Organizers optimistic as Newport show wraps up

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newport0917The 42nd annual Newport International Boat Show drew inviting weather and plenty of interested buyers to Rhode Island during the weekend.

Seen as a bellwether for the industry’s fall selling season, the show drew a strong and steady flow of visitors, according to show producer Newport Exhibition Group. The docks were busy early and often throughout the four-day show.

“We’re still tallying the numbers, but we had a good, strong show with solid attendance, and we’re hearing great commentary from our exhibitors, along the lines of qualified buyers asking the right questions and spending considerable time with the dealers and brokers,” Newport Exhibition Group division director Tom Delotto told Trade Only Today this morning.

The show featured more than 600 boats, ranging from 15 to 90 feet, and 750 exhibitors, a total that sold out the exhibition space.

Rudy Mutter III, vice president of Twin City Marine in Central Falls, R.I., said he took a large deposit on a Monterey 280 Sport Cruiser — the first at-show sale he’s made since before the recession. “We’ve had a good show,” he said from the deck of the boat, the “SOLD” sign prominently displayed on the console.

Maritime Solutions, of Portsmouth, R.I., reportedly sold nearly all of its lineup of inflatable boats it displayed at the show.

Jim McManus, president and CEO of The Hinckley Company, exhibited the new Talaria 34 and Talaria 48 at the show. He spoke enthusiastically about the boats. The T34 was introduced three months ago, and “we’ve sold one every week since the introduction,” he said.

Hinckley has sold 16 T48s since its launch 18 months ago.

“That’s the most successful product launch we’ve ever had in the company,” McManus said.

— Rich Armstrong

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