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NMMA reports mixed results at recent shows

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is reporting mixed attendance at recent summer boat shows, in part because of challenging weather in Chicago.

The 2013 Progressive Insurance San Diego International Boat Show (June 20-23) and the Progressive Insurance Chicago In-Water Boat Show (June 13-16) provided a summer business boost for Southern California and Chicago-area dealers with reports from several exhibitors of quality attendees and onsite sales, the NMMA reported.

Attendance at the San Diego show was up 26 percent at 6,332. The 2013 show doubled its footprint with the addition of trailerable boats, more gear and accessory booths, and additional educational elements. The show also featured more than 100 boats in the water, including, for the first time, a selection of superyachts.

The second annual Chicago show, which takes place at the new 31st Street Harbor, netted 5,625 attendees, a decrease of 15 percent from 2012. Despite cool and windy conditions Thursday and Friday and rain on Saturday, exhibitors said the event drew serious buyers.

“Both the Chicago In-Water and San Diego boat shows are on a path for tremendous growth over the next 3 to 5 years,” NMMA executive vice president Ben Wold said in a statement. “San Diego and Chicago are big boating markets, and we look forward to working with the industry to enhance these events and get more people on the water.”

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