Queensland boaties turned out in droves to relish and enjoy the first Covid-Safe boat show in the state when Boaties Day Out was hosted by Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM) on the 11th and 12th July.
Providing a much-needed boost and stimulus to Queensland’s marine industry since Covid-19 struck, more than 1,200 attended the two-day free event generating some big sales and even more sales leads for participating exhibitors with industry players calling for more boutique style boat shows like this.
Organisers GCCM had worked diligently alongside Queensland Health to successfully deliver the Covid-Safe event within a short lead time and set up attendee registrations both online and on-site, stringent social distancing and hygiene measures in the first positive sign that boat shows are able to be run with Covid-Safety as a top priority.
Boaties Day Out saw around 30 boats on-water, valued at AUD$15.2 million ranging from 23 metre luxury yachts to three metre tenders and everything in between along with a vintage wooden boat display, on-water experiences, marine brand showcases of engines, electronics, interiors, safety equipment and more plus food and entertainment.
Attendees were able to step aboard several new release and Australian debut vessels including AB Nautilus DLX 15, Boston Whaler 325 Conquest, BRIG Eagle 670, BRIG Eagle 10, SeaRay 400slx, Boston Whaler 350 Realm, BRIG Eagle 4, BRIG Eagle 8, Mastercraft X22 and SeaRay 35 Sundance.
GCCM CEO Trenton Gay said Boaties Day Out signalled the marine industry was ready to get ‘back to business’.
“GCCM was very proud to be able to host Queensland’s first Covid-Safe marine event and it was exciting to see existing and potential boat owners turning out in such big numbers to see what our industry has on offer,” Mr Gay said.
“Covid has undoubtedly changed mindsets and consumer behaviour – and certainly the way a boat show could be run but the success of Boaties Day Out indicated that perhaps boating and marine life is going to have even greater appeal for a broader audience as individuals and families re-assess their lifestyle priorities.
“We believe there is now significant opportunity for the marine industry and Boaties Day Out was an ideal event and carefully targeted platform to be able to test out that new and renewed enthusiasm for boating.”
Dylan Lopez of Sirocco Marine North was one of the key exhibitors at the inaugural Boaties Day Out and believes the event signalled an important return to boutique marine events for the Gold Coast.
“Boaties Day Out was an incredibly positive weekend for both exhibitors and event attendees,” Mr Lopez said.
“We sold a number of vessels and undertook 18 sea trials with plenty more leads now in the pipeline and to me that clearly showed that the Gold Coast’s marine industry was reigniting post-Covid,” he said.
“GCCM is located in what I believe the most powerful marine precinct in Australia and I would like to see Boaties Day Out grow exponentially in future years to showcase the incredible marine offerings on the Gold Coast.
“I have attended every boat show in Australia and many overseas and I can say Boaties Day Out has some serious future potential. I would like to congratulate GCCM for taking the swift initiative to stage Boaties Day Out so swiftly now Queensland Covid restrictions have lifted.”
Luxury performance motor yacht brand, Sunseeker had the largest vessels on display and enjoyed some big sales showcasing their new Manhattan 52 along with two beautiful pre-loved Sunseekers.
Audrey Greenwood of Sunseeker East Coast Australia said Boaties Day Out was the first event they’d had the opportunity to participate in as a partner of Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard.
“The weekend was a great success on many levels; firstly even with the Covid-19 restrictions and strict guidelines we had an exceptional turn out, everyone attending was mindful and accepting of the Covid requirements,” Ms Greenwood said.
“Blessed with the weather, our Gold Coast and Brisbane boaties, new boaties and those who hope to become boaties turned out to experience a boutique show, that offered them a more personalised experience,” she said.
“Sunseeker East Coast Australia achieved great success over the weekend, securing contracts on two of the vessels, along with several genuine enquiries and quality local listings.
“With results like this, Sunseeker East Coast are very excited to be involved with the promotion of boutique style shows in conjunction with GCCM.”
Boaties Day Out saw displays and may interactive land and on-water experiences from 28 leading marine brands including AB Ribs, Australian Boating Supplies, AwlGrip, Boston Whaler, Bradford Marine, BRIG Ribs, ChrisCraft, Classic Marine Trimming, DBM, Electronic Marine Solutions, Euromarine, Finishline, HarbourForce, International Paints, Kohler, Mastercraft, Mercury inboard and outboard engines, Navigator, RIBForce, Sanctuary Cove Marina, Sirocco Marine North, SeaRay, Southern Seas Marine, Sunseeker, Volvo Penta, Watson Marine Engineering, Williams Jet Tender and Zytexx.