The 74th annual Progressive Miami International Boat Show, held during the Presidents Day weekend, sold out its exhibit space and attracted 96,009 visitors from around the world.
Though attendance was short of the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s goal of attracting 120,000 people, it was up 1 percent from 2014.
The show featured hundreds of product launches and a new Accessory Pavilion that was built on the Miami Beach Convention Center’s outdoor exhibition area.
"This year exceeded our expectations,” Lana Lohe, of CNB Lagoon, said in a statement. “We sold 16 boats and have two more under contract. Miami is always a great show for us. We look forward to another great year next year."
Jim Sabia, of Top Notch Marine, said his booth sold a combined 67 boats. The brands he represents — Wellcraft, Glastron, Cobalt, Seafox and Forest River — want more space for next year, he said.
“We’ve done better this year than we have in the past couple of years and are already thinking about how to configure our booth for next year to make it even better,” said Bob Meagher, of Doyle Sailmakers.
Sean Halley, of Boston Whaler, said the company “eclipsed” its targeted sales number with signed deals alone and has many more leads to work.
“We had an amazing show,” said Terri Nuechterlein, of HydraSports Custom. “We knew it would be good, but it was beyond our wildest dreams. The 53-footer was so well received.”
As the industry follows up on leads from the 2015 show, plans are already well under way for 2016.
The Miami show will celebrate its 75th year at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin on Virginia Key off the Rickenbacker Causeway, just across from downtown Miami; the Strictly Sail Miami portion of the show will stay at Miamarina at Bayside.
The city of Miami is investing $16 million to rejuvenate the park and prepare it for the 2016 show.
Additionally, the NMMA will build customized docks and erect structures to accommodate land exhibitors. The area of water, which is the size of the Washington Mall, will accommodate more than 700 boats, including large boats in the deep-water basin. On land, large temporary outdoor structures will be both air-conditioned and open-air and will span Marine Stadium Park.