The New England Boat Show, which finished its nine-day run Feb. 17, was deemed a success by many exhibitors, and some dealers said they made sales to first-time buyers.
“The last two people to buy this boat were first-time boat owners under 50,” said MarineMax sales manager Blake Phillips, referring to the Boston Whaler 350 Realm, which was priced at about $700,000 as optioned at the show.
The Grady-White Freedom 325 had been selling well for Cataumet Boats, said area sales manager John Huether. “People are liking the dual console,” he said.
“In terms of results, I think we’re up over last year,” said Cataumet sales manager Stephen Hamel. “There’s more good product today than ever before. There’s more competition than ever before, and that’s good for the industry. We have a consistently good product that holds up well in the marketplace.”
EdgeWater Power Boats were selling well at the show, said Northeast regional sales manager Jay Bentley. The company had a sign at its display that showed 13 boats sold.
The 40-foot Beneteau Gran Tourismo was popular, said Yachting Solutions sales director Bob Chace, and a 30-foot Swift Trawler was sold.
Jeremiah Burke, a sales rep with Goodhue Boat Co., which sells Cobalt, Mastercraft and Boston Whaler, said they weren’t seeing softness in the sterndrive market. “We’re crushing it,” Burke said. “We’ll beat last year, and last year we had a record year.”
Galeon’s 470 Skydeck, making its first appearance in New England, was a draw throughout the show.
Boston Whaler received a Best Boat Display award, said MarineMax regional president Larry Russo Jr.
Show-goers were able to bid on a 2013 Sea Ray 190 Sport, donated by Ed Lofgren of 3A Marine. Lofgren donates a boat annually to raise money for the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association’s Education Foundation.
The endeavor raised $22,000 in 2017 and 2018 and was on track to earn the same this year, said Randall Lyons, MMTA executive director. Half of the money goes to scholarships for marine trades, and half goes to programs that get youth into boating.