When is a marine festival more than a show for boaties? When it is a community event: that’s the word from Marine Queensland in announcing the Sunshine Coast’s inaugural Marine Festival later this month.
The Sunshine Coast Marine Festival not only incorporates the Sunshine Coast Sailing Expo but is being held at the Mooloolaba Marina and Yacht Club, coinciding with the reopening of the Yacht Club after a 7 year closure.
Marine Queensland events manager, Jason Plant said festivals were win-win-win for the tourism and retail sectors, as well as the wider community.
'The success of the Mackay Marine Festival earlier this year was a real catalyst for this event,' Mr Plant said.
'Boat registrations are higher than ever before and even though times are tougher than in previous years many boat owners are still looking for ways to upgrade – whether it is to a newer model boat or through accessories.
'This festival will help provide both entertainment and showcase some of the very latest in boat machinery.'
Springwood Marine has chosen the festival feature the new 2012 Four Winns H210 Bowrider, a complete new model and the only one in the country.
Adding to that Mercury Marine will unveil the very latest in engines, fresh from its international release – the 150 hp FourStroke outboard. This engine took out first prize for the prestigious Innovation Award at the recent International Boatbuilders Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) in the U.S
IBEX innovation awards judge Zuzana Procheska said it was a standout with Mercury finding a way to cut nearly 11 kilos off their new 150 FourStroke, while helping to satisfy the growing need for superb fuel efficiency and performance.
'While the engine is smaller in size and lower in weight the outboard boasted a 3.0-litre, four-cylinder in-line configuration that easily creates superior power for single or twin applications,' Mr Procheska said.
'In fact, it has more displacement than any other 150 hp four-stroke engine, yet it delivers fuel efficiency at cruising speed that no other engine can beat.'
North Coast Boating’s David Bolten, a Sunshine Coast Mercury Marine dealer, said at just 206kgs, Mercury’s new outboard was by far the most compact FourStroke 150 hp outboard in the world.
'In fact, it’s just 11kgs heavier than Mercury’s popular OptiMax 150 direct-injected outboard,' said Mr Bolten, 'This means it’s the perfect option for owners wanting to repower their boats, especially older models with transoms not designed to accommodate the weight of conventional FourStrokes.
'The company listened to what boaters were asking for and then set out to build the ultimate 150 horsepower outboard.
'The finished product is an engine that is incredibly durable – more durable, in fact, than any other 150 ever built – but is actually lighter than the less-durable engines of the competition. It delivers great fuel efficiency and tremendous performance.
'Add all this together and it’s far and away the best value for money 150 hp FourStroke on the market. Amazingly, the Mercury 150 FourStroke has almost 18% fewer parts than a Yamaha F150, proving that better technology can deliver durability and performance while simultaneously reducing package size and weight.'
Along with the very latest in engines, marine enthusiasts can check out the latest in accessories and get up close and personal with more than 25 brands of boats with product ranging from sailing boats, offshore fishing boats, tinnies, fibreglass boats, engines, PWC's, marine electronics and accessories.
'This is an exciting addition to Marine Queensland’s existing event portfolio,' Jason Plant said.
'It is a great opportunity to highlight just how popular boating in the region is and to support our members in the area.'
The Sunshine Coast region boasts a high per capita boat ownership ratio with one boat registered for every 18 residents.
'By putting on a festival that is solely dedicated to the on water lifestyle we aim to bring to the region the new product releases and the fishing talks and demonstrations that have been enjoyed by visitors to the southern based shows for years.'
WHAT: Sunshine Coast Marine Festival
WHEN: 19th and 20th November 2011
WHERE: Mooloolaba Marina
More at www.marinefestivals.com.au