by Bob Wonders
Although the inaugural Gold Coast Boat Show, staged in late October, was seriously hampered by hot and steamy weather and a horrendous thunderstorm, organisers, Marine Queensland, have already begun planning for the ’08 edition.
Gold Coast Boat Show
The three-day, dry land show at the Carrara Sports Complex was the first Gold Coast boat show organised at the request of local dealers by Marine Queensland.
Despite the inclement weather affecting attendance, exhibitors reported strong buyer interest.
Hayden Wyld (Wyld About Boats) sold a 7.6-metre US-built Glastron during the show and was confident of further sales from leads generated.
'There are some other deals we’re still working on, including the prospect of the sale of an $110,000 Mastercraft wake boarding boat, and I’m expecting further promising results,' he added.
The innovative Southbeach Vacationer, built at nearby Burleigh Heads by Kencraft Marine, proved an interesting attraction.
A company spokesman said five potential buyers had registered for post show tests of the $108,000 vessel, which combines the best features of a fast cruiser and a pop-up caravan.
Other attractions at the show included the free entertainment program, a Fishing Expo and the Bream Classic competition, all of which proved popular with show visitors of all ages.
The Fishing Expo include almost 30 how-to presentations with renowned anglers, while eight ‘Pro’ teams vied for cash prizes in the Bream Classic competition.
Gavin Dunne and Maurice Blackman, of Team Ecogear won the $1000.00 first prize with a catch of 15 bream weighing in at 6.3kg.
More than 100 fish were live-weighed during the competition and were later released back into the Nerang River at the show’s conclusion.
Marine Queensland general manager, Barry Hibberd, said the results achieved so far by exhibitors indicated the Gold Coast Boat Show had established itself as an important pre-summer event for local boating enthusiasts.
'Planning has begun for 2008 and among early ideas we’re discussing are adding displays of other products related to marine leisure, together with additional on-water activity,' he explained.
'We’ll also be looking at the timing to confirm whether it is exactly the right time of year for the pre-summer buying season.
'Generally, however, we’re satisfied that the show meets a clear need from both Gold Coast boating and fishing enthusiasts and the local industry.
'Marine businesses on the Gold Coast number more than 400 companies and employ in excess of 4000 people,' he added.
For further information contact Marine Queensland, telephone (07) 3899-3333.