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Steady sales reported at Georgia boat show

Organizers of the ninth annual Savannah (Ga.) International Boat Show, held March 4-6, report that nearly 50 boats were sold on-site at the show and exhibitors reported strong leads.

Attendance was down slightly this year, they said, as about 5,000 people came out for the event, which is organized by JBM & Associates.

"Our sales units and volume were up substantially over last year and we met hundreds of new prospective customers. We are optimistic about 2011," Sea Ray of Savannah general manager Paul Williams said in a statement.

Will Massey, manager of Custom Marine, said he was surprised by his success this year.

"My intentions for the Savannah Boat Show were to make friends and shake hands. However, the outcome was totally different. Not only did I walk away from the show making friends and shaking hands, but also selling 11 boats," he said.

"The people we talked to we had not spoken to in recent history," Massey added. "Instead of buying quickly, as consumers have done in the past, we feel that they are researching and shopping longer prior to making their final decision. With this being said, the show is getting back to being a buying point for the attendees. The attendees are coming to the show prepared and looking for true deals. The buyers were looking for value in the $22,000 to $50,000 range."

The 10th annual show is set for March 2-4, 2012.

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