Queensland boaties were able to enjoy one of the first COVID-safe boat shows in the state when Boaties Day Out was hosted by Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM) on 11–12 July.
Providing a much-needed boost to Queensland’s marine industry since the pandemic struck, more than 1,200 people attended the two-day free event, generating big sales and even more leads for participating exhibitors, with industry players calling for more boutique-style boat shows like this.
Organisers GCCM worked diligently alongside Queensland Health to successfully deliver the COVID-safe event within a short lead time, setting up attendee registrations both online and on site and implementing strict social-distancing and hygiene measures. The event has been hailed as a positive sign that boat shows are able to be run with COVID safety as a top priority.
Boaties Day Out saw around thirty boats on the water valued at AUD$15.2 million and ranging from 23-metre luxury yachts to three-metre tenders and everything in between.
There was also 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 releases 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, “COVID has undoubtedly changed mindsets and consumer behaviour – and certainly the way a boat show is run – but Boaties Day Out signalled the marine industry was ready to get back to business.
He continued, “The success of Boaties Day Out indicates that boating and the marine life holds great appeal as individuals and families reassess their lifestyle priorities.”
“It was exciting to see existing and potential boat owners turning out in such big numbers to safely see what our industry has on offer. We believe there is now a significant opportunity for the marine industry.”
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. I would like to congratulate GCCM for taking the initiative to stage Boaties Day Out so swiftly.
“We sold a number of vessels and undertook 18 sea trials with plenty more leads in the pipeline. To me, that clearly shows the Gold Coast’s marine industry is reigniting post-COVID,” said Lopez.
“GCCM is located in what I believe is the most powerful marine precinct in Australia. I would like to see Boaties Day Out grow exponentially in future years to showcase the incredible marine offerings on the Gold Coast.”
Lopez concluded, “I have attended every boat show in Australia and many overseas and can say Boaties Day Out has some serious future potential.”
Luxury performance motor yacht brand Sunseeker had the largest vessels on display and enjoyed some big sales showcasing their new Manhatten 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. Even with the restrictions and strict guidelines we had an exceptional turnout. Everyone attending was very 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 is very excited to be involved with the promotion of boutique-style shows in conjunction with GCCM.”
Boaties Day Out saw displays and many interactive land and on-water experiences from 28 leading marine brands including AB Ribs, Australian Boating Supplies, AwlGrip, Boston Whaler, Bradford Marine, BRIG Ribs, Chris-Craft, 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.