Boat shows are producing good returns


While attendance at major industry shows has been up and down depending on the city, it appears business from all the shows is much improved over last year. That’s good momentum leading up to five major-market events that will open this weekend or next week -- namely, St. Louis, Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles and Miami – and for the many boat shows still ahead this month and next.

Looking at some reviews from around the country, exhibitors in recently ended shows have reported positive results. In Hartford, Conn., for example, the sold-out show closed up more than 10 percent at the gate and all the dealers reported sales well ahead of any of the past three to four years. Meanwhile, reports from Atlantic City, N.J. this past weekend saw attendance up 4 percent in spite of the Super Bowl Sunday! Atlantic City also joined Boston, Minneapolis and Cleveland, among others that added significant exhibitor space to their shows.

A few comments from Atlantic City share the positive news:

“Heading into today (Sun) we’re only a few boats away from our all time record,” said Al Mury, Waterfront Marine (Chaparral, Robalo, Edgewater); Will Mack at East Cycle Center (See Doo) said: “It’s been incredible! I sold 47 boats (PWCs) out of my booth, 25 today (Sat)!”; and Paul Hoffman at Avalon Marine Center (Pursuit) was obviously happy when he said: “Excellent! We’re tickled to death, couldn’t be happier.”

It was similar in Louisville, Ky. and at Chicago’s Strictly Sail. In the latter event, George Emerson (Hunter) reported: “We’re having an amazing show. We have already sold a few boats, have strong sales leads and have noticed a strong, quality crowd.” Allen Brouwer (Beneteau) agreed: “Nice Turn Out. We’ve encountered only high-quality attendees. Many sales leads and even a sale to close out the show."

Louisville exhibitors echoed the favorable results. “If it keeps going like this, we’re going to have a million dollar show,” said Chip Jaworski, Sea Ray of Louisville on Saturday. “We doubled our sales from last year,” reported Patty Loeser at Ken Bruce at Pro-tech said: “This is the best show I’ve had in a long time!”

The message is clear: When we combine the attendance at all our industry’s boat shows from coast to coast, these events continue to provide all their exhibitors with access to literally hundreds of thousands of qualified prospects and customers. And, with many shows experiencing increases in exhibitor numbers and space, its evident shows are reflecting improving times for the industry.

If you’re not in your local show, yet, I urge you to do it now.


Tommy’s Slalom Shop Adds Dealer

Boulder Boats has locations in Nevada, Arizona and California.

Trade Only Today Returns Tuesday

The daily e-newsletter will not publish Monday, Jan. 18, in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

Mercury and Crownline Make Supply Pact

Under the agreement, Mercury will be the exclusive outboard and sterndrive supplier for the boatbuilder.

Sea Tow Makes Executive Appointment

Thomas Spina, who has more than 25 years of maritime experience in a variety of roles, was named vice president of franchise operations.

Quick Hits: January 15, 2021

IBEX seeks proposals for session topics; Sensible Yacht Cordage changes hands

Godfrey Marine to Host Virtual Showcase

The event is to take place Jan. 23 and will include Godfrey pontoons and Hurricane deckboats.

Boat Shows Throttling Up

2021 is bringing a new paradigm to the winter boat show season.

Correct Craft Plans Expansions

The moves will allow additional growth for Nautique, Supreme, Ingenity and Watershed Innovation.