Organizers of the 57th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show reported strong sales and said they received positive comments from exhibitors about buyer enthusiasm for the products on display and the enhanced show experience.
Attendance at the show, which wrapped up Nov. 7, was up 5 percent from 2015. Among all boats on display, the show saw the greatest increase in boats in the water under 100 feet, up 2.9 percent from the previous year.
"Simply put, our sales results at the 2016 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show were amazing," MarineMax chief revenue officer Chuck Cashman said in a statement.
"Quality and innovation continue to be extremely important in driving new-boat sales. Additionally, our entry into charter facilitated several larger boat sales. All of our core brands experienced nothing short of excellent results. Overall, the dollars sold at the show were very close to an all-time record."
In the superyacht sector, seven yachts larger than 200 feet were the biggest collection in this size category in the show's history.
G Marine represented eight boats at the show, ranging from 43 to 110 feet, from three European yacht brands — Astilleros Astondoa from Spain, Fairline from Great Britain and the Italian EVO Yachts.
"When selling smaller boats, it is easier to close several deals at a show," G Marine CEO Alberto Galante said. "When we have the right boat for the right customer, we can shake hands on a deal. The show offers us the opportunity to present our builders' capabilities in design and execution with a wide range of materials and technology."
"It's encouraging to see the most growth in the middle of the market, as this represents the majority of boat buyers and suggests that overall boat sales are strong again," said Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, the company that manages and produces FLIBS for the Marine Industries Association of South Florida.
Show Management and Trade Only Today are both owned by Active Interest Media.
"Many exhibitors reported that they left the show with strong leads and sea trials scheduled in the coming weeks," Zimbalist said.
In addition to offering boats for every budget, the 1,000 exhibitors from more than 30 countries presented all types of marine products and accessories, from high-tech electronics to marine art and personal water toys, in total valued at more than $4 billion.
"We sold a tremendous amount of inventory at the show to customers from all over the Americas," said Nils Kah, CEO of Seabob, the luxury water toy that was displayed on many yachts at the show and at daily demonstrations at the show's AquaZone outside the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
The Fort Lauderdale show took place Nov. 3-7 at seven locations connected by a network of water and land transportation — the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center; the Hall of Fame Marina; Las Olas Municipal Marina; Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina; Sails Marina; Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina; and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
The show is owned and presented by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, managed and produced by Show Management and sponsored by Audi, Bank of America, Gosling's, the International Gamefish Association, Smallwood's Yachtwear and Taiwan Excellence.