The show was larger this year than ever before, with the total number of boats on display in-water up 14 percent compared to 2013. The new boat category was up 18 percent with the 46-foot-and-under category up 16 percent compared to 2013, indicating renewed demand from buyers of smaller boats who were temporarily shut out by the recession. The number of brokerage boats on display was comparable to 2013.
Reports from many exhibitors point to very strong sales activity during the show, several finishing with contracts in place.
“We came away from the show with several contracts, many more scheduled sea trials and we look forward to enjoying strong results from the event,” said Darren Plymale, vice president of Galati Yacht Sales, which had 18 boats in the show. “The show provided us the opportunity to showcase our new yacht brands and an excellent selection of pre-owned vessels, both of which were met by great consumer interest.”
The show’s success was also seen at Sarasota Yacht & Ship. “We have contracts pending from the show which are currently in the due diligence process and we fully expect to write additional orders based on the relationships formed during the Suncoast show,” said Jason Mashke, managing partner of Sarasota Yacht & Ship. “Our brokerage and new build markets are showing great signs of activity.”
MarineMax Regional Vice President Kyle Langbehn shared this sentiment: “We experienced outstanding results at the show this year, greatly surpassing last year’s units and revenue totals. We are very pleased to see people back in the market deciding to enjoy the boating lifestyle, demonstrated by both the qualified traffic at our display and the influx of new visitors to our Sarasota store. We are very confident about the future, given the customer excitement around the innovative models we showed, including the Sea Ray 350SLX, the Boston Whaler 35 Outrage, all the way up to the new Ocean Alexander 90 motor yacht.”
The show featured boats of all kinds, including personal watercraft, center consoles, cruisers, sportfishers and motor yachts, including the largest yacht ever to be displayed in the show, the 110-foot Broward motor yacht, Entrepreneur, which was available for sale and charter.
“We enjoyed a good flow of interested people throughout the show and came away with some quality leads,” said David Johnson, a yacht broker with Denison Yacht Sales, which had the 110-foot Entrepreneur on display. “Having a boat like this in the show attracted people from the area who otherwise may have not come. Some people like to see the biggest boat in the show.”
For those looking for a smaller, more affordable ways to get out on the water, the show offered a great selection of paddleboards, canoes and kayaks.
“The City of Sarasota and Marina Jack always have been great partners and we are grateful for all their support over the busy weekend,” said Efrem” Skip” Zimbalist III, CEO of Show Management, the company that produces the show. “We truly enjoy being part of the excitement and energy in Sarasota that surrounds the Suncoast Boat Show every year.”
With onsite restaurants, plenty of downtown parking and convenient access, the show is one of the Gulf Coast’s premier boating events. Marina Jack offers fresh seafood and other dining specialties at its restaurant in a spectacular setting with panoramic views of the marina, downtown, Sarasota Bay, Big Pass and the Gulf of Mexico. Sarasota's attractions make it an unparalleled destination for boating enthusiasts, with pristine beaches, world-class shopping, international cuisine, renowned museums and galleries, Florida's signature water sports and outdoor activities, aquariums, botanical gardens, and more.
The annual Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota is managed and produced by Show Management and sponsored by Lincoln, Budweiser, Gosling’s Rum, ABC7 WSSB MySunCoast, BoatQuest.com and AIM Marine Group. For more information, call 800-940-7642 or visit ShowManagement.com. Like the Suncoast Boat Show on Facebook at facebook.com/SuncoastBoatShow, follow the show on Twitter at twitter.com/boatshowupdates and tune into Boat Show TV at youtube.com/showmanagement.