Newport show reports gains in sales and attendance

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Newport Exhibition Group, the owner and producer of the Newport International Boat Show, announced Monday that this year’s show was a “rousing success.”

Sail- and powerboats of all sizes were selling, as reported by exhibitors at the Sept. 11-14 show. Attendance was up 5 percent over last year, at more than 40,000 visitors, and Thursday and Friday brought out the serious buyers, as usual, according to Newport Exhibition Group.

“Each September we plan a very significant exhibit of our Sabre and Back Cove ranges at the Newport International Boat Show, and this year was no exception, with seven boats on display,” Sabre and Back Cove vice president of sales and marketing Bentley Collins said in a statement. “We were very pleased with the draw the show had from all over New England this year. We found a large geographic spread of qualified prospects in attendance.”

Dozens of boats and products were debuted at the show, and the collection of vessels on display ranged from 15 to 110 feet.

A highlight of the show was the Gunboat 55, which received the Newport For New Products award for Best New Sailboat Boat 30 feet and Over, as well as the Peoples Choice Award. There was a constant line of patrons waiting to board the catamaran.

Show director Nancy Piffard said the expanded At the Helm program was very popular.

“Online registrations exceeded all expectations” Piffard said. “The number of individuals, families and friends taking to the water to learn the basics of safe power- and sailboating is key to the industry’s future.”

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