by Bob Wonders
Finding an Aussie accent at the 70th Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail and at the nearby spectacular Yacht and Brokerage Show was a relatively easy task.
Entry to the Maritimo display at the Yacht and Brokerage Show.
In short, there were Aussies everywhere, exhibitors and visitors just keeping up with the trends.
Two of Australia’s major manufacturers, Maritimo and Riviera, both elected again to go with the Yacht and Brokerage Show, staged on a tributary of the Intracoastal Waterway on Collins Avenue, the city’s ‘main drag.’
Spectacular is the only word to describe the Yacht and Brokerage Show; it’s probably a kilometre or more long and there was no shortage of boats in the $10 million-plus range on display.
Australia’s ‘Big Two’ both reported their best Miami appearance in recent years.
According to Dave Northrop, a well-known industry identity in the USA and President of Maritimo USA, the company achieved record sales for the show.
'With our Miami result, we are certainly looking ahead to a great year,' he said.
'We registered sales from every geographic region of the USA as well as the Caribbean and South America,' he added.
Although Maritimo approached the show with ‘cautious optimism’, the outstanding results achieved have followed on from a strong showing At the Fort Lauderdale show last October.
'A number of factors contributed to the successful result,' Mr Northrop explained.
'While the weather was on side, the strongest factors were the preparation and performance of Maritimo USA dealers and the addition of HMY and Galati Yacht Sales to our team.
'We also had an excellent display with two models being shown for the first time outside Australia in the 440 Offshore Convertible and the C50 Sports Cabriolet.
'We also displayed an M56 Cruising Motoryacht – which sold at the show – and a 550 Offshore Convertible.
'All four boats were fresh of the ship and touched upon four different boating segments.
'I think it’s obvious from the sales results that Maritimo is presenting the right products to the market.
'Our stand registered a 30 percent increase in visitor numbers when compared with 2010 and the number from northern USA was greatly improved,' he added.
Maritimo men, Marketing Director Luke Durman (left) and President, Maritimo USA Dave Northrop (right) with Galati Yachts dealer Brian Dekkinga.
Riviera has reported its best Miami effort in two-years with nine new boat sales confirmed.
Chris McCafferty, of Riviera Yachts, said the company’s new models had impressed the American market.
'This was an extremely successful show for Riviera with an overall enquiry rate and sales achieved up by more than 200 percent over 2010, further reinforcing our reputation for quality and innovation,' he said.
The company entertained more than 350 Riviera owners and guests over what it termed two 'fun-filled' nights, complete with music great food and cocktails.
'Our social functions were a real hit and we received very positive feedback from all who attended,' Mr McCafferty said.
'It was particularly encouraging to see a mix of sales from both the Flybridge and Sport Yacht range and there was also strong interest in our new 43 Open Flybridge and 5800 Sport Yacht.
'Among the sales at Miami were two 43 Open Flybridges with IPS, two 5800 Sport Yachts, two 4400 Sport Yachts, one 47 Enclosed Flybridge, one 5000 Sport Yacht and one 45 Flybridge,' he added.
A pleasing aspect for Riviera was the fact that the vessels sold were heading for a diverse range of boating destinations, including Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Miami, Lake Michigan, Seattle, Canada and Bermuda.
'I think the results achieved speak for themselves, but are testament to Riviera’s impeccable quality, design features and our ‘built-to-last’ philosophy,' Mr McCafferty declared.
Australia’s award-winning catamaran builder, Seawind Catamarans, took stage at the company’s usual Miami stand on the Miamarina at Bayside.
Although Richard Ward and Brent Vaughan were unable to make it to the show this year, reports from their US people have been promising.
The Maritimo and Riviera successes will certainly be well received at Coomera, on the Queensland Gold Coast, where both companies have their headquarters.
Entry to the impressive Riviera display.
’Sold’ sign puts a smile on the face of Tom Barry-Cotter.
Riviera's Chris McCafferty (cedntre) with former Gold Coasters now residing in the USA, Cameron Dewhurst, Warranty and Service Director (left) and Justin Gross, Service and project Manager.
Maritimo USA’s John McCarthy (left) with two happy new owners.
Mark Chapman, of CRS Yachts (right) intrdouced his son, Cooper (left) to the delights of Miami.
A 'pair of Davids', Avante Sales chief David Hazlett (right) with Avante Sales Melbourne's David Hughes about to enter the Miami Beach Convention Centre, What's the betting a visit to the Bayliner display would be on their agenda?