The Palm Beach International Boat Show reported a 7.5 percent increase in attendance, and the number of new and used boats for sale rose 6 percent.
The show, held March 22-25 on Flagler Drive, has been growing steadily in recent years.
In 2017, attendance increased 9.5 percent over the 2016 show. The number of exhibitors continues to grow an average of 5 percent year over year and the number of boats on display has increased 12.5 percent since 2015, with new boats on display driving the growth.
"Blessed with amazing weather that set the backdrop for four days of serious sales, we finished the show significantly up in both units and dollars," said MarineMax chief revenue officer Chuck Cashman in a statement. "The location, coupled with a considerable product commitment by the dealers and manufacturers, made the customer experience second to none. This show somewhat symbolizes the end of the show season and it closed with a bang.”
Chuck Collins, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, which owns the show, said: "This could have been the best year for the show we've ever had. We spoke to numerous guests and everyone said they were having a wonderful time."
"Every major boat show has its own special appeal, and for the Palm Beach show, it's the beautiful setting in a world-famous destination at the most beautiful time of year that distinguishes it from the rest," said Andrew Doole, general manager of the show for Informa, the show's producer. "Many of the world's most renowned shipyards prize the show as a platform for conducting business with the global elite."
Exhibitors of all types of products reported qualified buyers and strong sales.
"In many years of doing the Palm Beach boat show, this is the most enthusiastic crowd I've seen and thanks to fantastic weather, the traffic flow was consistent and qualified," said Alberto Galante, president and CEO of G Marine, the Fort Lauderdale dealer of Evo Yachts. "We were even able to secure a deal with a local prospect who saw the boat in the show's directory.”
The show drew new exhibitors as well.
"This was our first year displaying at the Palm Beach show and what a pleasant show it is,” said Lurssen Americas director Timothy Hamilton. “We like the show's setting, the town of Palm Beach, and the overall experience for our clients. The clients we met were talking about building new boats, which is a good sign. The weather was perfect, and the timing works with yachts ending the winter season here and preparing to cross to the Med. We like this boat show and hope to see it continue to grow as a significant event on the U.S. yachting calendar."
Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control found new, safe homes for 11 cats and dogs at the event, and through a ticket sales partnership with Bennett Auto, the show raised $35,000 for Sheridan House Ministries and the Palm Beach County Fishing Foundation.