Melbourne Boat Show flocked by serious buyers

With a massive variety of boats and boating equipment on offer, there were serious buyers for everything on show at the 2013 BIA Melbourne Boat Show.
Greg Shoemark
The 2013 BIA Melbourne Boat Show last weekend had thousands of serious boat buyers that braved Melbourne’s damp and chilly weather to make some major purchases.

The four-day show was the living embodiment of 'quality over quantity', with exhibitors reporting sales similar to those of a good five-day show.

Total attendance was 27,261 for the four days.

BIA general manager Steven Gill said the show turn-out was a testament to the resolve of Victoria’s serious boaties.

'It really was the sort of weather when most people would rather snuggle up in front of the fire, but serious boaties were not deterred,' he said.

'Our patron surveys showed a very strong presence of people who attend every year, and our exhibitor surveys showed they were there to shop.

'Although it takes a couple of months to be sure of the final sales result, exhibitors were very pleased with the combination of leads and actual sales.'

Mr Gill said show patrons were just as interested in accessories, information and entertainment as they were in boats, berths and fishing gear.

With a massive variety of boats and boating equipment on offer, there were serious buyers for everything on show at the 2013 BIA Melbourne Boat Show.
Greg Shoemark


'People responded really well to the entertainment on offer, with a constant crowd around the navigation simulators and non-stop entertainment on the TrailerBoat SuperStage,' he said.

'There were massive audiences for the top attractions on the SuperStage, such as fishing guru Lee Rayner, Yamaha Supertank host Brett Thompson and Squid King Paul Carter.

'Part of the attraction for serious shoppers was the wealth of new models this year, with dozens of new boats and plenty of new accessories and fishing gear.

'All up, we had 493 boats this year, ranging from a few hundred dollars up to $380,000 and covering every imaginable type.'

With a massive variety of boats and boating equipment on offer, there were serious buyers for everything on show at the 2013 BIA Melbourne Boat Show.
Greg Shoemark


Mr Gill said the weather had undoubtedly had an influence on the quality and quantity of patrons.

'There’s a sweet spot in terms of weather for any show, and this weekend was a bit colder than ideal,' he said.

'For an indoor boat show the ideal weather is cool and damp – cold enough not to take the boat out, but mild enough for a nice day going to the show.

'With temperatures in the low teens, we had plenty of serious shoppers, but fewer casual visitors.'

The BIA Melbourne Boat Show will return to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on the weekend after the long weekend for the next three years, with negotiations still under way to determine whether the venue can offer four days or five.