by Jeni Bone
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Club Marine Mandurah Boat Show proudly touts its ranking as 'Australia’s third largest boat show', and has the numbers in exhibitors and sales to back it up. But what makes Mandurah worth the trip?
Club Marine Mandurah Boat Show 2010.
Director, Peter Woods says that because 'there's something for everybody', the show draws people from all over the state.
'It's mostly a state-based show as far as attendance goes, although we have exhibitors from all over Australia,' he explains.
'The show covers every aspect of boating, from large on-water craft, like Sunseeker, Riviera, Maritimo, then close to 30,000m² of hardstand space for trailerable boats, around 3,000m² of electronics on display, all the engine manufacturers, plus marine lifestyle accessories.'
But what really sets the show apart and brings the crowds to this coastal community, 74kms south of Perth, is 'the entertainment factor', according to Peter.
'We're the only boat show with a beach, so we run demostrations and hands-on experience for boats and kayaks. You get around 25 kayaks paddling about, kids having fun. Then there are the cooking stages, fishing clinics, fashion parades with Musto and general lifestyle like swimwear. There's a real Club House atmosphere. It's not so much a formal exhibition, so it has great family appeal. There's a lawn and kids' entertainment, like pirates and face painting. We're big on kids' stuff! All of those things combined make it a great show. Plus is closes at 6pm and most of the time we have pretty good weather, so exhibitors enjoy going for a drink afterwards.'
Mandurah hosts a good mix of boats and accessories.
In partnership with the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club at the Mandurah Ocean Marina, Premiere Events has been running the show since 2001, and each year has seen an increase in both patrons and exhibitors.
The 2010 show involved more than 200 exhibitors promoting WA’s boating, fishing and outdoor lifestyle. More than 20,000 visitors enjoyed the variety of marine-themed activities over the three days - an increase of 8% on the previous year.
Peter says despite the perception of a state flooded with 'mining money', the WA market is doing it tough. 'There is a two-speed economy here. A lot of people with money, and there is a market there, but it's not as buoyant as people make out. But that's why exhibitors come here. We attract a lot of people from the country, Kalgoorlie, Broome and the south-west. They know it's coming up and they come down to buy a boat.'
From an exhibitor perspective, Mark Leach, National Sales & Marketing Manager for Raymarine Asia says Mandurah is 'a good opportunity to speak with the Raymarine dealer network in the west'.
'We have three service dealers who will attend and a couple of retailers. It is worth the trip. It's a great branding exercise as well since WA has a big boating culture. The show has a great atmosphere with boats on water, a casual ambience. It really sells the sizzle.'
Riviera has attended each and every show since its inception, nominating the popularity of the brand with the boating fraternity in WA as the number one reason for attending. 'Riviera has been in the WA market for a long time,' explains Stephen Milne. 'We are putting our best foot forward again for this year's event, with the new 4400 Series II fresh from launch in Sydney, so that's hot of the production line, and the 43 Open Flybridge, 5800 Sport Yacht, 3600 Sport Yacht and 38 Flybridge.'
Stephen says that having sold 11 boats in Sydney and 10 at Sanctuary Cove this year, the company is confident of selling boats at Mandurah, but doesn't want to focus on numbers. 'We are selling boats, despite the market, so we go to Mandurah with a positive outlook.'
Just after landing in Perth, the 881 touches Aussie ocean.
First time exhibitor, JW Marine, will be hitting Mandurah with possibly the belle of the boat show - the Ferretti 881 RPH (Raised Pilot House) which was re-routed to WA after failing to arrive in Australia in time for the Sydney International Boat Show.
'It will be a great introduction for the brand in WA,' says Jo Howard from JW Marine, adding that the company opened a WA office in Fremantle six months ago. 'John Farrell, formerly of Oceanfast, is heading that up and we will have a launch party for the 881 at the marina a few days prior to taking it down to Mandurah for the boat show.'
WA is a strong market for the brands JW Marine represents, among them Beneteau, Pershing, Riva and Mochi Craft all under the Ferretti banner.
The 2011 Club Marine Mandurah Boat Show will run 14-16 October. This year, the event will launch 'Tastes of the West', an exclusive food and wine segment dedicated to the unique local produce that WA has to offer.
More at www.mandurahboatshow.com