The 48th annual BIA Melbourne Boat Show has exceeded the expectations of exhibitors which will give the industry great confidence as it moves to Sydney.
Exhibitors reported strong demand for boats and accessories across the board – including the highest ticket item at the Show.
BIA General Manager Robert Coco said the general feeling around the Boat Show was that it was a success, following on from exceptional shows in the previous two years.
'The interesting aspect of this Show was that some exhibitors came in with lower expectations than a year earlier, but many reported better than expected results, and a few achieved near-record numbers.
'Attendance was 41,085, which is within five per cent of last year’s very strong result, and exhibitors generally reported that the quality of visitors was excellent.
'Sales were strong in all styles and types of boats, especially where there was new product on offer or conspicuously good value to be had.
'It’s worth noting that the biggest ticket item at the Show – the Meridian offered for almost $700,000 by Avante Marine Docklands – was sold before the Show was over, so it was not just cheap boats that sold.'
Mr Coco said there was remarkably strong support for exhibitors of accessories, especially those with safety-related products or leading-edge technology.
'Chandleries with electronics-dominated product had a blockbuster Show, as did one of the smallest exhibitors, Tony’s Tackle, who sold out his high-quality locally made nets and gaffs before Sunday was over,' he said.
'Stormy Seas was another to enjoy an outstanding show, as did the newest entrant in the quality PFD market, PFD Australia – there was clearly a strong level of interest in quality safety gear at all price points.
'This level of interest spilled over into a constant stream of people at the Marine Safety Victoria, Parks Victoria and Victoria Police stands, making the government precinct one of the busiest parts of the Show.'
The 49th annual BIA Melbourne Boat Show will return to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 2 to 6 July 2009.