Gold Coast, Thursday May 25: The 29th Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show opened its gates today, promising to dazzle, delight, inform, entertain and above all showcase the many different aspects of the on-water lifestyle.
Exhibitors are hailing the first day as the “best in a decade” with a renewed confidence, increased numbers and sales to match.
Running until Sunday, May 28, the southern hemisphere’s premier marine event has attracted 300 exhibitors, with boats and products on show worth more than $200 million, as well as major global, Australian and Queensland debuts by the world’s most respected brands and businesses.
Leigh-Smith Yachts is toasting its first sale of the show, selling a new Alaska 47 Sedan, an exceptional $1.1 million motor yacht, to a local buyer eager to get out on the water.
“The show has got off to a great start,” said dealer principal, Dean Leigh-Smith. “The crowds have been steady and great quality. The new Fairline Targa has been popular with two formal quotations away today too. We are thrilled.”
In the Marine Village, Jeff McNiven from JSW Powersports said they too have had “the best first day ever”.
“We have sold five Seadoos and taken a deposit on a Malibu this morning. Generally, on a Thursday we don’t do a lot, we build momentum. We have had a really good start. It’s been a busy day. Good weather and it’s going to hold for us, so things are looking great.”
Near the Main Pavilion, Diana Orsmond from RIB Force Inflatables, representing Aurora and Caribbean RIBS said “the first day has been absolutely great and even though it’s traditionally a trade day, we have sold eight smaller models and gathered very strong leads.”
Dylan Lopez, dealer at Sirocco Marine North reported the sale of a 2.4m Sirocco RIB as a catamaran tender and a BRIG Eagle 650. Then there’s the sale of a BRIG Falcon 4.2m with custom colour upgrade in carbon black.
“We have had a great response on the launch of the Sealegs 7.7m D-Tube, and have already scheduled in three sea trials for next week. Between Monday and today we have accumulated about 20 solid leads, which is awesome. We have had several expressions of interest from visitors from Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, which proves the show is truly a national attraction. For the first day, conditions are the best in the past 10 years.”
“The CEO and founder of Sealegs, David McKee-Wright and co-founder Maurice Byham came to SCIBS, proving the appeal of this international event.”
Ross Brain representing Walker Bay Boats Australia said the opening day of SCIBS 2017 “is really impressive”.
“We have sold four Airis brand kayaks and SUPS, three dinghies and a Honda engine, plus about a dozen FeelFree waterproof bags. For day 1 we are pretty happy. There are definitely more people through this year.”
Gordon Triplett from Garmin is exhibiting in the Main Pavilion and said he believes they have sold around 30 to 40 packages via the dealers so far and is feeling confident it will be a bumper show for the electronics brand in terms of leads and sales.
Also in the Main Pavilion, Ultra Marine said they are having “great success” and can’t wait for the next three days. “We have done 12 to 15 sales on some of the new products,” said Fabien Vignes. “Boat linen, tableware, accessories for the galley. It has been a great response so far.”
Mark Richards, Palm Beach Motor Yachts and Grand Banks, said for a first day, “it’s absolutely fantastic.”
“We had a lot of pre-arranged appointments for the GB60 and PM65, but we have been constant all day. We are big supporters of SCIBS – it’s always a fantastic show for us. It’s been a great start. No complaints from us.”
From Maritimo, Greg Haines said it was a bumper start, with plenty of Maritmo owners and clients coming through the display and Maritimo HQ on the marina.
“We have seen a lot of international clients so far – plenty from NZ and more coming from Singapore over the weekend. A lot of new blood too, which is great!”
He said the M59 and Australian launch of the S59 have been well received. “People say they look superb. They love the new sunroof on the S59, and the third cabin with side-by-side berths. The helm is brilliant and very ergonomic.”
John Cowpe from TMG represents Lagoon catamarans. The Australian debut of the Lagoon 630MY has been a massive success so far, with the team reporting they are “flat out with well qualified visitors”.
“I have not had a break all day,” said a contented John Cowpe. “At every boat show, you hope to attract real people and today, we have been overwhelmed with strong leads. People have been waiting a long time to see this boat and they are really positive about it. I think we will sell a few boats this year.”
Also on show through TMG is the Lagoon 42, for sale and immediate delivery at SCIBS. “I am very impressed with the quality of the people through so far.”
Whitehaven Motor Yachts’ Ryan Hanson said there has been great interest in the new 6000 Flybridge. “For the first day, it has been busy all day. We are very happy indeed.”
Integrity Motor Yachts has nearly closed a deal on the first day of the show, the first of many it’s hoped by owner, Brett Flanagan. “We have seen a really high volume of people through today, traditionally a trade day. It’s even better than previous years. Everybody’s happy, the weather is cracking! It’s as good as it can be!”
Northside Marine’s David Choveaux said like every year, this SCIBS was starting out positively. “SCIBS never disappoints. We have sold a $200,000 Stabicraft 2750 centrecab. We have had really good leads and enquiries especially for the Whittley range and the Jeanneau NC9, which is on display on water.”
Brad Roberts from QMC said the quality of people for the first day has been great. They sold a SeaRay 21-foot bowrider and have enjoyed many more leads on other models. “We also have the bigger Boston Whalers down on the water and we are hoping for at least one sale a day. We have had a lot of good quality enquiry from interstate and people flying up here to see them, touch and feel the boats for themselves, which is what it’s all about,” said Brad.
Steve Ackerie from Stefan Boating World said the launch of the timeshare concept has proven very popular, “we have 10 recorded, which is exciting”.
“We have somebody interested in the 21-foot Fibraforte and the Reflex, a very high quality boat for a reasonable price. We have very high hopes for a great show.”
Visitors to SCIBS will enjoy a vast array of gear and gadgets designed to improve efficiency, safety and the on-water experience, and a diverse fleet of watercraft – from stand-up paddleboards and high-performance jet skis, to sports boats, cruising motor yachts and sailing boats – as well as incredible displays of lifestyle products, equipment and destinations to whet your appetite for travel.
According to SCIBS General Manager Johan Hasser, industry sentiment remains strong with positive reports across all segments.
“All exhibitors are bringing their best products to SCIBS, aiming to capitalise on the excellent format and visitor quality as people prepare their boats, upgrades and gear ahead of summer,” he said.
Internationally renowned as the event where the marine business does business, SCIBS 2017 will present the International Business Lounge, where industry movers and shakers can talk business, network or relax in superb style and comfort; and the Top Deck VIP Lounge where guests can enjoy the ultimate boat show experience in a fully catered private retreat.
SCIBS offers FREE park ‘n’ ride services from Warner Bros. Movie World, along with limited on-site parking, available pre-paid only.
Tickets for the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show are now on sale at www.sanctuarycoveboatshow.com.au