Renewed optimism

A successful Sanctuary Cove Boating Festival, including a wave of sales, has buoyed the boating industry.

18 November 2020


For the first time, the Sanctuary Cove Boating Festival was held over the weekend, from 13–15 November, giving exhibitors in the region cause to celebrate after a year affected by the pandemic.

This new initiative served as an alternative to the annual Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, usually held in May.

The event also marked one of Australia’s first major boat shows to take place in 2020 and was welcomed by the marine industry as an opportunity to showcase their latest arrivals throughout the Sanctuary Cove Marine Village.

Over 20,000 visitors attended the weekend’s festivities, and those lucky enough to visit were able to enjoy the upgraded Sanctuary Cove Marina, which showcased a number of the show’s luxury motor yacht offerings.

Following an AU$12 million investment, the Sanctuary Cove Marina expansion can now cater to berthing demand for premium recreational vessels from 50 feet to superyachts up to 165 feet in length. The new marina will also include Australia’s first covered berths in 2021.


Mark Western from Horizon Yacht Australia went all out for this year’s Sanctuary Cove Boating Festival, and was impressed by the layout of the new event.

“It was fantastic. We had a lot of inquiries, and we anticipate that we will land some deals off the back of the show.

“We have moved to the new marina, and have had a lot of feedback from our owners that it was the best stand we’ve had in years. I’m a fan of the show being this time of year, and think there’s scope to run two shows a year on the Gold Coast.”

The show featured an impressive range of Australian and international brands, with a focus on the luxury boat market. Multiple worldwide and Australian launches took place, with exhibitors reporting healthy interest given the reduced size of the show.

Greg Haines from Princess Yachts Australia said, “The show had a great atmosphere and allowed us to reconnect with Princess owners as well as the boating public.”

“We’re very happy with the outcome of the show. We weren’t sure how it was going to work, but it felt like a normal boat show. A lot of people commented that it was great to get out and see what we have to offer.”

Orders secured at the festival and over the following days have further bolstered Maritimo’s forward order pipeline, which is now at record levels for the brand. In particular, their new S55 Sedan Motor yacht attracted plenty of attention.

“The response to the S55 both here in Australia and internationally has been unrivalled, and bodes well for future sales of this model,” said Tom Barry-Cotter from Maritimo.

“We literally had hundreds of people visiting our on-water brand experience centre each day of the show in a COVID-safe and managed environment.

“Many said they were wanting to upgrade their current vessel or get into boating for the first time as a way to relax and enjoy quality time with family and friends safely.”

Ray White Marine secured a new vessel order for a Pershing 5X on the first day of the 2020 Sanctuary Cove Boating Festival.

“We are thrilled to announce the confirmed new build order of the 5x into Melbourne,” Ray White Marine Sales Director Brock Rodwell said.

“Since teaming up with our partners Zagame, we have had a great drive of enquiry and sales from the region, even amidst the pandemic and I can’t wait to see the new X series hit our shores.”

Multihull Solutions managing director Mark Elkington said the adapted-format boat show had surpassed all expectations and resulted in being one of the most successful in history for the company.

Multihull Solutions confirmed almost AUD$12.5 million in orders, with two ILIAD 50s going under contract, as well as an order taken on the new ILIAD 60, which is due for release in early 2021.

“We certainly didn’t anticipate the astonishing number of visitors or their readiness to place orders across our range of sail and power boats,” Mark said.

“It’s an extremely positive sign for the industry that boat sales are at their strongest levels despite the impact of the pandemic,” he said.

Meanwhile, Riviera had the largest display at the show with six yachts, including the Australian boat show premiere of the new 50 and 64 Sports Motor Yachts, together with the 72 Sports Motor Yacht, 5400 and 6000 Sport Yachts and the 575 SUV. Their new Sports Motor Yachts proved extremely popular during the show, especially the 64, which appeared on the front of issue 91 of Ocean magazine.

“The feedback from visitors to our display after stepping off our new Sports Motor Yachts and our other superb models on display was overwhelming,” commented Stephen Milne, Brand & Communications Director from Riviera.

“At shows such as this, Riviera really creates our own experience. Our yacht owners always enjoy the opportunity to meet and inspect our latest models, catch up with each other and our team and very often will then enjoy a lunch or dinner together. The Riviera family are very social and we are extremely grateful for their support and loyalty. Over 2,000 Riviera owners and enthusiasts were welcomed to our display over the three days of the show.”

Over 200 exhibitors attended the Sanctuary Cove Boating Festival, with many pleasantly surprised by the quality of the event. Seamech, Queensland’s only authorised Volvo Penta Centre, was at the show and had frequent visitors to their stand.

Derrick Nowak from Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM) saw a mix of diverse boat owners and said the show was a great opportunity to make contact with boaters and industry colleagues.

“The more open format created a positive and relaxed vibe for attendees and exhibitors alike. The number of qualified inquiries was steady over the three days,” reported Nowak.

“With the additional exhibitor spaces wrapped around the new marina berth development, this area would be a good location for exhibitors at future shows as we return to normal times.”

Adding a touch of luxury to proceedings, Autosports Group showcased the latest sports cars from Bentley, Lamborghini and Maserati.

The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show will be held from 20 to 23 May 2021.



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