Organizers are calling the 46th annual Newport International Boat Show one of the most successful to date, as pleasant weather greeted attendees and exhibitors brought several new boats to make national and world debuts.
Organizers don’t release attendance figures for the Rhode Island show, but they say it was better attended than last year.
“The 2016 Newport International Boat Show was one of our most successful shows to date, selling 100 percent of exhibit space, adding docks to accommodate in-water demand, and a 10 percent year-over-year growth in attendance,” Newport Exhibition Group show director Nancy Piffard said.
Exhibitors said they hoped the Newport show would set a precedent for the fall boat shows.
“The Newport show is always a pleasure to attend,” Chaparral Boats Northeastern regional sales manager Aaron Krenzer told Trade Only Today. “There is something about the city that screams boating. Newport provides the lifestyle of boaters, and what better place to have a show.”
Krenzer said the weather was great, providing dealers and manufacturers with cool mornings and warmer afternoons — “great boat show weather.”
“Chaparral’s dealer, Twin City Marine, was excited with the results of the Newport Show,” Krenzer said. “Good-quality customers were on the docks throughout the show. Twin City Marine has finalized several deals from the show and are working on several more with good follow-up. With Newport being an early fall show, we hope this trend continues throughout the year at the remaining boat shows.”
MarineMax, which recently bought New England’s Russo Marine, earned a Best Powerboat Display award from show management, said Larry Russo Jr., president of MarineMax New England.
“MarineMax had a spectacular display of 30 boats at the Newport show,” Russo said. “The total value of Sea Ray, Azimut, Galeon, Boston Whaler and Sailfish boats was over $30 million. The weather was perfect, the attendance very good and the sales were strong.”
The show’s largest installation since 2009 featured several new-boat debuts, including a massive 72-foot Hunt, a 42-foot Chris-Craft Commander and a 32-foot Back Cove.
The Hunt 72 was named Best Powerboat Overall in the Newport for New Products Awards, as well as Best Powerboat 35 Feet and Over.