Well over 35,000 keen Kiwis flocked to the 2013 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show in Auckland in mid-May, proving that boating is still a key attraction and pastime for many Kiwis.
Attendance at the 2013 show was within just a few hundred of last year’s record-breaking crowd, despite a nasty weather bomb knocking back the numbers on one of the show’s four days (the Friday).
Kiwis were lured to the show by the opportunity to see the latest GRP and aluminium models from the country’s leading boatbuilders. Industry heavyweights such as Stabicraft, Rayglass, Extreme and Surtees (to name just a few) all had exciting new releases on show as did a number of the country’s smaller boat builders.
Early reports from exhibitors are also positive with many saying they enjoyed a very high level of both sales and genuine inquiries to follow up over the coming weeks.
The 2013 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show was also a rather special one for Parnell man Dave Burgess. On Sunday evening, shortly after the show had closed for the year, his entry ticket was drawn out of the thousands of grand prize entries by Stabicraft’s Tim van Duyl, meaning he had won the show’s amazing $100,000 Stabicraft/Yamaha boat prize.
Burgess, a building manager who was planning to buy his own boat, is now the proud owner of a very special gold-coloured 6.4-metre Stabicraft, powered by a just-released Yamaha F200, a new lightweight, powerful, four-cylinder, 4-stroke outboard.
Also celebrating a very special 2013 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show are Jason and Tristin Dickey, owners of Napier-based Dickey Boats. Their new Custom 750 XS beat a strong field of top GRP and aluminium boats to take out the coveted Boat of the Show: Overall Winner award at the gala Marine Direct Boat of the Show Awards Function.
The impressive 750XS also won the fiercely-contested Quick Winches Boat of the Show: Aluminium Fishing Boat Open award.
Other award winners were: Volanti Luisi Boat of the Show: Sports/Ski Boat: Sport Nautique 200; Eastener Boat of the Show: GRP Fishing Boat Under 6 Metres: Smuggler Multisport 570; HyDrive Boat of the Show: GRP Fishing Boat Open: Rayglass Legend 2800; Roca Boat of the Show: Aluminium Fishing Boat Under 6m: FC 600 Centre Console; Lectrotab Boat of the Show: Aluminium Fishing Boat 6-7 Metres: Profile 635H; Faria Boat of the Show All Purpose Under 6m: Haines Hunter SF 600 Limited Edition; Perko Boat of the Show: All Purpose 6-7 Metres: Rayglass Legend 2350 and BEP Boat of the Show: All Purpose Open: Beneteau Barracuda.
Yamaha Motor New Zealand Ltd won the Most Innovative Stand Award; the Best Small Stand Award was won by Humminbird and Coastguard took out the Best Commercial Stand.
Organisers of the 2013 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show also used the Marine Direct Boat of the Show Awards Function to honour long-time industry stalwart Kim McDell; welcoming him into the prestigious New Zealand Boat Show Hall of Fame. Attendees at New Zealand’s largest marine awards evening heard how McDell had won two world sailing championships, produced more than 10,000 recreational trailer yachts, keelers and powerboats for New Zealand boaties and generated more than $100 million worth of export earnings for the company.
Fishers of all ages also flocked to the show, keen to learn new techniques and snap up some incredible, show-only bargains. Milan Radonich and Nathan O’Hearn from the hit TV show PlaceMakers Big Angry Fish, Hauraki Gulf fishing guru Bruce Duncan, the popular Fisherchicks and a raft of fishing specialists, in the Ask the Experts free seminar series, all offered helpful hints and advice and were happy to share their varied experiences.
The show also did much to enthuse the next generation of boat owners, fishers, divers and water skiers. The event’s two interactive areas: the Club Marine Discover Boating Centre and the Youthtown Aqua Fun Zone both proved extremely popular with youngsters enjoying the chance to hop in one of the heated pools, try a variety of boating activities and have go at the various fun challenges.
Show organisers say demand for exhibitor space at the 2014 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show is already exceptionally strong with many exhibitors expressing a desire for larger stand areas.
The 2014 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show will be held at the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane, Auckland on May 15-18, 2014.
by Mike Rose - 9:11 PM Mon 20 May 2013 GMT
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2013 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show