The thing that struck me most about this year's Sydney International Boat Show, apart from the obvious streak of perfect weather, was the number of foreign accents to be heard on the docks and in the halls.
Friday - Sydney International Boat Show 2011 Jeni Bone
From pure American patter, which flows as smooth as the Mississippi, to Inspector Clousseau style French, it was apparent that the world's top boatbuilders are sending their top people in greater numbers than ever.
I personally spoke to the presidents or vice presidents of Chris Craft, Pursuit and Back Cove/Sabre from the US, as well as several honchos from Jeanneau ... and, remember, it's their peak summer season back home.
What this increased focus means to us, the humble punters, is that international companies are providing greater support to their products here, and dealers are increasingly under the microscope.
It doesn't take a great stretch of the imagination to see a day when the boating giants start building craft especially suited to our environment, where previously we played second fiddle to the massive US and European markets.
If Powerboat-world had a seriously-cool wall like Top Gear's, I'd put anything from Chris Craft up there, along with the Pursuit 280C, new Chaparral 225 SSI which made its world debut and the Jeanneau Prestige 500S (though the galley is on the small side).
Among the products that caught my eye were Steyr Motors diesel generator hybrid that will one day spark an electric motor revolution, right down to a tiny waterproof video camera called the Hero.
Watch for more details on these in the coming days ...
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