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Industry health in good order as we emerge from Covid - MarineBusinessWorld Oceania newsletter

by Peter Rendle 9 Jun 15:00 PDT
Marina Industries Association © MIA

With marinas providing berths for most yachts and powerboats over 10 metres in Australia, it's a reasonable assumption to access the state of the marine industry via marina operators.

The Marina Industry Association (MIA) has released its latest Health of the Australian Marina Industry Survey Report. Conducted every two years, since 2011, the survey continues to provide a comprehensive, comparable, and evolving perspective on the economic, social and environmental performance and contributions of Australian marinas. The survey is largely funded by maritime planning and design experts, International Marina Consultants.

Conducted in late 2021, the findings are based on a sample of over 46% of Australia's 290 club and commercial marinas andm given the high response rate and consistency of the survey instrument and its respondents, the resultant data is considered valid and reliable. Researcher and report author, Dr Ed Mahoney of Michigan State University, noted, "The response rate again demonstrates the industry's acute interest in having access to scientifically collected data that allows for identification of trends and assessment of the financial performance and economic contribution of this important industry."

The resilience and strength were evident when key data was presented to over 320 industry professionals by MIA President, Andrew Chapman two weeks ago at the Marinas22 International Conference and Trade Exhibition on the Gold Coast. The performance highlights from the 2020-21 data indicate industry turnover exceeding $730M, direct employment of over 3,300 people, government tax and lease payments of $95M, along with capital investments of over $183M. Furthermore, the industry engaged nearly 8,700 independent contractors and provided tenancy to over 1,900 businesses.

Further evidence of buoyant trading conditions is re-enforced by feedback from recent boat show exhibitors. It is 25 years since the Scimitar brand's last appearance at a Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. Scimitar Catamarans, now under the ownership of naval architect Tommy Ericson, exhibited two new models at this year's SCIBS. Making their official re-launch at the boat show, 19 to 22 May, the two models - 1010 Sedan and 1010 Flybridge - were accompanied by a Scimitar tender, known as the "Minitar". "The atmosphere throughout the entire show was amazing," Tommy stated. "The industry is buzzing, consumers were excited to be back at a show stepping aboard boats, and although the weather was less than ideal, the volume of seriously interested parties was beyond expectation."

Meanwhile, The Yacht Sales Co team enjoyed strong interest in its range on display at the Show. The company showcased the Dufour 470 and Dufour 530. Sales and business developer manager Bob Vinks said the show was an excellent platform that allowed buyers to inspect and compare the two new Dufour models, and the interest was very strong despite the challenging weather. "We took a record number of enquiries on both yachts during the show, which is a testament to the sheer quality, design and value of the Dufour range," Bob said.

Windcraft Yachts will present a brand-new Fjord 38xpress for a strictly limited number of VIP viewing opportunities on Sydney Harbour over the next two weeks. Fresh from its unveiling at Sanctuary Cove, the striking Fjord 38xpress will be spending time on Sydney Harbour between the Middle Harbour Yacht Club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (Rushcutters Bay), the Royal Motor Yacht Club (Point Piper) and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (Kirribilli).

Exhibitors are also looking forward to the upcoming Sydney International Boat Show and announcements of new products are already being made public. European boat manufacturer Quicksilver will launch in Australia at the Sydney Show. The Quicksilver range will be on display with one of Australia's leading fishing and cruising boat importers, Arvor Boats Australia. For over 25 years the Arvor brand has been synonymous with solid well-built boats, loved by Australians and perfect for the coastal waters from North Queensland to Tasmania.

Behind the scenes are the workers that make the industry tick and award programs play a vital part in nurturing the skills needed to keep boats on the water. The Boating Industry Association Ltd (BIA) today opened nominations for the 2022 BIA Apprentice of the Year Awards. These Awards are designed to recognise both the outstanding contribution that apprentices provide to the marine industry, and the importance of developing a strong future for training and careers. Nominees are assessed on their achievements throughout the course of their apprenticeship, personal development and contribution to the business, with short-listed nominees appearing before an industry selection panel via videoconference.

The Awards are open to any final (fourth) year apprentice working with a BIA member company, and will be awarded to apprentices across member States and Territories, in addition to an overall national winner. Winners will be announced at the official opening of the Sydney International Boat Show on 29 July, which will celebrate all facets of boating in Australia and a key opportunity to recognise and reward the industry's outstanding new talents. All winners will receive a trophy, certificate and a $500 voucher for trade tools of their choice.

Recognition of a dealer network plays an important part in promoting the Mercury Brand nationally. Brisbane Marine has demonstrated its pedigree by going back-to-back in earning Mercury Marine's most prestigious award, The Australian Dealer of the Year for 2021. A giant in the boating industry in Queensland, and in Australia, Brisbane Marine is the one-stop shop for Mercury products, boats, trailers, marine parts, and electronics.

They continue their track record of success having previously won the Mercury Dealer of the Year 2020, and Queensland Dealer of the Year 2021. The awards and recognition for excellence are plentiful - and for good reason. Brisbane Marine had another remarkable year of growth in 2021, following a fantastic year in 2020. Mercury Marine's Director of Sales David Meehan said it's no surprise that Brisbane Marine is being recognised nationally for the second time.

More industry news is available at www.marinebusinessworld.com/Oceania

Keep warm,
Peter Rendle - peter.rendle@marinebusinessworld.com

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