The “Spring Season” of South Florida boat shows just came to a close with the 31st annual Palm Beach International Boat Show.
Despite a soggy closing weekend that lowered attendance, dampening any prospects of record setting crowds overall, the show started strong with attendance up 28% from last year for the first two days of the four day event.
Even with the rain lowering attendance on the closing days, organizers still consider the 2016 edition of the show to be one of the biggest and best ever. Speaking with the Palm Beach Post, Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, the organizers of the Palm Beach International Boat Show said, “This show is now ranked among the largest boat and yacht shows in the nation and continues to grow across all size categories. Record crowds on Thursday and Friday got the show off to a great start, and despite the rain over the weekend, exhibitor feedback was very positive about the show’s appeal to qualified buyers.”
Debuts and Details
The four-day major boating event opened on Thursday, March 17, and wrapped up on Sunday, the 20th. According to show organizers, this year the show offered more than 1,000 vessels, the greatest number in the show’s 31 year history.
Show management also said that the number of boats in the water was up eight percent, with the 100-foot and larger category up 31 percent over 2015. Boats 80 to 100 feet in size saw an increase of 32 percent. The increase in capacity was largely due to organizer’s expansion of this year’s event to include a new pier within the Palm Harbor Marina. The new space added 30 slips capable of accommodating yachts up to 280 feet. The expansion allowed the show to feature its largest yacht ever — the 253-foot Silver Fast.
Our Takeaway from the Palm Beach Boat Show
Like the shows promoters, despite the poor weather, we think there was a pretty good turnout at this year’s show. Attendee’s interests, at least in our category of motor yachts between 70-140Ft, seemed to be focused on the larger boats of 80 feet and up.
We had quite a few visitors express interest in our Azimut 85 and 80Ft Lazzara which we had on display.
This seems to follow the trend of the latest Sold Boats Report, which sees the market overall as somewhat slowing, but remaining strong in the larger boat categories. This being the case, as we leave the “boat show” season, and head towards the summer, expect to see manufacturers and owners of pre-owned boats in this size range, to offer discounts. Handled right, with a good yacht broker, this time between now and summer can be a great period for both buyers and sellers.
We also saw a lot of interest in “aftermarket services” such as our recently introduced On Demand Yachting solutions.
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