Boating Boom gives Mackay a new reputation

Mining has given Mackay a solid reputation as the gateway to the resources boom but it is also quickly becoming a capital for something else – boats.

Marine Queensland has announced the second Mackay Marine Festival incorporating the Mackay Tinnie and Tackle Show and Mackay leg of the Australian Offshore Superboat Championships, on June 23rd and 24th 2012.

Adding to this year’s Marine Festival will be heaps of family fun in Mulherin Park proudly being presented by North Queensland Bulk Ports. There will be rides for the kids, food and entertainment – something for everyone.

With more exhibitors that last year, the 2012 event will feature product ranging from offshore fishing boats, tinnies, fibreglass boats, engines, PWC’s, marine electronics and accessories.
Marine Queensland Events’ Manager Jason Plant said forget the mining boom – Mackay was bursting with boats - the region boasting one of the state’s highest per capita boat ownership ratios with one boat registered for every 8 residents. Boat registration figures reveal last year’s event resulted in a 300% increase in new boat sales in the region.

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'Outside of the Gold Coast, Mackay has the highest number of boats per resident in Queensland,' Mr Plant said.

'The figure of 12% boat ownership in the region also makes it the highest in the state with 95% of these boats being trailer boats 8m and under.

'Last year’s free event was a great success highlighting just how popular boating in the region is and to support our members in the area by giving them an opportunity to show case their products and services.

'By putting on a festival solely dedicated to the on water lifestyle we aimed to bring to the region the new product releases and the fishing talks and demonstrations that have been enjoyed by visitors to the southern based shows for years and Mackay residents certainly responded to that.'

Thousands of boaties turned out for the 2011 two day event at Mackay Marina with sales exceeding dealer expectations.

Reef Marine’s Greg Camilleri said although the mining boom was having an impact on the Mackay region the interest in boating ran the cross spectrum of the whole industry.

'Mackay is such a good fishing and boating area in Queensland that it doesn’t matter what sector you come from there is significant interest,' Mr Camilleri said.

'It is such a great thing for families to do together. Many generations – father and son will head on the water together so it has a solid reputation for bringing families together.
'Adding to that Marine Queensland’s research has shown boating taps into the freedom from and freedom to in our lifestyles.

'The freedom from thinking about the mortgage while you are on the water and the freedom to get to somewhere else for the day – that has really become a big part of our busy lives.'

Mackay Marina will again be the venue for the FREE family event.

The 2012 Mackay Marine Festival is proudly brought to you by Legra Mining and Engineering Services, presented by North Queensland Bulk Ports and the Australian Offshore Superboat Champions and is also supported by Mackay Marina (Port Binnli), Events Queensland, and Mackay City Council.

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