What’s new on the water at SIBS 2018
A round-up of some of the new boat brands and models debuting at Sydney.
Both on the marina and in the halls, SIBS 2018 featured a variety of new boat launches from both established and new boat builders.
As befits the world’s largest production boat builder, Beneteau and its local dealer, Flagstaff Marine, had one of the most impressive displays on the marina encompassing both sail and power.
In sail, the main focus was on the new Oceanis 46.1 model which had its world premier at the show, and its larger cousin, the Oceanis 51.1, which was making its local debut. In the power market, there were local debuts for the Gran Turismo 50 and Swift Trawler 35.
Beneteau joint general manager, Gianguido Girotti, making his third visit to SIBS, was on hand to launch the new Oceanis models.
“Australia is, and has been historically, a great market for us,” he said. “We’ve had the opportunity to find great customers who appreciate our products and really understand the seventh generation of Oceanis.
“Overall, with this new generation of boats, we are capable of delivering a better user experience for the customer, especially Australian customers who are very demanding on the performance side as well as the comfort.”
Sunsail and The Moorings featured one of the largest new yachts on the marina with the launch of the Leopard 50 catamaran which is available with an optional flybridge and outdoor lounge area accessed via a floating staircase from the aft cockpit. This creates a huge living space with Leopard’s trademark saloon door access to the forward cockpit and the option for four or five cabins below deck.
The owners of the first Leopard 50 were proudly on show in Sydney prior to taking the boat north to cruise the Whitsundays.
Other models on display at Sunsail included the Leopard 40 sailing catamaran, and the Leopard 43 and Leopard 51 Powercats.
Also making its debut at SIBS was the Ribco range of luxury RIBs which introduced former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke as one of its first owners in Sydney. Speaking at the launch, Clarke said he was “over the moon” to acquire the 28ST model.
“As a long time boating enthusiast, I was on the search for a vessel with exceptional seaworthiness and handling when I came across Ribco on Sydney Harbour. The amazing finishes and performance of the Ribco 28ST are simply unbeatable,” he said.
“From the perfect centre console driving position and the way the stepped hull handles, to the quality of the inflatable tubes, ample storage and seating space the Ribco 28ST over delivers in every aspect.”
With the eye-catching Venom 44, the Seafarer 36 and the 28ST models on display, Ribco Australia was joined by one of the company’s founders, Stelios Ladopoulos, who travelled from Greece to be at the show. Ribco Australia is not a dealership but a partly-owned subsidiary of Ribco Greece and an extension of the factory head office, ensuring it has factory support and access to new models in advance of other markets.
Also on the marina, Riviera unveiled its new 39 Sports Motor Yacht model described by Riviera owner, Rodney Longhurst as “a brilliant example of Riviera’s evolution and constant refinement across our five collections”.
The new sub-40 foot model features an extended flybridge with a bimini top and twin helm-and-companion seat. There is an L-shape lounge aft of the helm seat with a protective rail that can also be used for mounting navigational equipment. The lower deck provides sleeping accommodation for five adults in two staterooms.
Maritimo introduced the X60 model to Sydney which had previously been launched at Sanctuary Cove. The X60 features the aft accommodation design which can be customised as a beach club with en suite, twin single stateroom with en suite or 3.2 metre tender garage.
Lead designer, Tom Barry-Cotter, said that of the 12 X60 models on order to date, only one had opted for the traditional tender garage configuration.
Maritimo also released details of a new X50 version which it expects to launch at Sanctuary Cove next year with a starting price of $1.39 million.
“We are leading the industry into new design territory of what is possible in sport yacht and motor yacht design, and pioneering new thinking and re-writing the rules in every facet of the company,” said Barry-Cotter.
Inside the exhibitions halls, Sea Ray had an extensive display on the stand of local dealer Chapman Marine, the largest in several years at SIBS. New Australian releases included the SDX 250 outboard and sterndrive models, the SPX 230, SLX 310, SDX 270 outboard and SDX 290 outboard with twin Mercury Verado 250hp engines.
Sea Ray international sales manager, Kelly Henry, was at the show to introduce the new models and update the media on the current situation with Sea Ray which is moving out of the larger yacht and cruiser market to focus on its outboard and sterndrive models.
It was a busy show for Chapman Marine which also introduced the latest Beneteau Antares 9 cruiser as well as launching various models from the Finnish builder, Bella, which also encompasses the Flipper and Falcon brands.
Ari Kuikka, Bella export sales director, was on hand to introduce the line-up which featured the Flipper 600ST, a day-cruiser with an extra-long internal cockpit, and the Falcon BR6 which features a unique hybrid construction of an aluminium plate hull combined with a fibre-glass cabin structure.
Local builder Sailfish Catamarans is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the release of a special 2800 Gamefisher model. To mark the occasion, the company is offering the 8.8m boat with a package of 25 popular extras valued at $17,500 available for only $5,000.
It is the first Sailfish model to feature an extended hardtop for added protection from the elements and is fully kitted out for the serious offshore fisherman including bait station with freshwater outlet, two live bait tanks, under floor kill tanks, desk wash pump, stacks of storage and more rod holders than you can poke a rod at.
Powered by twin 150hp Honda outboards with a top speed of 39 knots, it comes on its own custom-built tri-axle trailer and, with a 2.5m beam, is the maximum size boat which can legally towed.
New Zealand manufacturer Sealegs had the most flamboyant launch of the show – including plenty of jokes at Australia’s expense - with the dramatic unveiling of its 8.5m Alloy Cabin model, a new departure for company known for its unique amphibious technology.
“The 8.5m all-alloy amphibious cabin craft is a completely new model,” said Sealegs CEO David McKee Wright. “It responds to market feedback and Australia’s desire for an amphibious aluminium-plate boat that doesn’t compromise on internal space or performance – be it on land or water.”
The new model features a 250hp outboard engine as well as a 35hp inboard engine for driving on land. It is designed to handle rougher terrain and softer beaches found in Australia. The inboard engine has been integrated into the transom so it doesn’t take up deck space while, on water, it can cruise comfortably at 26 knots with a top speed of 39 knots.
“The Australian market has been vocal about their desire for this craft of this type, so we’re excited to release it exclusively in Australia at this time,” said McKee Wright. “Having already confirmed in excess of $2m worth of pre-release orders for this model, the extensive research and development has been well justified.”