SANCTUARY Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) has opened its milestone 30th anniversary showcase, with bumper crowds flooding through the gates early for the start of the iconic four-day event.
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate rang the traditional Boat Show bell to officially declare SCIBS 2018 open on Thursday morning, with more than 40,000 visitors expected to stream through the gates across the next three days. General manager of SCIBS Johan Hasser said visitor numbers were up on Day 1 from last year, while feedback from exhibitors had been extremely positive, with many reporting a strong start to sales and a steady stream of Show-goers throughout the day.
“We’ve had a hugely successful first day of Show,” Mr Hasser said. “We haven’t seen these sorts of opening day numbers for quite some time, so we are really excited for the next three days.”
Local boating manufacturer Riviera has made its much-anticipated return to SCIBS in 2018, and owner Rodney Longhurst said the team had a strong start to boat sales on Day 1. “So far it’s been a really happy time for us! We’ve sold two boats, a fabulous 52 Flybridge and a 48 Sports Yacht, so we’re very pleased with how things are going,” Mr Longhurst said. “We’ve had lots of people coming to see the new Riviera lineup, and we’ve got lots of interested people here, so hopefully we can invite more to the Riviera family.”
For Maritimo, this year’s SCIBS is the brand’s 15th Show, but for founder Bill Barry-Cotter, 2018 marks his 30th year as an exhibitor. Maritimo’s head of sales and marketing, Greg Haines, said the day started off strong from the time gates opened. “We saw a lot of people through the stand before lunchtime! We have six boats here including the race boat, and the X-60 is certainly a huge drawcard. Bill’s (Barry-Cotter’s) own S70 is also attracting a lot of interest,” he said.
Surf Coast Marine’s Paul Banning said their first day had also been positive, with the team managing to secure several sales. “We’ve had good numbers and we’ve got a couple of sales away, which is great,” he said. “We’ve done a 510 Cruiseabout with a 90 Suzuki and a 610 Trident with a 140 Suzuki, which has set a great platform for the Show.”
On the Marina, Integrity and Whitehaven Motor Yachts’ Peter Pembroke, general manager for the brands, said opening crowd numbers seemed larger than in previous years, most likely the result of the great weather and pre-show marketing. “We are pleased with the number of people and the types of people here so far,” he said. “There are lots of boat owners and people who say they are here to buy. We have a few sales pending and are confident of closing those deals before Sunday.”
Damien Johnson from The Boutique Boat Company, representing Princess, also experienced a strong first day. “For Day 1, we are impressed because it’s typically the quietest day, but the calibre of buyers has been high,” he said. “We’ve met a number of buyers that are qualified and are in the market, so for the first day, it’s quite positive.”
Andy Young, CEO of Longreef Yachts said the team had also noticed a lot more traffic at this year’s Show. “It’s looking like one of the best Show’s yet,” he said.
Multihull Solutions reported strong sales enquiry from the first morning, with strong leads on its power and sail catamaran range. “This year we’re seeing really good quality leads and qualified potential clients,” Multihull’s Anna Wallace said.
At the end of F Arm, Twin Disc Pacific is conducting Seakeeper demonstrations on the Matilda Bay 32, as well as the Twin Disc boat, Revolution. Twin Disc Pacific managing director, Glenn Frettingham said the start of Day 1 was living up to its reputation as a ‘buyers day’. “We are seeing good numbers and good enquiry. Owners of Rivieras, Maritimos and some who are planning to buy a Fleming are looking at retrofitting a Seakeeper,” Mr Frettingham said. “The Australian launch of Seakeeper 2 has attracted a lot of interest, and we completed three demos already before lunchtime on Revolution.”
In The Marine Village, with additional space this year, Sirocco Marine North has a sensational display of 32 RIBS on show, from entry level to the jaw-dropping 10m BRIG Eagle 10, which boasts a speed of 50 knots. Managing director for Sirocco, Neil Webster said the team was confident of several sales across the brands he represents – Williams Jet Tenders, Sirocco, BRIG and Sealegs – with more to come over the next few days.
“We have sold six BRIGS already, medium to large sizes, and that is pretty good for Day 1. There’s a lot of people here for Day 1, we have seen solid traffic, and they are from all states in Australia and NZ,” he said. “It’s great that SCIBS is the sole Gold Coast show and good weather, a good economy and it being the 30th year have brought out the buyers.”
On the Marina, SACS Marine Australia is lapping up the sunshine and positive ambience from exhibitors and visitors. General manager Colin Wilcox said the team had seen a lot of familiar faces from last year’s SCIBS and the Sydney boat show, which indicated they were getting serious about buying. “Now that we have boats on the water in every state, and we’re selling a boat a month around the country, people are coming to know what’s great about SACS,” he said. “This year, the 13m Strider is really getting some attention. We have heard people say they saw us on Instagram and social media, and now they are seeing us on the water, they want one!”
JSW Powersports on Masthead Way had a great day from the increased foot traffic through the Village on Day 1, with director Jeff McNiven saying there hadn’t been a quiet period since gates opened. “We got bombarded before 9am! It has been constant right from the start,” he said. “The RXTX and the GTR are leading our scoreboard so far with a handful of sales, and we expect more to come today and the next three days. The brand new 2018 model Seafox and Malibu Boats have attracted a lot of interest and the sales team have been busy.”
Steve Ackerie of Stefan Boating World said SCIBS was definitely one of the best shows in Australia. “It’s more than a boat show – it’s all about entertainment and selling the boating lifestyle,” he said. “SCIBS has a unique ambience, it’s vast and covers everything from small boats to superyachts, tinnies, accessories and everything under the sun.”
The 2018 anniversary SCIBS features a large number of international, national and Queensland launches, across all market segments, on and off-water. Johan Hasser said the next three days promised visitors a fantastic opportunity to get up close to hundreds of luxury, sporting and fishing boats, marine accessories and impressive supercars, along with entertainment for the whole family.
“We have so much on display at this year’s Show, with up to 200 boats on water and more than 300 exhibitors spread across the Pavilions, around The Marine Village and in our new dedicated trailerboat precincts, there really is something for every boating and marine lifestyle interest,” Mr Hasser said. “Together with a jam-packed entertainment schedule, interactive Kids’ Zone, great food and fantastic atmosphere, we’re looking forward to sharing the 30th anniversary event with more visitors across the next three days.”
For more information, visit www.sanctuarycoveboatshow.com.au