A compilation of reports from recent boat shows presents a mix of results.
Organizers of the Detroit Boat Show say attendance was down nearly 23 percent from last year, with 65,564 people attending the recent event.
The 51st annual Detroit Boat Show ran Feb. 14-22 at the Cobo Center in Detroit.
“While some exhibitors were extremely pleased with their sales activity at the show, others were disappointed,” Detroit Boat Show manager Van Snider said. “Sales reports seemed to be all over the board — some exceeded their expectations, others were hoping for more.”
The show experienced good traffic on the opening weekend and on President’s Day, but midweek attendance slowed, and a second weekend snowstorm hurt attendance toward the end of the show’s run.
“Obviously, the economy was also a factor in the decrease,” said Snider. “However, there were a good number of boat buyers at the event.”
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One of the sales included a triple-engine 36-footer purchased by William Rosario from T&T Marine Group LLC, a new dealer in Puerto Rico.
“We were inundated with inquires from people at the Miami Boat Show who know boats, and it was a pleasure talking to people who can relate to our product,” said Richie Powers, director of sales and dealer development at Deep Impact.
“It was tremendous hearing about the quality and visual perception that the Deep Impact Boats possess, and professionalism demonstrated by our team at both of our locations,” he added.
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The Samira Mumbai International Boat Show in India ended last weekend with higher attendance than previous shows despite the uncertain economic climate, organizers said.
Exact attendance figures were not released.
The show also served as the platform for the official launch of the Indian National recreational boating industry trade association under “FICCI,” the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
"As organizers, we could not be happier. This confirms that the decision to go ahead with the show was a wise one. Canceling the show would have been just what the terrorists would have wanted," said organizer Daryl D'Silva, referring to the Mumbai attacks. "We could not let that happen — this is the Indian never-say-die spirit at its very best."
As part of the show, the newly formed FICCI Boating Forum sponsored an industry conference “The Way Forward,” which brought together international marine experts to join government and industry leaders focusing on the future of the Indian recreational boating industry.