The 2014 Adelaide Boat Show demonstrated a refreshing turnaround in consumer confidence with positive sales reports and a solid attendance.
Held over four days at the Adelaide Showground, Wayville, the event featured a diverse range of exhibits and it attracted dedicated buyers.
The flagship event of the Boating Industry Association of SA showcased latest products from cruisers to super skiing and fishing vessels, kayaks, canoes, jet skis, wakeboards and other recreational craft plus an extensive range of boating and fishing accessories.
In a vast promotion of fun afloat, the show for the first time included quality preowned boats on sale from leading dealers. Exhibitors and buyers alike welcomed this initiative as an affordable way for some show visitors to enter the market for the first time or buy into a bigger boat.
BIASA General Manager, Glen Jones, said the attendance and sales had exceeded expectations generating renewed confidence among members and consolidating the position of the annual show at Adelaide’s premier exhibition venue.
'We will be building on innovations and embracing positive outcomes from this year’s show as we turn our attention to planning for the 2015 event,' he added.
BIASA’s industry partner, Kym Jones, Managing Director of Kym Jones Exhibitions, said feedback from participating businesses in the 2014 show was very encouraging. Jason Deckers, Director of Pelican Marine, said it was 'our best show in seven years.'
Peter Heinrich, owner of Sports Marine, said: 'Our strong connections with customers was rewarded with very satisfying sales results. It was a pleasure to share with our customers new models from our range, and to offer the best available packages.'
Bronny Walsh, a partner of Tackle Busters, said the show allowed the business to premier in Adelaide its spectacular Rod Train, a pantech truck that combines a presentation stage with a huge mobile fishing tackle store. 'It was a big venture for us, but the show proved to be very successful,' she added.
At the industry breakfast held on the Friday of the show, a merger of BIASA with its New South Wales sister organisation was formally announced.
BIASA President, Andrew Hayes, said the merger would significantly strengthen the ability of the industry to advocate on behalf of one million Australian boat owners and four million regular crewmembers.
'We see this as a significant leap towards developing a single national body to represent 2,500 marine businesses that employ around 27,000 people in an industry with an annual turnover of about $9 billion,' Mr Hayes said.
'Our objective is to elevate the profile of the industry to new levels to promote recreational boating as one of the nation’s most popular, healthy, family oriented and inclusive recreational activities.
'We want to showcase recreational boating and related marine and riverine activities as safe, environmentally sound and responsible pastimes for all members of the community.
'The merger lays a solid foundation for improved efficiencies and services to, and advocacy on behalf of our members and the millions of people to enjoy quality boating experiences around our coastline and on inland waters each year.'
Roy Privett, General Manager of the BIANSW, one of a number of visitors to the Show from Sydney, said the merger was unanimously supported by industry members in New South Wales in recognition of their close relationships and joint objectives with their colleagues in SA.
The merged governing body will be named the Boating Industry Association of NSW & SA Limited, trading publicly as the Boating Industry Association, with offices, operating divisions and staff in each State.
Stephen Mullighan, the South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, was guest speaker at the boat show industry breakfast, which also attracted a broad range of politicians, including two former Premiers, and departmental heads.
Mr Mullighan congratulated BIASA and BIANSW on the merger announcement saying it was an encouraging move to consolidate the industry and help it to grow.
The Adelaide Boat Show also provided a forum for the launch of SA Marina Day, to be held on Sunday 12 October 2014. Participating marinas and yacht clubs, including the Cruising Yacht Club of SA (CYCSA), Marina Adelaide and Cape Jaffa Anchorage, are planning a full day of predominantly free on-water and shore-based events for people to experience the boating lifestyle.
Craig Evans, General Manager of the CYCSA said: 'The industry is looking forward to introducing people to the fun and social benefits of boating in a safe and friendly way with activities planned for all ages.
'There will be opportunities to learn about boats, accessories and related equipment with walk-throughs and demonstrations on boat maintenance, boating safety and management, as well as the basic skills of sailing.'