NEW YORK — The Progressive International New York Boat Show kicked off on Wednesday with new boat debuts and several other models that had been launched at other early winter shows.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul officially opened the show and welcomed students and exhibitors shining a light on career opportunities available in recreational boating. The show’s first job fair offered more than 50 job openings for more than 60 applicants.
Exhibitors echoed growing industry trends — a continued push toward larger boats with more bells and whistles, larger outboards, and day boats.
Sea Ray had its new lineup at the event, including a sneak peek of its new SLX 350 in celebration of the company’s 60th anniversary. The boat will make its official debut at the Progressive Miami International Boat Show, Sea Ray president Brad Anderson told Trade Only Today.
“Larger day boats, center consoles, outboards,” Anderson reported when asked what trends he had seen at winter boat shows.
Building on those trends, Chaparral’s 300 OSX made its world debut — the new series blends the sport boat feel with an outboard-powered center console.
Robalo’s new R272, which was introduced at earlier winter shows, had been taking off, said Robalo vice president Ann Baldree.
“It’s the largest number of initial orders we’ve ever had,” Baldree said.
The 27.5-foot boat has a 9-foot beam and seeks to add creature comforts into a hardcore fishing vessel and offer it at a competitive price point, said regional sales manager Joe Pegg.
“There was a big focus on the swim platform, which has room to walk across behind the engines, and you don’t typically see that with outboards,” said Pegg.
“There definitely seems to be a push toward bigger models,” said Pegg. “We had nothing between the 24 and the 30 so the 27 really fills that gap for us. It’s aggressively priced, which is Robalo’s niche — competitively-priced, reliable boats with amenities and fit and finish.” (The optioned boat at the New York show was about $130,000.)
Galeon made its first appearance in New York with its new 470 Sky, and Azimut brought its new Atlantis 51 to the event.
Monterey buyers had been younger than in recent years, said Capt. Ryan Sullivan, who was working the Coty Marine booth.
Sullivan delivers boats for several dealerships and said he has seen new boat buyers across the board.
“Most of the deliveries I do are first-time buyers,” said Sullivan. “Some are $30,000 boats, some are $300,000 or $400,000 boats. They have no idea what to do with it.”
Sullivan earns extra money teaching them basic operational skills.
“The majority of the people I teach, it’s a lot of younger families,” said Sullivan. “People in their 30s and 40s.”
Regal unveiled its new LS6 in Atlanta, and said the boat had seen record sales at that show.
“I call it our Cobalt attacker,” said Regal regional sales manager Chad Trimm. “We sold 12 of them in Atlanta.”
Regal’s cruiser series had also been doing well, as companies like Sea Ray have moved away from offering that segment, said Trimm.