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2014 Auckland on the Water Boatshow hailed a huge success

by Ellie Brade on 1 Oct 2014
2014 Auckland On The Water Boatshow Richard Gladwell
Increased visitor numbers show strong support for New Zealand’s leading boat show.

Feedback for the 16th Auckland On Water Boat Show (AOWBS), which ran from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 September 2014, has been overwhelmingly positive, with several significant sales made at the show.

Visitor numbers were up a healthy 14 per cent on the 2013 show, a result that show organizers were delighted with.

'The increased number of visitors is a real testament to the quality of exhibitors the show attracts,' said Michelle Khan, CEO of the AOWBS. 'Every year we aim to improve the experience for show visitors, and these incredibly positive numbers show that the show has cemented its profile as New Zealand’s leading boat show'

The 2014 edition completely sold out of exhibitor space, with nearly 200 exhibitors and more than 200 boats on display. The show welcomed nearly 30 new exhibitors to its lineup, another telling indication of its ever increasing popularity. Key events at the show included a successful world record attempt for most people on a stand up paddleboard, with 52 participants breaking the record on a board custom made by Lancer Industries Ltd. A seminar programme of expert speakers offered visitors insight into a range of topics including fishing tactics and preparing a boat for cruising.

'The 2014 Auckland On Water Boat Show proved to be another incredible showcase of exhibitors, including many member companies of NZ Marine,' said Peter Busfield, Executive Director of New Zealand Marine. 'The significant presence of New Zealand’s leading marine companies, together with offshore exhibitors, proved a winning formula and sales from the show are sure to have a very positive impact for New Zealand’s marine industry. Congratulations should go to all involved in the show.'

Held in the heart of Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour, the AOWBS aims to showcase all elements of on-water activities, from fishing and family cruising all the way up to luxury yachts. It’s timing has proved popular as a precursor to the upcoming summer season. The 2014 show saw a notable rise in the number of groups of friends and families, and of visitors from outside of Auckland, including from Australia, choosing to make a weekend of the show. 60 per cent of visitors, not resident in Auckland, came to the city purely for the show.

Feedback from both new and repeat exhibitors alike has been excellent. 'As a new participant in the rampant aluminium boat industry, Finlay Boats first appearance at the show was a great success,' said Grant Finlayson of Finlay Boats. 'The exposure was great with the number of seemingly genuinely interested people visiting our boats high.

From a newcomers perspective the interaction with other exhibitors was also a positive aspect of this boat show. We will return!' Four yachts designed by Roger Hill Yacht Design were on show and Hill rated the 2014 as one of the best to date. 'From a personal point of view and from that of the people associated with our efforts at the show, I think that it was a really good show, probably better for us than the previous three or four,' said Hill.

Long time exhibitor Decking Specialists also praised the show format. 'Decking Specialists were delighted to attend this year’s Auckland on Water Boat Show,' said Marketing Manager Claire Birch. 'During the event it was a pleasure to see existing clients as well as making some brand new connections, and examples of our work were also present at the event including decks on boats built by Smuggler Marine. Decking Specialists are delighted to support this fantastic boat show and look forward to returning in 2015.'

With such positive feedback about the show it is no surprise that there has already been strong interest in the 2015 edition. 'We have been overwhelmed by the response from both the exhibitors and visitors, and by the large numbers of early indications that so many will be back again next year,' said Khan. Although the show is only newly over, many exhibitors have already reported significant sales thanks to their presence at the show. Orakei Yacht Sales sold an 11-metre Jeanneau NC11 sailing yacht, while Smuggler Marine sold a Strata 600 RIB and have several other strong enquiries. Moon Engines Ltd confirmed a significant contract at the show: 'As Marine Transmissions NZ, we picked up a large twin installation full gearbox rebuild and service job on an overseas yacht due here in four weeks,' said James Mobberly. Rayglass had a huge show, with several sales made and many more leads. 'We had a successful show, with good sales that were directly related to people visiting the show,' said Scott Little, Sales and Marketing Manager of Rayglass. 'We are seeing a lot of stability off the back of the recent election and confidence moving forwards from the customer base.'

First time exhibitors Propspeed generated nearly 500 positive leads from the show: 'The show proved a great platform to showcase our product to potential customers,' said Clint Jones, Managing Director of Propspeed. Hobsonville composite experts Yachting Developments signed the order for a new custom 37’ Bakewell-White sailing yacht at the show. Lancer Industries signed an exclusive licence agreement with Navitech for their Seablade hulls within Australia and New Zealand. Fishing Boats NZ, dealer for Surtees Boats, made numerous sales at the show. 'We are pleased to say that this was by far the best show we have had,' said Andrew Carlson of Fishing Boats. 'We sold 12 Surtees over the four days and 23 sea trials were booked for the upcoming Surtees Demonstration Weekend. Thank you for your support in putting together this boat show.'

All indications are that these are a small sample of the sales made at the show, and many more success stories are expecting in the coming weeks.

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