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Sydney International Boat Show enjoys sunshine and blue sky - MarineBusinessWorld Oceania newsletter

by Peter Rendle 28 Jul 15:00 PDT
Sydney International Boat Show © David Clare -

It's a few years since I attended my first Sydney Boat Show and that was at the Showground in Moore Park in the 80s. Boats over 25 feet were trucked in on low loaders and I clearly remember the two, or was it three, Beneteau models and the incredible effort that the Australian Dealer, Marine Coral, made to get the product to the show.

Today, after a two-year hiatus, the show was on again at Sydney's Darling Harbour in a venue that has already seen one complete rebuild since it's initial construction in 1995. With Sydney experiencing record levels of rain over the past six months, it was a relief for the organisers, exhibitors and visitors that the first day at least was blessed with blues skies and sunshine, albeit with a slight winter chill.

The number of exhibitors is down on the numbers three years ago for a number of reasons. Dealer stock has been affected by delays in the supply chain, a reaction to the presence of Covid and in some cases a need to watch the marketing budget. Nevertheless it was good to catch up with old friends, keep up with the latest trends and generally feel the boating atmosphere again.

Several new innovations are on show, not least of all the exposure of new electronic power technology. Marine equipment supplier and authorized VETUS-Maxwell distributor Fenquin Pty Ltd is showcasing new electric propulsion technology for the first time at Sydney. Offering an innovative inboard electric propulsion solution for sail and power boats up to 11 meters, a working VETUS E-LINE system linked and controlled by a multifunction display (MFD) will be available for visitors to view on Stand 724A.

The Fenquin team of experts will be joined on the stand by a VETUS-Maxwell representative to answer any questions from boaters interested in electric power for their vessel. Kevin Robinson, General Manager, Fenquin Pty Ltd, said: "After no boat shows for the last couple years, we are super excited to be back exhibiting. The show has always allowed us to connect with both existing and prospective customers and also gives us a great opportunity to showcase the latest innovative products from VETUS-Maxwell."

The show will also have some new and exciting events happening this year including a networking event for Women in the Boating Industry hosted by Nicky Vaux of Empire Marinas (aka The Boat Princess - podcast producer) and featuring Vanessa Wilton, an inspirational entrepreneur and founder of Manly Spirits, who will of course be bringing along a taster of her wares!

Running from 4.30pm to 6pm on Friday 29 July at Sydney International Boat Show onboard the 60m yacht The Jackson berthed in Cockle Bay, with a focus on networking and getting to know those in the room, this event will include bubbles and nibbles and is just $59pp plus booking fee.

McConaghy is represented in-show by Australian dealer, Vicsail. Visit their stand at marina location 161. The McConaghy Multihull series now comprises eight models, ranging in size from 55ft to 100ft in both power and sail designations. On the Vicsail stand, you'll find scale models of the MC63p Tourer, MC63p Offshore, MC75, MC82p and MC100.

Featuring clean lines, apartment-style living and a modern design dynamic that simultaneously enables more comfortable cruising and better performance, the McConaghy Multihulls series is luxurious, lightweight, eco-friendly and fully customisable. Catamaran cruising at its finest.

Beneteau will also be exhibiting. Their three boating brands Beneteau, Excess Catamarans and Lagoon Catamarans will be presenting a fleet of twelve models at the show. Visitors either looking for comfortable mid-sized sailboats, production foiling monohulls, posh sports cruisers, versatile day boats or innovative cruising catamarans will find their dream models. This display is a joint effort carried out by dealers in Australia, Chapman Marine, Flagstaff Marine and The Multihull Group, and greatly supported by Beneteau, Excess and Lagoon Asia Pacific.

Further south the Melbourne Boat Show is well into the planning stage and is almost at capacity, on land and on water. The impressive list of exhibitors continues to grow and they are also welcoming ET, Andrew Ettingshausen, from Escape Fishing with ET, as the first of their Boat Show Ambassadors. A list of exhibitors appears here.

News of companies expanding comes from Outback Marine. They are expanding the international availability of OSCAR products for the recreational and professional segments of the marine industry. BSB AI has won wireless technology specialist Powertec Wireless Technology as a distribution partner for OSCAR advanced collision avoidance systems.

Effective immediately, Powertec will cover Australia and New Zealand in the growing OSCAR distribution network, with their subsidiary Outback Marine Australia managing retail sales for the region. Outback Marine Australia is an engineering-oriented company that is well qualified to handle the design of any vessel electrical system for commercial or leisure application.

From New Zealand, more news from the growing industry segment of boat share/rental/charter. Westhaven based Ownaship, the country's biggest boat-share player, recently took delivery of its 11th Rayglass 3500 launch. Like the other ten in the fleet, this one belongs to a syndicate of six owners, a sharing model Ownaship managing director Simon Barker says has multiple attractions. In a nutshell, it's mainly about convenience and stress-free boating.

A vessel in a Westhaven berth means easy access, and all the responsibilities that come with boat ownership - securing a berth, insurance, security, maintenance, cleaning - are eliminated. It's literally a walk-on-walk-off style of boating.

The company now operates 31 vessels - the other 20 range in size from Rayglass 2500 runabouts, medium-size launches, to the ultra-luxurious Maritimo M55, as well as sailing and power catamarans. Ownaship, says Barker, "has doubled the size over the last 24 months." And there's little evidence of any slow-down.

To meet the growth another Rayglass 3500 will join her siblings later this year, with another two arriving next year. Currently there is a single Elite AT43 launch in the Ownaship fleet, but another arrives this December, with a further three on order. In addition, three more Maritimo M55s and an S55 will arrive in the next 12 months.

I'll be at the show today so if you are around, say hello and keep in mind that we are happy to share your industry news on the website.

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle -

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