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Attendance, sales up at New Zealand’s largest on-water boat show

by Isla McKechnie 2 Oct 2018 20:54 PDT 3 October 2018
Auckland On the Water Boat Show - Day 4 - September 30, 2018 © Richard Gladwell

The New Zealand boating industry is reporting increased numbers at the country’s largest on-water boat show, and exhibitors say the audience represented a strong buying market as they report buoyant sales and quality enquiries.

A twelve per cent increase overall in visitors has been reported by the Auckland On Water Boat Show, in comparison to last year’s gate figures.

“It was a really positive show and we had serious buyers through,” Terry Bailey of Arvor Boats said of the show, a sentiment which was echoed across the exhibitors we spoke to.

“We had a successful number of sales across the range, and it was the best Auckland show for us in years,” added Maritimo’s Tom Barry-Cotter.

“We had a great response to the X-Series debut and a lot of interest in the performance of Maritimos - particularly their sea-going ability after bringing the boats across on their own bottoms. It’s been one of the top-performing shows this year so far,” said Barry-Cotter.

Team Windcraft had a range of sailing yachts on display and New Zealand manager, Dominic Lowe says they have sold the stock boat from the stand, received two more orders and have some strong enquiries to follow up on.

Set in the heart of the City of Sails, New Zealand’s biggest on-water boat show showcases more than 200 domestic and international marine businesses, including dozens of vessel manufacturers and boat brokers. Perfectly timed to lead into the summer boating season, Auckland On Water Boat Show is the only boating expo in New Zealand where visitors can experience such a wide range of vessels on and off the water.

Organiser Stacey Cook says the show team is thrilled with the results of this year’s show.

“Our remit is to showcase the marine industry and help businesses flourish, so hearing from exhibitors the market felt strong, and they’ve received good quality enquiries is exactly what we want.”

New Zealand company, 36 Degrees Brokers, partially credits the good results to changes it’s observed in the New Zealand consumer.

“We introduced all new vessels, never before seen in New Zealand, which highlight a relaxed European style with plenty of space to lounge,” says 36 Degrees’ Conrad Gair.

“The response was incredibly-positive, and we also had very strong interest in a syndicated approach to boating - so many people are just starting to see it as an option and are coming to understand the many different boating avenues it opens up to them. We think the perception of how we spend time on the water is broadening and changing in New Zealand so for us, it was highly satisfying to demonstrate to show-goers just some of the many options we offer.”

With three Leopard Catamarans already ordered for New Zealanders and set to arrive over the next year, including the elegant lines of the Leopard 45, Leopard Catamaran’s David Flynn knew the innovative, roomy design of these cats were appreciated by Kiwis.

“We’ve had great people coming through and it’s been a very pleasant experience, with a good pace to the show,” says Flynn.

Auckland-based boat syndication company Ownaship, agreed.

“It’s been our most successful show yet,” says Ownaship’s Chris Janes.

“We’ve had fantastic enquiries, a great quality of people coming through, and found that nothing was a real issue. It was well-organised and very relaxed.”

“We think Kiwis are changing the way they boat and they’re drawn to having access to great boating experiences at a fraction of the cost. Having a boat fully-managed means they can have both bach [holiday home] and boat, while knowing the vessel’s ready for them to enjoy when they want it,” continues Janes.

“It’s been bloody marvellous,” adds Jason Snashall of Orakei Marine. “Sold boats, lots of interest and a really good show.”

Hamilton-based Tristram Marine builds well-designed trailer boats that have garnered it a passionate following.

“It’s been a brilliant opportunity to re-engage with owners and future owners alike,” says Tristram Marine’s business development manager, Tristram Fink.

“We’ve had a lot of genuine enquiries and being in front of our customers further reinforces positive feedback on the brand and vessels we’re creating.” This year was the 20th edition of New Zealand’s largest on-water boat show and was the last year the show will be held in the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre for the foreseeable future. The show ran from Thursday 27 September until Sunday 30 September, before the centre was turned over to Emirates Team New Zealand to create their headquarters for their Cup campaign.

From next year the show will shift slightly to spread around the Viaduct Harbour, creating a buzzing atmosphere in the heart of Auckland’s marine precinct.


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