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Another year, another Boat Show - MarineBusinessWorld Oceania newsletter

by Peter Rendle 4 Aug 15:00 PDT
ICC Marina - Sydney International Boat Show © Sydney Boat Show

Despite the inclement weather we have experienced in Sydney over the past six months, the Sydney International Boat Show managed to attract blue skies and a sunshine for the five-day duration of the show. Despite numbers of attendees down from pre-Covid shows two years ago, the general consensus was the show achieved the exposure level expected.

The Boating Industry Association (BIA) commented as follows: The 53rd annual Sydney International Boat Show cemented its standing as Australia's largest recreational boating lifestyle event, drawing big crowds and contributing to impressive sales. The Show attracted more than 45,000 visitors and presented an enticing showcase of the boating lifestyle on, in and near the water, bringing a festive atmosphere to Darling Harbour, in the shadows of the Sydney CBD.

BIA President Andrew Fielding said interest in boating was riding high and it was great to be back with the 2022 Show, returning after a two-year hiatus. "We are a nation of boaters, with one in ten Australians holding a boat licence, and almost one in five households in NSW owning a boat or watercraft, making it one of the leading pastimes nationally and in the state of NSW," Mr Fielding said.

"Boat registrations grew by 18,500 over the past 12 months across the nation, taking powerboat registrations to 925,000 and personal watercraft registrations to more than 90,000. Of course, this doesn't include the countless number of non-powered watercraft people are buying for their healthy lifestyle benefits such as stand-up paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and sailing dinghies."

A report from one exhibitor mirrored those comments; Eyachts reported that Sydney really showed up for them at this year's Show. They were blessed with five days of glorious weather and a stand consistently filled with people excited about Eyachts exclusive range. Eyachts had the entire range of Axopar boats ranging from 22 to 37ft as well as the premiere of Pardo Yachts 43 and 38. Eyachts was the first to bring European day boats to Australia in 2007 and even since the last show in 2019 they report it was exciting to see a huge shift in mentality towards day boats as people continue to lean into this style of boating for an easier and less stressful boating experience. Many cruisers are seeing these as viable reasons to downsize, realising they only spend a few nights onboard each year.

At the same time the BIA announced the winners of its Apprentice of the Year Award. The award is 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.

The overall 2022 award went to Stefanie Mannering (Cruise Craft Boats). In the State award category, NSW winner was Joel Hercus (Callaghans Marine Services) and QLD was Stefanie Mannering (Cruise Craft Boats). Winners were presented with a trophy, certificate and a $500 voucher for trade tools of their choice. The overall winner received an additional $500 voucher.

International news involving Australia came in the way of an announcement by The Brunswick Corporation. The firm announced this week the formation of Navico Group, which will replace its current Advanced Systems Group (ASG). Navico Group will continue to be led by Brett Dibkey and represents a complete organizational integration between the legacy ASG business with two key acquisitions that were completed in late 2021 - Navico and RELiON Battery LLC. The newly formed Navico Group will be comprised of numerous industry leading brands that serve the marine, RV, specialty vehicle, and industrial markets.

Some of the many brands that make up Navico Group include: Ancor, Attwood, B&G, BEP, Blue Sea Systems, C-MAP, CZone, Garelick, Lenco, Lowrance, Mastervolt, Marinco, MotorGuide, Progressive Industries, ProMariner, RELiON, Simrad, and Whale.

"The establishment of Navico Group is the next step in cementing its position as the world's leading supplier of integrated systems and products to industries ranging from marine to recreational vehicle and beyond," said Dave Foulkes, Brunswick Corporation CEO. "There is no other organization in these industries that can create the same integrated onboard and offboard system solutions necessary to move these industries forward."

On the awards front and boasting a fleet of the most talented and knowledgeable dealers across the country, Stacer continues to provide some of the best customer service experiences in the marine industry. In recognition of outstanding performance and showcasing what it means to be a Stacer dealer, this year the brand celebrates its annual dealership awards.

Encapsulating the brands values in raising the bar with industry standards and upholding exceptional customer service, the honourable National Dealer of the Year title is one that reflects the awarded dealerships hard work and commitment to providing utmost customer experience. "Each dealer has earned their place in our network by embodying a hunger for seeing the brand, and marine industry as a whole, grow from strength to strength," Drew Jackson, ANZ Sales Manager said.

And providing more confirmation of the high level of service within our industry was provided by an award to a Queensland company, Gold Coast City Marina. After an exhaustive search for the world's leading superyacht businesses, a 15,000 strong network of crew and captains have voted Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM) as global leading Superyacht Refit Yard in ACrew's Superyacht Business Awards. This Award recognises and respects the specialised efforts in shore-support to ensure the best refit for yachts.

The voting was based on the Refit Yard's willingness to communicate and work together with the Captain and owner to prioritise the works that needs to be done seamlessly and efficiently. Up to date facilities and knowledge are essential for a successful refit. A number of criteria were assessed, including Customer Service, Safety and Procedures, Location, Up to date facilities Accessibility, Large Slipway and Hoisting Capacity Security.

More industry news at

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle -

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