The 2012 Auckland On Water Boat Show has concluded. Boating fans have marked the start of summer by enthusiastically purchasing everything from shackles, lifejackets, electronic equipment and fishing rods to motor yachts worth several million dollars.
The largest display of the New Zealand marine industry is an annual celebration of all things marine, and has dominated Auckland’s popular Viaduct Harbour for the past four days (27 to 30 September).
Chief executive of the New Zealand Marine Industry Association Peter Busfield says the sheer number of boats and other marine-related products and services sold has been a positive sign.
'Auckland On Water Boat Show exhibitors have also reported genuine interest from many more people. It certainly demonstrates that boating has not gone out of fashion for New Zealanders,' says Busfield.
The show has attracted visitors and exhibitors from all over the country with Bluff-based Foveaux Boats and Bay of Islands’ companies Cater Marine and Great Escape Yacht Charters being joined by large contingents of enthusiasts from Christchurch, Wellington, Whakatane and Whangarei. Numerous Australian exhibitors such as Riviera Boats and Ocean magazine were also joined by their compatriots at the Auckland event.
'Grey cloud didn’t deter visitors on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and good weather today, Sunday, and the change to daylight saving time, helped the keen buyer interest. The strong sales mean a good start to summer for much of the New Zealand marine industry.'
Busfield adds: 'Restaurants and cafes around Viaduct Harbour have indicated they’ve had their busiest weekend for some time. I think we can see the show date cemented for this timeframe for future years [Formerly called the Auckland International Boat Show, the event used to run in March.] It marks the start of summer for boaties and marks the start of the summer season for Viaduct Harbour.'
Bob Mirabito from Seacraft / Haines Hunter Auckland says they have witnessed serious inquiry and made a number of sales.
Olivia Powrie & Jo Aleh with a young fan - NZ Marine
'Events like this allow customers to see all the big brand boats in one area and to compare the different models before making a purchasing decision,' says Mirabito who has been showing a brand-new Haines Hunter model, the Sport Euro 725. 'It’s interesting to see so many people looking to buy despite the economic situation; there’s certainly a serious return of interest in marine products. Not the fever of previous years, but it’s nice to see the underlying confidence that people are moving forward financially.'
The Auckland On Water Boat Show is known for the extensive range of vessels on display, both on land and on the water. New Zealand boat building expertise featured in every kind of boat, from inflatable rubber and aluminium dinghies, paddleboards and personal watercraft (jet skis) to fibreglass and aluminium fishing and trailer-boats in all kinds of configurations, right through to the latest Elite 16 mid pilothouse launch, with a retail value of $2.5 million, from Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders. Show visitors also made the most of the opportunity to inspect numerous international boat brands including Australian-made Riviera, French-made Beneteau and Lagoon yachts and other international marques Caribbean Boats and Greenline hybrid-powered vessels..
Several first-time exhibitors, such as Top Catch Bait and Tackle, were delighted with the steady stream of customers they’ve spoken with and are keen to return for the 2013 show with a larger trade site. Others, such as Riviera say it’s the best show they’ve had in four years.
'Gulfland Marine, from Whangaparaoa, told me not only had they sold four boats at the show, they had a book full of customer inquiries to follow up, Nigel Arkell from Rogers Boatshop has contracts on three half million dollar Beneteau motor yachts and the list of sales goes on. Whether New Zealand-made or overseas boats, there seems to have been good inquiry across the board,' says Busfield.
'Our previous shows have resulted in boat and product sales of $25-50 million and we believe this year’s event will also generate direct and follow-up sales within that range.'
Other features of this year’s event included Kiwi Olympic gold medallists Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie visiting the show to sign autographs and talk with sailing enthusiasts and hundreds of people taking the opportunity to go aboard two of Sir Peter Blake’s yachts, Steinlager II and Lion New Zealand.
The Auckland On Water Boat Show is owned and managed by the New Zealand Marine Industry Association and returns any surplus to the industry.
by Kate Gordon-Smith
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5:56 AM Sun 30 Sep 2012GMT
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2012 Auckland On Water Boat Show
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