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Positive feedback despite world trade disruption - North America MarineBusinessWorld newsletter

by Peter Rendle 26 Feb 2020 08:00 PST
2020 Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show © National Marine Manufacturers Association

As the coronavirus dominates world news and is now having an effect on the stock market, the boating industry is reporting positive feedback from the numerous boat shows that have taken place this year.

The latest report comes from the Miami show. Celebrating 79 years and its fifth year at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin, the 2020 Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show, presented by West Marine, drew 82,171 attendees over its five-day run ending on President's Day. The Show kicked off with near record crowds on opening day, Feb. 13. Momentum slowed over the weekend with rainy weather, however early reports from several boat and accessory manufacturers reported strong sales and new buyers in attendance throughout the five-day event. As a result of inclement weather, attendance is down 10 percent compared to 91,518 in 2019. The Miami Boat Show is set to cruise back to Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin in 2021 over President's Day weekend, Feb. 11-15.

Further north, the nine-day Progressive Insurance New England Boat Show concluded last Sunday, reporting an attendance of 50,726, down 2 percent from last year's record attendance of 51,725, but up 2 percent from the three-year average attendance of 49,728. Even more, exhibitors are reporting strong boat sales and positive conversations with attendees for the second year in a row.

Overseas in Europe, METSTRADE having enjoyed strong growth throughout the last decade, with exhibitor and visitor attendance figures consistently rising, the organisers have announced ambitious plans for the 2020 edition and beyond. They include a significant extension to Hall 5 at the RAI Amsterdam location, layout changes designed to facilitate further growth, and a range of smart solutions for networking and knowledge sharing. METSTRADE 2020 will take place from 17 to 19 November. With three-quarters of the exhibition floor space already booked ten months in advance of the event, the METSTRADE Show's unique role as the annual meeting place for the marine equipment industry has never been more secure.

Further indications of consumer sentiment are reflected in the December new Powerboat registrations for the fourth quarter. NMMA have announced its December New Powerboat Registrations Report showing new powerboat retail unit sales closed the fourth quarter of 2019 up 4 percent on a rolling 3-month year-over-year (R3M YOY) basis and closed 2019 down 1 percent on a rolling 12-month year-over-year basis, marking the second highest level of new powerboat sales in 12 years. "It was encouraging to see new boat sales pick up in the second half of 2019 with demand across a range of boats reaching their highest or near highest year-over-year sales volumes in 10-12 years," said Vicky Yu, director of business intelligence for NMMA. "A pick-up in the second half of 2019 and healthy demand in most powerboat categories offset softness in the smaller freshwater fishing boat segment. From what we're hearing from manufacturers, that sales momentum is carrying through the start of winter boat show season."

If you are planning to attend the American Boating Congress (ABC), registration for the 2020 event) is now open and NMMA is encouraging all stakeholders to reserve their spot now. Early bird pricing discount runs through Friday. ABC 2020 - the recreational boating industry's annual advocacy summit in Washington, D.C. will be held on Tuesday, May 12 through Thursday, May 14. For the first time the event moves to the InterContinental located at The Wharf - a remarkable, mile-long stretch of waterfront property along the Potomac River.

New products this month includes Capria's new dry stacking launching facility that brings speed and efficiency to dry stack launching. HydroHoist Boat Lifts all-new solution to dockside storage, the rugged and innovative 78-inch Rectangular HydroLocker™. And Sika Marine's very fast-setting, polyurethane adhesive for bonding small plastic and metal components.

Awards ceremonies include The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, who announced recently that its 27th annual Tribute to the Eighth Coast Guard District will be held at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana on Friday, March 6, 2020. At the event, the Foundation will recognize Air Station New Orleans for mission excellence and Robert Alario for his long-time support of the United States Coast Guard, the maritime industry and the Coast Guard Foundation.

While the Marine Marketers of America (MMA) recognized MarineMax for outstanding marketing communications efforts in the marine industry at the 2019 Neptune Awards ceremony. The event took place during the Miami International Boat Show in early February, awarding MarineMax Best Sales Promotion for their "Online Yacht Expo."

Keep sending us your industry news and if any of your industry associates or colleagues would like to receive this monthly newsletter they can subscribe for free at www.marinebusinessworld.com/NorthAmerica/newsletter

Peter Rendle - peter.rendle@marinebusinessworld.com

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