Skip to main content

IBEX for Dealers?

IBEX (International Boatbuilding Exposition & Conference) is nothing like it was when it started more than two decades ago. As a dealer, you’ve likely never given much thought to attending IBEX. These days, it’s clearly worth considering.

Once the bastion of boatbuilding technologies and materials, IBEX offered industry retailers very little. That has changed in recent years, and for good reason. When it opens for its three-day run at the Tampa Convention Center, October 1-3, it will have nearly 600 exhibitors showcasing products and services to thousands of attendees from across the country and abroad.

While the latest boatbuilding technologies are central to the show, IBEX has become more of an all-industry event. It’s as much of an educational conference as a trade show, with dozens of seminars, tech sessions and even a powerful schedule of pre-conference Super Sessions on Sunday and Monday, before the exposition opens on Tuesday morning.

Its “Seminar Series” offers training on specific products and systems from industry experts, supplemented with many free “Tech Talk Workshops” from exhibitors.

“The range of seminars, super sessions, and special events provide an outstanding opportunity for marine professionals to increase their understanding of the latest developments in their field,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director.

A timely opportunity for dealers is the third annual “Grow Boating Marketing Summit,” a Special Seminar slated for Monday, September 30. The full-day event includes successful speakers and teachers lecturing on the latest in digital marketing practices, a discipline playing an ever-larger role for the most successful dealers.

Another Special Seminar called “Return to Thunderboat Row” is bound to be memorable for anyone who was in the industry during the Miami Vice era. Attendees should be ready for scintillating tales of the good, the bad, and the bloody times of North Miami's historic Thunderboat Row. Moderated by the editors of Professional BoatBuilder magazine, it will feature legendary drivers, throttlemen, and builders including Odell Lewis, Alan "Brownie" Brown, Steve Curtis, Bob Saccenti, John Cosker and Val Jenkins.

Another important feature of IBEX is the large in-water section outside the convention center. Boat builders, electronics manufacturers and others are able to demonstrate products, and the docks will be full again this year.

IBEX 2019 is not a one-size-fits-all event. Its diverse exhibitor base and, especially, its extensive educational format allows attendees to tailor their own programs. For dealers, it’s a chance to learn about what’s coming, review current technologies and even find new products and revenue opportunities. Because there are so many offerings, you may find it hard to attend everything, so pre-planning is recommended.

The city’s ultra-modern airport, variety of hotels and entertainment opportunities makes the visit all the more inviting. For a complete look at the seminar and workshop tracks, and everything else about IBEX, go to:



Marine Products Reports Record Q4

The builder of Chaparral and Robalo boats reported net sales were up 42% for the quarter and 28% for fiscal year 2022.


Shurhold Appoints COO

Forrest Ferrari has years of management, business development, IT and quality-assurance experience.


RBFF, Pure Fishing Partner for a First Catch Center

Pure Fishing will equip a mobile trailer with tackle and gear to bring fishing experiences to areas of South Carolina where participation is low.


An Oft-Overlooked Sales Opportunity

A recent report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation showed that women comprise 37% of all anglers. If you haven’t tapped this segment, you’re missing out.

1. 2023 new boat retail outlook

Too Many High-Priced Boats

To wrap up 2022, marine retailers reported lower demand, expressed more negative sentiment and voiced concerns about rising inventory. Boat prices and the economy remained top of mind for dealers in December.

Soundings Nov 2022

New-Boat Registrations Continue to Slide

As the gaudy sales figures from the pandemic continue to return to more realistic numbers, the main segments of the recreational boating industry saw new-model registrations of 4,421 in November, a 30.3% drop from 6,340 during the same time in 2021. .

1_thumbnail_Darren Vaux Headshet 2022

ICOMIA President Darren Vaux sees common pressures facing worldwide boating industry

Founded in 1966, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations is a global organization composed of national boating federations and other bodies involved in the recreational marine industry. ICOMIA works on such issues as breaking down trade barriers, improving boating safety and promoting recreational boating worldwide.


Clearing the Waterways

In Florida, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, it was estimated that there were 6,000 derelict boats in southwest part of the state. In most cases, boat owners don’t know resources are available to remove them because until recently there weren’t many.


A Window on the World

Inflation, supply-chain kinks and the continuing war in Ukraine continue to be serious concerns, but numerous companies with a global presence for exports are reporting optimism at the start of 2023.