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VIDEO: HMY Yacht Sales reports strong Palm Beach show

HMY Yacht Sales sold an 84-foot 2007 Lazzara at the Palm Beach International Boat Show and has several deals brewing on new boats, according to HMY general manager Tom Sanders.

"Across the board — meaning new boats and brokerage — we had good activity," Sanders told Trade Only Today. "The show was very encouraging in regard to new-boat sales activity, which has been largely absent for the last five years. The show was a breakthrough, compared to the last couple years. Brokerage was good. Brokerage was strong."

The Palm Beach show, which was held March 22-25, ranks as one of the top 10 boat shows in the nation, with more than $350 million worth of boats, yachts and accessories on display. More megayachts were shown this year because 40 in-water slips were added at Palm Harbor Marina at the show's north end.

The Lazzara deal was negotiated and structured on the same day the buyer stepped aboard the yacht, Sanders said. "We have other brokerage activity going on, but that was certainly out of the blue and unexpected — and representative of how we thought the show went," he said. "Our overall presence at the show made a difference, certainly."

Click play to watch HMY’s Mike Strassel talk about the show.

HMY represents Viking, Maritimo, Grand Banks, Princess and Tiara. It had nearly 100 new and brokerage boats from 31 to 162 feet at the show — the most by one exhibitor in Show Management's history of producing boat shows.

"That is a big achievement and an amazing vote of confidence for us," Show Management CEO Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist said during a press conference on the show's opening day.

HMY's effort paid off, according to Sanders. "Having such a large presence at the show caused people to stop and work with our people," Sanders said. "They saw so many boats and so many different opportunities that they stopped and did business with us. We put virtually every new boat we have in stock and every trade-in into this show. On top of that, we worked with our brokerage owners to get as many of those boats as we could to the show. We are talking about boats from $150,000 to $36.9 million."

HMY's success was indicative of the show's overall solid performance, Show Management vice president and COO Andrew Doole said.

"It was a very good show," Doole said. "We were up in attendance. We were up in the number of exhibitors, compared to last year, and the weather was almost perfect throughout the weekend. So we had a great event."

Small-boat dealers and manufacturers, such as Dragonfly Boatworks of Vero Beach, Fla., also reported sales and healthy sales activity, Sanders said.

"We saw the start of the improvements at the [Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach]," Doole said. "There was increased sales activity there, so we went into Palm Beach hoping for the same, and that is certainly what happened. People have the desire, and we're hoping now more will have the confidence to pull the trigger and buy the boat."

This year's expansion into Palm Harbor Marina, which added more big-boat inventory, contributed to the show's success, Doole said. Show Management is looking forward to further growth at the 2013 show, and Doole reports that some brokers have committed to increasing their displays at next year's event.

— Chris Landry


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