Cause for celebration

Celebrating 30 brilliant years of buoyant boating.

09 May 2018


Thirty years is a monumental achievement in any business, and as an event that truly reflects the ebb and flow of the industry it serves, the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show is pleased and proud to be sharing this major milestone with three generations of exhibitors, partners, suppliers and an enthusiastic boating public.

‘SCIBS’ as it’s known, has evolved over three decades to grow from an assortment of boats on the Marina and a legendary launch, to become a well-oiled machine showcasing every aspect of the boating lifestyle, plus a program of entertainment and education that is inclusive and inspiring.

As Queensland’s first on-water boat show in 1989, SCIBS has evolved from humble beginnings to become the southern hemisphere’s premier marine event with hundreds of boats and thousands of marine products on display each year.

Over the course of its history, SCIBS has hosted more than 10,000 exhibitors and welcomed 1.4 million-plus visitors through its gates, resulting in a total economic impact of more than $3 billion.


SCIBS now has a global reputation as a world-class B2B and consumer event that attracts exhibitors displaying the latest products and innovations in one spectacular location.

General manager Johan Hasser said the team was thrilled to be hosting one of its largest boat shows in 2018, buoyed by the spirit of exhibitors who have upped the ante for the landmark 30th year.

“Thirty years is a milestone we are proud and excited to share with our exhibitors, sponsors and supporters across the industry,” said Mr Hasser.

“From 100-plus exhibitors in 1989, to the world-class showcase it is today with more than 300 quality exhibitors and visitors from Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the rest of the world, it’s fair to say we’ve come a long way.”

Attracting upwards of 40,000 visitors, SCIBS has grown to become one of the most important B2B events on the Australian boating calendar, hosting international delegations from every continent in the wake of the ASMEX conference and thanks to the support of the Gold Coast City Council and the Queensland Government.

“Many people tell us they plan to travel down under to experience SCIBS and see for themselves the ingenuity and innovation the Australian marine industry is renowned for,” he said.

Celebrating 30 years alongside SCIBS is a loyal band of exhibitors who took a punt on a promotional concept, executed by the original Boat Show crew – the dynamic trio of Barry Jenkins, Harry Davis and his wife, Marilyn – all of whom have a long association with the event.

Barry Jenkins, to this day known as ‘Mr Boat Show’, remains actively involved as the charismatic ambassador for SCIBS and in his role with AIMEX-Superyacht Australia.

“Thanks to the input of its exhibitors SCIBS is as relevant today as it ever was, as it is extremely responsive to industry and works in close collaboration with associations and exhibitors to deliver the best platform possible for businesses and brands to meet boaties and people keen to enter the boating lifestyle,” Mr Jenkins said.

“We have always strived to meet the requirements of the exhibitors, with their business aims at the forefront. This is a marketing exercise and they must get return on investment. The Boat Show team and Mulpha are focused on facilitating whatever needed to be done for the best outcomes for industry, because the reverberations from that benefit the exhibitor.

“Our role is to provide a dynamic platform to attract a broad range of consumers who will respond to what the industry is placing before them – from surfboards to superyachts and everything in between.”

Mr Jenkins said the 2018 edition is certain to be a memorable year for organisers, exhibitors and visitors.

“I remember one year the general manager of the British Marine Federation visiting the Show and standing in the middle of The Promenade saying, ‘you are so lucky to have this facility to work with – it has to be the best venue in the world!’ – and I have never forgotten that compliment,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming back many exhibitors who have supported the Show for years – some for 30, some for 20, some for 10 – and the companies and individuals who will join us for the first time.

“As well as shaping up to be one of the best shows for many years, SCIBS 2018 promises to be a walk down memory lane as people who have worked on the Show, that have helped to make it the success it is, return to have a look and celebrate 30 wonderful years with us.

“We are thrilled that our exhibitors, sponsors and partners are getting behind SCIBS and putting considerable effort and resources into the Show. The economic climate and consumer confidence are favourable and all indicators are pointing towards a bumper Show!”

Boating industry legend and founder of Maritimo Bill Barry-Cotter was among the first exhibitors at the inaugural Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in 1989 and remains one of the Show’s strongest supporters.

“We have been involved from the outset and I believe it is the best boat show when you consider all its elements, including the location and all that Sanctuary Cove has to offer visitors,” Mr Barry-Cotter said.

“It has become very professional and obviously larger over the number of years Maritimo has been exhibiting.

“It’s an open market for people who are looking for a large luxury cruiser or some fishing gear for their tinny.”

Dean and Ryan Leigh-Smith are third generation boaties, who have grown up with Sanctuary Cove as their “backyard” their entire lives.

SCIBS holds a special place in their hearts, and now their business calls the Sanctuary Cove Marina home.

“The Show has been a continual evolution since its first edition that the Leigh-Smith family was involved in all those years ago,” Dean Leigh-Smith said.

“What started as primarily as a promotional event to bring people to Sanctuary Cove has evolved into an amazing event that covers every level and facet of the marine industry.”

For the Leigh-Smiths, Sanctuary Cove is the ideal venue to showcase the enviable benefits of the boating lifestyle.

“You’ll often hear me referring to Sanctuary Cove as a ‘year-round Boat Show’, with brands like Fairline, Alaska, Hampton, Horizon, Maritimo, Integrity, Catalina and more all based here,” Mr Leigh-Smith said.

“Over four massive days, it’s a shorter show by comparison to others, but that adds to its appeal: four days, in and out, sensible hours and the opportunity to meet industry colleagues, friends and clients after hours and enjoy the Village atmosphere, the dining, boutiques, homewares and beautiful waterfront views.”

The 30th anniversary of the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show on the Gold Coast from 24 to 27 May. There will be over 180 boats on water including many world launches and Australian releases.

Visitors can purchase their general admission tickets online and save or indulge in the Top Deck VIP Lounge and experience a luxurious private retreat catered by the 5-star InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort.



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