St. Petersburg Boat Show ends on positive note

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The St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show ended on Sunday after a successful four-day run. The in-water show had more new and brokerage boats on the St. Petersburg waterfront than last year, according to organizer Informa, with more than 300 exhibitors in attendance. The show also had a 40,000-sq. ft. tent on land for accessories and local marine service providers.

On Saturday afternoon, the docks were packed with attendees looking at a range of brands. Many of the boats were large brokerage motoryachts.

“It was a really nice show with good attendance,” said Peter Truslow, president of Bertram Yachts. “It’s important for us to be here because we’re based in Tampa. It’s not a huge-selling show, because people aren’t really thinking of buying a bigger boat this time of year. But having said that, we met with two people that should end up as sales and we also generated some service business.”

Edward Russell of the Viage Group, which represents the Chris-Craft, Beneteau Powerboat, and Scout brands, said this year’s show was strong. “We sold some boats and are leaving with a large number of leads,” he told Trade Only Today. “This show can be tough because you’re running into the holidays and people aren’t necessarily thinking of buying larger boats.”

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Russell said that foot traffic on Saturday and Sunday was “very good,” resulting in the sales of several 35-ft. Chris-Crafts and “mid-sized Scouts” from 25 to 35 feet.

“I think sales were about even with last year,” said Russell. “If we end up selling some of the bigger, more expensive yachts after the show, they could end up being stronger than last year.” Russell said that his dealership also sold many new Beneteau Antares 27, an outboard-powered weekend cruiser. Viage has offices in St. Petersburg, Fort Myers Beach, Sarasota and Naples.

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Russell said the mood among show attendees was upbeat. “Everyone was very positive about buying boats,” he said. “There was a little bit of chatter about tariffs and challenges with the stock market, but that was coming from other exhibitors,” he said.

Next year’s show will run from Dec 5 - Dec 8, 2019.

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