Exhibitors upbeat with Miami show results

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MIAMI BEACH — Docks were crowded Feb. 14-18 at the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach and venues were jammed at the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail as participants reported upbeat crowds and serious buyers.

“We’re doing great,” Viking Yachts spokesman Pete Frederiksen said Saturday on the docks at the Yacht & Brokerage Show on Collins Avenue. “We sold three new boats yesterday.”

That was despite some heavy rain that fell for much of the day Friday. (The rest of the show was otherwise clear.) Nonetheless, Frederiksen said there were about 420 visitors at the Viking booth — about half of what the builder would see on a typical sunny day — but still “an amazing number for such a rainy day.”

MarineMax sales were “up in double digits over last year,” CEO Bill McGill told me when I literally crossed paths with him earlier on Saturday.

“I can tell that it’s better than it’s been in years,” McGill said Thursday afternoon at the Miami Beach Convention Center following a Sea Ray press event.

“I thought this crowd was excellent,” added Rod Malone, president of Texas-based Sail & Ski.

The venue also seemed much busier than in past years, said Pete Beauregard Jr., president of Michigan-based Colony Marine.

Attendance was actually essentially flat for the NMMA show, edging down from 100,917 in 2012 to 100,689 this year, according to spokeswoman Sarah Ryser. Numbers for the Show Management show were not yet available this morning. Click here to see a time lapse video of the set-up of the NMMA show.

In addition to strong attendance, exhibitors saw an upbeat buying crowd, with some exhibitors reporting double-digit sales increases from 2012, Ryser said.

“The show was truly outstanding,” said Mike Collins, sales director for Contender Boats. “We took a dozen deposits, but more importantly, every one of our 16 dealers that worked the show has multiple deals they are working. Really think it will be the best Miami show in a very long time.”

Traffic was “excellent” on all five days of the show and every boat company he spoke with was pleased with sales and leads, Collins said.

At a Contender party preceding the show, Collins said the company had been busy building between four and a half and five boats a week.

“We’re rockin’,” Collins said.

Yacht builder David Marlow said Marlow Yachts sales outpaced the overall recovery when he spoke to Fox Business at the Miami International Boat Show. The Explorer 97E was the largest boat at the Sea Isle Marina and had already been spoken for.

As Colony Marine founder Peter Beauregard Sr. said on Thursday: “They were lined up to buy tickets.”

Click here to see a time-lapse video produced by Artex Productions of the setup at the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail.

— Reagan Haynes

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