Palm Beach Show Caps Winter Expo Season April 15, 2014
More boats in the water, mostly accommodating weather, growth in promotional activities and an overhang of northern show goers who may have been frozen out of attending earlier shows came together for the 2014 Palm Beach International Boat Show producing positive commentary and expected sales results. Dubbed one of the top five yachting events in the U.S., the 29th edition of the show delivered the yachting lifestyle to downtown West Palm Beach from March 20 to March 23. It capped an upbeat southeast Florida Show season which launched last October with the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Show Management told media new boats in the water increased by 6 percent but the number of boats 40 feet and smaller jumped by 29 percent, it was reported in Soundings Trade Only Today. Show Management continued, “This is encouraging because these are the entry-level boaters. We are starting to see more and more interest in those [smaller] boats. People are becoming more comfortable with spending money. They are getting older and saying, ‘If not now, when?’ ”
A tally of boats and related accessories and merchandise produced a figure of more than $1.25 billion worth of product on display. The offerings, including hundreds of boats ranging from small inflatables and center consoles to fishing boats and superyachts over 200 feet, were said to draw buyers and sellers from around the world. A feature in the The Palm Beach Post on Saturday March 22 quoted an executive from Marine Max reporting several boat sales from $35,000 to more than $1 million and another from Riviera Yachts saying five boats sold ranging from $1 to $5 million.
The same newspaper piece reported ancillary activity related to the show, from vendors lining up service work, boaters looking for innovations, new products and replacement parts, to fishing gear and nautical knick-knacks or simply grabbing some food or taking in a free sport fishing seminar offered by the IGFA School of Sportfishing, swimwear fashion show or youth fishing clinic.
The Palm Beach International Boat Show is owned and sponsored by Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Inc., and managed and produced by Show Management. For information on its shows and schedules, go to www.showmanagement.com.