Despite less than ideal weather conditions, with rain falling most of the Saturday and threatening overcast Sunday, boating enthusiasts turned out in force for the ninth staging of the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show.
Held at the excellent Rosehill Gardens Event Centre and organised by the Boating Industry Association (BIA) of NSW, more than 60 exhibitors were on hand to tempt show visitors.
Domenic Genua, Marketing and Event Manager for the BIA, said the attendance was ‘estimated’ at 9000-plus.
'I say estimated because we were forced to open and additional gate where we did not have an accurate count,' he explained. 'On that estimate, the attendance was only marginally down on last year’s 10,000-plus.'
Over the years, the show has become renowned as the place to be for boating enthusiasts to be on the hunt for a bargain.
Marine dealers in many instances use the show to clear floor stock in readiness for the following season’s new models. Throughout the two days, general attitude could only be termed positive, with exhibitor feedback praising both the show and the quality of those attending.
Regular exhibitor, Hunts Marine, was one to sing the show’s praises.
According to Jon Hunt, all at the dealership were 'pleasantly surprised' at both the quality of the people and the price level that attracted most inquiries.
'We did a few deals at the show, primarily on Quintrex and Huntsman models, but I would have to say the resulting follow-up has all been about Whittley and Cruise Craft, which is a very good sign,' he said.
'It was also our first Rosehill appearance with a full range of Sea-Doo sportboats and they also attracted plenty of attention.
'I felt the crowd numbers were strong and there were very few time wasters,' he added.
A first time exhibitor, Jaclyn Bold, of Bold Trailers, was deluged with customers seeking answers to various trailer-related questions.
'I couldn’t say our sales reached any great heights, but the level of interest was extremely high across both days,' she said.
'We were very pleased with the overall response to our display and now hopefully look forward to following up on the many inquiries we received.'
Alan Blake (Blakes Marine), another regular Rosehill exhibitor, described the attendance as 'good, but somewhat indecisive.'
'They were all doing their homework with an eye to future purchases, and I feel the sooner we have a Federal Election and get some genuine stability, the better off we’ll all be.
'We did get more across the line than last year and have had a few good wins since the show closed.
'Overall, it was a respectable result. I think the advertising and promotion was good and move in and move out went off without a hitch,' he added.
Steve Hannes (Dealer Principal) and Lee Polson (Brand Manager) of Rose Bay’s Premier Marine, were on hand with a classy selection of Chris-Craft and Regal powerboats.
'We always enjoy the Rosehill exhibition, it’s one of our favourite places to show off our ranges and we take delight in hearing the amazing feedback we receive related to our top quality Chris-Craft and Regal boats,
Mr Hannes said.
'We also see many familiar faces turning up simply to admire our ranges.
'Generally speaking, we always experience a brilliant level of interest and this year there was considerable attention paid to our new Regal 2100; we’re expecting quite a few happy new Regal owners to eventuate from this year’s show,' he declared.
John Smales’ of Ranger Tugs also attracted plenty of interest in his as did the Lewis Ski Boats displayed by industry veteran Steve Parker.
As is always the case at the Rosehill Trailer Boat Show, the NSW Maritime and Club Marine displays drew streams of regular visitors, taking the opportunity to re-new or inquire about insurance matters, boating licences, registration and various other matters.
'There’s probably little doubt that the inclement weather did do some harm to the visitation, but the way I see it we presented more than 9000 interested people to some 60-plus dealers,' Mr Genua said.
Would the industry have achieved that without the show? 'I don’t think so,' he added.
For further information contact the Boating Industry Association of NSW, Crows Nest, telephone (02) 9438-2077.
by Bob Wonders
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2:04 AM Tue 27 Mar 2012GMT
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