At the US winter shows, the boating industry puts its best foot forward. Between Miami and Palm Beach, the region hosts no fewer than five major boat shows.
The Yacht & Brokerage Show on Miami Beach and the Miami International Boat Show, and related Strictly Sail, run February 14 to 18. These three shows mark the debut of dozens of new models and showcase hundreds of craft, from small center consoles to megayachts. More than 500 boats line the Indian Creek Waterway on Miami Beach during the Yacht & Brokerage Show alone.
Stakes are high for the the host cities, the organizers and of course the manufacturers who come from all over the globe to present their new products at these annual events.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMAA), which backs the Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail, reports positive signs going into this important time of the year.
In the United States, powerboat sales increased by 10 percent in 2012, the first such significant increase since the recession. NMAA President Thom Dammrich says the trend is part of an overall increase in outdoor recreational spending. Not only is it good for the boating industry, it could also signal a wider recovery. Recreational spending is considered a positive economic indicator.
While the picture was a bit more mixed in the larger yacht market, brokerage houses reported positive trends, particularly in the Americas. In 2012, Oceanstyle by Burgess sold 19 yachts ranging in size from 82 feet to 131 feet, an 11.7 percent increase over 2011. The company’s director, Richard Lambert, is optimistic but cautious. “There are still difficult times ahead and whilst the downward pressure on pricing will continue into 2013 and the market will still be very price driven, we have seen some stabilization, especially in the American markets where we are seeing a positive upward trend,” he says.
Fraser Yachts CEO Hein Velema says that after a very strong start in 2012, brokerage sales tapered off in the summer, but the new-build market—particularly for the large yacht segment—and the charter market improved. “We saw an increase of 5 percent in the total value of charters. An interesting part of this increase is the growing number of charter clients from South America. Brazil is now a significant market for charter clients,” he says.
Exhibitors are showing confidence by bringing a large inventory of new product, particularly to the Miami shows. However, the Palm Beach International Boat Show, running March 21 to 24 this year, continues to grow. It is one of the United States’ top 10 boat shows, featuring more than $350 million worth of boats, yachts and accessories. The show has developed an international flavor, boosted by an exceptional location, great weather and the addition of a new marina that has made room for larger boats.
At the Miami Shows (more will be posted as we receive information):
At the Palm Beach Show:
More coming soon!
The South Florida Winter Shows
February 14 to 18, 2013
Yacht & Brokerage Show
Collins Avenue between 41st and 51st streets
Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail
Miami Beach Convention Center, Sea Isle Marina and Miamarina at Bayside
March 21 to 24, 2013
Palm Beach International Boat Show
Downtown West Palm Beach, at Flagler between Banyan and Hibiscus