The ideal option for exploring river reaches, the Gold Coast canals, lakes, bays and inland waters, pontoon boats are enjoying a rise in popularity, thanks to their affordable, stable and social natures.
'They’re like a lounge room on the water,' says Peter Damiris from Noosa Boatique, which specialises in pontoon boats. 'Excellent for socialising, and you can customise them with extras –galley, fridge, stern washdown, WC and shower. They’re easy to drive on to the sand because of their tiny draft, and ideal for inland waterways. You can even ski behind them!'
Noosa Boatique is the Australian distributor for US brand Bennington, which has a quarter of the American market and is known for its premium build quality and massive selection – over 100 in the range. 'There’s a style to suit everybody,' says Damiris.
Based in Noosaville, they will be a first time exhibitor at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in 2014, showing the 22-74GL Bennington, a 22ft boat Damiris described as 'middle of the range and very affordable'.
'In the Bennington, they go up to the Q series, the top of the line. They can be quite fancy! There are five different densities of foam in the seats, making them more comfy than many lounges!'
In Australia, Damiris sees massive potential for pontoon boats. 'They’re affordable, simple to operate, you don’t have the huge outlay and running costs of a cruiser. They can take outboards or inboards, up to 430hp sterndrive, or 350hp outboard, depending on what you want to do with them.'
Also at SCIBS this year, Runaway Bay Pontoon Boats will have examples of their exceptional, locally made boats, ideal for entertaining, family adventures, fishing, commercial use or just cruising.
Craig Winch from Runaway Bay Pontoon Boats says these Brisbane-built beauties can be custom-made to whatever size and spec you choose, from colour, amenities onboard, layout, bimini and more, only limited by your imagination.
'Our customers can actually come to our Brisbane factory and see the options available. We sit down with them and design their ideal boat, from 16ft to 30ft, or bigger, twin or tri hull. It’s up to you!'
You can even purchase a Runaway Bay Pontoon Boat in kit form and enjoy the thrill of the project.
Stable, beachable, able to handle all conditions, Runaway Bay Pontoon Boats are made of marine-grade alloy, stronger and more durable than some of their imported rivals.
'And for post-sales service and any queries, we’re there. We live and work in Queensland, but we have customers all over the country, as well as international. We’re always looking for distributors around Australia, so Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show is the ideal platform for us.'
Sponsored by Club Marine and Maserati Euromarque Brisbane, SCIBS 2014 will run from May 22 to 25.
In 2014, SCIBS has partnered with Translink to offer free train travel to and from the 2014 Boat Show on all regular Queensland Rail City Network trains when users display a pre-purchased ticket to the event. SCIBS will also run Free ‘Park ‘n’ Ride’ services for all self-drive visitors from Helensvale.
The 2014 Boat Show will showcase a wide variety of international boating brands, products and technologies on display alongside the superb backdrop of the award-winning Sanctuary Cove marina and The Marine Village.
Offering something for the whole family, SCIBS will also feature a full program of live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and seminars as well as a kids zone and Women on Water program throughout the four-day event.
Tickets are on sale now at www.sanctuarycoveboatshow.com
or through Ticketmaster. Adult day passes start at $20, with concession passes available for seniors and students. Children under 18 are free. Visit www.ticketmaster.com.au
for more information. For more information on this year’s SCIBS including exhibitor information, holiday packages and entertainment line up, visit www.sanctuarycoveboatshow.com