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US boating worth US$121bn, Melb Show in review, Sydney show preview

by Jeni Bone, editor on 19 Jun 2013
Firstly, in case you noticed a few disruptions to our sites over the past few days, we have finished the major upgrade of our servers. Thanks for your patience. Back online now, with a feast of industry news and views.

International news services have been buzzing, from Forbes to Fish Fanatic, with the news that Chinese property company, Dalian Wanda, is in the process of acquiring the iconic British boat brand, Sunseeker. Nothing will change to operations, the factory or jobs, the Dorset-based builder states, it's just a $465m investment in a brand that has proven to be popular among affluent Chinese, taking tiny steps towards yachting.

And why not? Ferretti, that most Italian of companies, is now 75% owned by a Chinese government manufacturing conglomerate, the Weichai Group. And with the boom in marina berths, moves to change legislation and attitudes to recreational boating, these are more signs that China is gradually warming to boating.

Melbourne Boat Show held over the weekend in the most atrocious of weather, still attracted the serious buyers and exhibitors report excellent sales as a result.

Some inspiring stats from a US report from the NMMA which shows recreational boating in the US has an annual economic value of US$121 billion, supports 964,000 American jobs and 34,833 businesses, generates US$40 billion in annual labour income and drives US$83 billion in annual spending.

The NMMA has devoted a lot of time, resources and money to getting people of all walks of life and demographics engaged with the boating lifestyle through a national Discover Boating program, which is paying dividends. Our own BIAA is planning a study in a similar vein, hoping to raise the profile of boating at all levels with governments and legislators.

Also from the US, an interesting piece on PFDs for man's best friend - our canine companions that are increasingly becoming part of our boating lives.

We have just added a massive mutt to the Bone household. Already 30kg at only four months, and a hopeless swimmer we've noticed from two trips to the beach, it would be nearly impossible to save her if she jumped or fell overboard.

So, in synch with the trend, life jacket manufacturers the world over are creating all manner of flotation and rescue vests for pooches so that we can all have a safe time on the water. Now, we just have to buy a boat big enough for our dog . . .

Another quiver in the bow of AIMEX/Superyacht Australia, with the organisations teaming up with the Australian Made Campaign to promote the marine export and superyacht industries.

The iconic green-and-gold Australian Made logo will soon be used to help brand AIMEX promotions around the world, which AIMEX Group CEO, Mary Ann Edwards believes will further reinforce the credentials of Australian exporters globally and Australia as a destination for Superyachts.

The next major event on the Australian Boat Show calendar is the 25th Sydney International Boat Show, with organisers stating that halls 1-5 and the Promenade have been filled, with Hall 6 opened and selling rapidly.

According to BIA NSW Domenic Genua: 'There is only a bit of space left in Hall 6, which is pleasing. The marina is selling fast too, and we will come close to the 200 vessels on water.

'It's wonderful to see the variety of boats covering a number of segments - something for everybody!'

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He continues: 'The show is shaping up to fulfill the philosophy of the ideal blend of boating education and entertainment, and all indications from other shows are that visitors are arriving well informed to events. People coming to the Sydney Boat Show will not be disappointed. Their wants, needs and aspirations will be fulfilled!'

Plenty more, whatever your taste runs to, from new gear, accessories, marinas and trade shows.

Enjoy the water this week!

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