Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Is the Miami show game-on-the-line for some?

It’s likely to be fourth down and goal to go from inside the 10 yard line for some manufacturers and dealers when the Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail open today. For those in that unfortunate position, a lack of scoring with significant orders from this show may be handing them a loss in the big game.

It’s hard to write this, but the facts are undeniable: Some builders and dealers will probably call it quits — unless, that is, the Miami shows somehow delivers a big turnaround message for the industry. Can that happen? Nothing’s impossible.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not ignoring the fact that the loss of some manufacturers and dealers appears unavoidable. But the Miami show very well could deliver enough orders to keep many going as we head for our major spring selling season.

First, I base that opinion on the steady stream of good reports coming out of other shows around the country. It seems the early-January boat shows experienced the largest declines in attendance, albeit most still did better than anyone expected. The late-January and early-February shows, however, have been decidedly better, with attendance nearly as good as a year ago, and retail sales reportedly better than expected in many cases. I give you Strictly Sail Chicago, the Long Island Boat Show, Stuart In-Water Show, Charleston Boat Show and the first half of the L.A. Boat Show as just a few examples.

Second, unquestionably there is already a large pent-up demand for our boats. Logically, if that were not so, our boat shows would have seen huge attendance drops this winter. They didn’t, and that’s because the passion and desire for our products remains strong. If there is any one thing keeping that pent up demand in check, it is simply uncertainty. Psychologists tell us none of us feels good when we’re feeling uncertain. Fear of making a mistake in spending sets in, and we won’t act. It’s not that our circumstances have actually changed that much, but we just follow the herd and stop buying because we don’t feel good!

But keep in mind that is not where everyone is. For example, just study the five-part series on boat buying that has run here in TradeOnlyToday for the past five days. There are many things to take away from those buyer stories. Among them, there are people who believe their future will be fine, they want their new boat now not later, and they see this point in time is a unique opportunity to buy extremely right! They clearly have moved out of the pent-up place, and I suggest many others will, too! (If you haven’t read these stories, I urge you to go back now: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V.)

Finally, I have already walked several sections of the Miami show, as well as the docks over at the huge Yacht & Brokerage Show. I can tell you both shows look big, full and exciting. The products on display are as good as I have ever seen here, and they will send a message that boating is still robust, despite the economy. Moreover, I expect many people will shake off any feelings of uncertainty and become convinced by the genuine deals we’re offering these days. So, score big Miami!

Related

Metstrade Wraps

International Marine Networking’s Ben Taylor said a “solid international audience” was on hand at Amsterdam’s RAI Center for this year’s event.

Lyman-Morse to Build Hydrofoil-Equipped Electric Vessel

The Maine shipyard was tapped by Navier to build its 27-foot performance boat, slated to splash at next year’s FLIBS.

Aquila Names Approved Boats as U.K. Reps

The power cat manufacturer has appointed Approved Boats its representative in the United Kingdom.

Training with ABYC

After attendance of 400 professionals at last week’s ABYC-CG online risk-management event, ABYC invites early bird registrations for its scheduled in-person marine-law seminar on Jan.11, 2022.

VIDEO: Women in the Industry — Impact and Empowerment

Metstrade TV hosted three remarkable industry leaders for a panel discussion.

Mastervolt and Whale Join ASG EMEA

Brunswick’s ASG EMEA now has 13 marine brands operating as a single organization.

Best of the Best

Sea Tow International presented its annual awards for outstanding service, boating advocacy and community support.