Steady crowds boost New York Boat Show

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nyc0109A new year brought renewed optimism among dealers at the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show, the first show of 2012.

After a walk on the floor of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan shortly before the show opened its doors on Friday, NMMA president Thom Dammrich said the mood among vendors was clearly upbeat.

“I’d say there’s probably more optimism for 2012 than in the past four or five years,” Dammrich told Trade Only Today.

Crowds were steady and building from opening day Wednesday through the five-day show. A National Football League playoff game at 1 p.m. that involved the hometown Giants somewhat diminished attendance on the final day.

Dammrich said he could sense optimism among both the vendors and attendees he spoke with.

“Some people have been coming out to the show for several years, just looking,” Dammrich said before noting recent positive economic news on manufacturing and jobs. “People are ready for some good news, they’re now getting some good news and I think people are ready to break out and do what they’ve been holding back on for years.”

Dave Dzurilla, general manager for MarineMax in New York’s Westchester County and Connecticut’s Fairfield County, said his crew was seeing “good, qualified prospects. We’re not seeing the daydreamer.”

nyc20109Dzurilla today reported 68 boats sold among the Sea Ray, Boston Whaler and Meridian displays, compared with 42 at the 2011 show.

“We had a decent fall, but after this show our entire team feels confident we’re finally seeing a real uptick,” he said.

Steve DeFeo, general manager of DeFeo’s Marina, a Bennington, Larson and Regal dealer on New York’s Greenwood Lake, said he has displayed at every New York show since 1981. Although pontoon boat sales have held up better than other models during the recession, he said he comes into 2012 feeling that “we’re slowly moving up the hill.”

Nate Anderson, Northeast regional sales manager for Scout Boats, said one change he’s sensing is that “people are sitting down and talking real numbers, which is a night-and-day difference from ’09, when all anybody wanted to talk about was how bad the recession was.”

Mark Yarussi, a regional sales manager for Bayliner who oversees 80 dealers from Michigan to Maine to Washington, D.C., summed up his take on the market this way:

“Compared to this time last year we’re picking up steam, and the enthusiasm is up and we feel good about 2012.”

— Rich Armstrong


5 comments on “Steady crowds boost New York Boat Show

  1. Tom Delotto, CMM

    Great News from NY! Love to hear that Boaters are kicking it in Gear for 2012. We are staging in the Providence Boat Show starting Today and look forward to a high level of enthusiasm this coming weekend. Show opens this Thursday 1-12-2012 with a Ton of Fun planned including a Live Trout Fishing Tank thats FREE and Lots of New Boats and Gear. – Great ticket deals and special promotions! Kids under 16 are FREE.


    This show was a total waste of time and money to attend. It cost me over $400.00 to attend this show as I live in CT. Upon arriving at the JJ Center I found other people hanging around looking for the boat show which ended up on one floor in part of the center. My wife and I went to look at trawlers and found only 2, a Ranger 29 and 2 Cutwaters. The salesman was insulting to my wife when she asked the difference between the two Cutwater boats on display. It took us all of 1 hour to see this show which was the joke of the year. The Hartford Boat show is bigger. live and learn, we will never attend this show again which we have done for over 20 years.


    We were talking recently about what the New York show was 45 years ago. It is a shame that the expense of showing, stops a show from being a focal point for all parts of the industry.

  4. eddyboats

    raa raa raa !! sis boom baa !!! BLAH BLAH BLAH !!!!!
    folks, nothing will change until after the election. and even then, things could still go either way. just because the “dreamers” from last year finally sat down and priced out a boat means almost nothing. i can tell you that, if anything, the show helps to spur activity in the pre-owned market. as a broker i had three very good showings on sunday and got good offers on 2 of them. the STICKER SHOCK of a new boat sends most prospective buyers running to the used boat market which is still HIGHLY INVENTORIED.
    the weather didnt hurt either. in fact, due to the awesome weather for january, show attendees endorphins were flowing and so they’re feeling the desire more strongly than say when there is 3 feet of snow on the ground and just getting to the show was like an ERNEST SHACKELTON expedition ! of course more people sat down and speced out a deal, more people were able to get there !
    now, understand that, i am really an optimist, a glass half full guy and have been in the boat business since im 12 years old, going on 37 years now. i experienced the recession of the early 90’s too. however, i am also a realist and as long as this country is swirling the drain we are not going to see any significant change in the segment of the market that means the most and that is the middle & upper middle calsses which are actually becoming EXTINCT as we speak especially on LONG ISLAND. and for those who do not know, long island has traditionally been among the highest in “registered boats per capita” boating areas in the country. now we are among the highest in boat reposessions instead !
    also, traditionally, wall street bonuses attributed to a large percentage of high end sales and we all know what happened with that this year ( finally ! ). just go ask the porche and bently, benz and beemer dealers in nyc and the tri-state area how sales have been the last few weeks. so im glad to hear that MARINEMAX made 68 “deals” ( er…i know a lot of dealers consider getting a name and address and quoting a price a “deal” ) because what that really means is that the used boat market should see a spike in the next couple of months. i’ll take a guess and predict that the under $20,000 and $50-$100,000 inventory will see the most activity. whatever happens , i still need to work 3 JOBS to survive and will probably need to for several years to come, unless i can get a good paying position , with benefits, running a nice marina somewhere. btw, i am open to offers ! resume will be furnished upon request. good luck to everyone who makes their living in the boat business and
    just sayin’

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