Legends to the Cruisers.

“We're up on unit sales and we're up on dollar value,” he said.

Whittley added that he expects a strong flow-on from the show in the coming months, especially with the new releases.

“It was definitely a better show than last year,” he commented.

How was the show for you? Leave a comment below or drop us a line about your highlights.

BIAV president, Mark Crockford, presents the award for Best Overall Stand at the 2017 Melbourne Boat Show to Steve Fields from Hobie Cat Australasia.
BIAV president, Mark Crockford, presents the award for Best Overall Stand at the 2017 Melbourne Boat Show to Steve Fields from Hobie Cat Australasia.

BIAV stand awards

The Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV) announced the winners of the 2017 boat show stand award winners during the show with Hobie Cat Australia picking up the prize for best overall stand at the show.

  • Best Open Stand – Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Distributors: Hobie Cat Australia
  • Best Shell Stand – Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Distributors: International Paints
  • Best Open Stand – Boat Dealers: Crawford Marine
  • Best Open Stand – Chandleries, Associations, Services: Club Marine
  • Best Shell Stand – Chandleries, Associations, Services: Belouis Investment
  • Best Open Stand – Marinas & Clubs: Marina Industries Association
  • Best Stand Overall – Hobie Cat Australia

UPDATE: the BIAV subsequently annouced that the show attendance was "just over 21,000 visitors".

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