Another impeccable day of soaring temperatures and blue skies, there’s the festive final day vibe on Australia's Gold Coast. Sunday is traditionally a family day at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) and with this sunshine, the restaurants, pub and cafes are full.
More than $30 million in sales were achieved over a bumper four day event, which injected millions of dollars into the Gold Coast economy.
Visitor numbers from the first three days suggest a 15 per cent increase on last year, as marine enthusiasts flocked to see more than 300 exhibitors from the Asia-Pacific region.
Luxury manufacturer Maritimo sold three motor yachts for $2 million each, while Riviera clocked up several multi-million dollar deals and Maserati sealed the deal on four luxury cars worth a combined $1.5 million.
Clipper Motor Yachts has the largest on-water display at this year’s Show and is holding the world premiere of the Hudson Bay 32, priced at $329,000.
But their sales and inquiries have been in the $1.2 million to $1.8 million range, according to managing director Brett Thurley.
'It’s the bigger boats, in the 50 to 60 foot range which are attracting the most attention this year,' says Brett. 'In a number of instances we’ve dealt with existing owners upgrading.'
Multihull Central director Brent Vaughan, who is at his 14th Boat Show, has seen the return of some long term customers this year.
'We’re in the heart of catamaran territory on the Gold Coast so we’ve had a lot of local interest,' says Brent. 'It’s made for some great leads throughout the four days. We’ve set up some sea trials for next week so the hope is that will flow through to sales.'
Leigh-Smith Cruiser Sales, which has exhibited at the Show since its inception and will soon relocate its base from Gold Coast City Marina to Sanctuary Cove’s Marine Village, has also witnessed some repeat inquiry.
'We’ve planted a few seeds and we’re hoping to harvest the fruit later,' says dealer principal Dean Leigh-Smith.
Mr Leigh-Smith said it was important for his company to have a presence at the Show each year, recalling a recent deal he closed with a client he met at SCIBS in 2009.
Peter Hrones from Team Windcraft says he has had a couple of strong leads on the Greenline hybrid motor yacht, which he is confident will convert to sales post-show.
'Last year we sold six after the show, so I am sure we will go well again this year.' The other brands he represents in sail are Hanse, Moody, Dehler and Buizen, with a new brand joining soon, Solaris.
'We always have a great SCIBS and this year is no exception. The weather has made it just that much better.'
In the trailer boat segment, Collins Marine has two of its Arvor boats on show – the Weekender and the launch of the Sportsfish 605.
'It’s been solid for us today, much better than last year,' says Peter Collins. 'The show is better organised, better laid out this year. It has really worked for us. Thursday and Friday were great, Saturday was steady and today is cranking up. Our boats are the ideal family boat for fishing and fun so they are well suited for SCIBS. People are saying they love the product.'
Runaway Bay Pontoon Boats have sold two boats in the last two days and are confident of selling more post-event. 'Our boats are custom made so we rarely sell at the show,' says Craig Winch who is proud of their Queensland-made boats. 'We are in a great position near the main pavilion, plenty of people passing. We’ve been to six SCIBS and this show will be our best ever.'
Graeme Hall from the Jetty Specialist is exhibiting in Pavilion A and has been satisfied with traffic through. 'Without a doubt it’s been our best show for five years,' he says. 'People are very positive and happy with the show. We have a great spot and we have been speaking with a lot of key commercial contacts, as well as quite a number of people about residential pontoons.'
Raymarine is celebrating the launch of the new 19-inch chart plotter, which has been greeted with great enthusiasm from both the consumer and OEM market. 'This is ideal for the big boat market, sail and power and people have been very excited with the look and function,' says Tom Green, adding that the new product is covetable for its aesthetics, fast processing and multi-touch function. Feedback over the past few days has been that it is a ‘jaw-dropping’ product. We expect a lot of post-show uptake through our dealers.'
After a year break from SCIBS, Gill clothing is back exhibiting at SCIBS. 'We are very happy with our position and the flow-through of traffic has been great,' says Paul Schulz. 'We are happy with our sales the past few days, mostly yachties from all over the country – Tasmania, WA, NSW and Victoria. This show works well for us. Sunday is quieter for sales, but the first three days were very good.'
At Telic Footwear, Johnny Nunnerley is thrilled with the sales of their bright and versatile shoes, each and every day. 'It has been fantastic! There have been times where we have been inundated, and then some slower periods where we catch our breath and restock. We have seen a lot of people who are repeat customers from last year, coming back to buy more shoes in different colours. This is our second SCIBS and this year is better than last year for us.'
New to SCIBS but not to trade and consumer shows, Minijumpstarters.com are very happy with the visitor numbers and sales so far. 'Friday was really busy for us,' says Bill Brett. 'This is our first SCIBS and we were late to book. Next year we will get in earlier and get a better position on the corner, which will be even better for us!'
Boaties are also seeing syndication as a good way to enter the market, with Boating Syndication Australia selling six shares in a Riviera 44 and further two shares in a Riviera M360 at the Show.
Mulpha Sanctuary Cove head of events Johan Hasser says while they noted a marked increase in visitor numbers, the true barometer of success was exhibitor sales.
'The general consensus has been very favourable and exhibitors are thrilled with strong sales and leads throughout the four days of Boat Show,' Johan says.
'There has been a big change in sentiment this year, they’re genuinely out to buy.
'Bringing an event of this magnitude together is a 12-month operation and the hard work of the team has really paid off this year.'
Mulpha Sanctuary Cove executive general manager Keith Allardice said SCIBS would continue to be Sanctuary Cove’s flagship event.
'It’s been excellent to showcase the unique Sanctuary Cove lifestyle to visitors and exhibitors from all over Australia and overseas once again this year,' Keith says.
'It’s a key event on the international Boat Show calendar and will continue to be so for years to come.'
The 27th Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show will run from May 21 - 24, 2015.
SCIBS is a key event on the national and international marine industry calendar and has injected millions of dollars into the Gold Coast economy over the past 25 years with last year’s show generating more than $148 million.