For five long days, go-fast powerboat builders exhibiting at the Miami International Boat Show meet, greet and hope for sales or solid leads. Selling boats is, go figure, the primary point of being there. From the cost of docks in front of the Miami Marine Stadium to housing and feeding small armies of staff members, the Miami Boat Show is an expensive proposition.
Here’s the good news. Every go-fast powerboat builder I spoke to after the show said the 2020 event show was the best since it arrived at its Virginia Key location five years ago.
For several high-performance powerboat builders, the 2020 Miami International Boat Show was the best it’s been since the event changed locations five years ago (click image to enlarge). Photo copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix courtesy Wozencraft Insurance Agency.
“We had a fantastic show with a lot of deals working, and two boats with done deals just waiting on deposits,” said John Cosker, the owner and founder of Mystic Powerboats in DeLand, Fla.
At least on Thursday and Friday, the show did not feel overcrowded as it has in years past (at least to this reporter). But that didn’t translate to either day being “slow” when it came to producing sales and leads, according to Geoff Tomlinson, the dealer manager for Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Powerboats in Fort Myers, Fla.
“It was a great show with several boats sold and lots of leads,” said Tomlinson, who was supported by all of Nor-Tech’s dealers at the event. “It was never too packed, but there was a quality crowd, for sure.”
Without question, the strongest United States economy in many, many years helped propel sales at the show this year. “I think everyone is doing well and feel confident that things are going to stay good for a while,” said Tomlinson.
It takes a lot to impress Randy Scism of MTI, which announced plans to release a V-50 center console next year and will host its annual fun run to the Florida Keys next month. But even the typically low-key founder of the Wentzville, Mo., company owner had high praise for the event.
“It was one of our best shows, even though Saturday was rain almost all day,” he said.
It also seemed that the show organizers did a much better job with transportation to and from the event, as well as parking accommodations, more-frequent shuttle buses and far better organized ride-app services. Though I did hear one or two transportation horror stories during two days of covering the show, my access experience from my digs in a downtown Miami hotel was excellent.
But back to sales. Brett Manire of Performance Boat Center based in Osage Beach, Mo., reported strong results from the happening for Wright Performance sport catamarans and Sunsation CCX center consoles. (Like fellow offshoreonly.com columnist Jason Johnson and I, Manire and a few members of his crew survived a scary Uber accident without injury—Miami has no shortage of sloppy drivers, Uber and otherwise.)
For the Performance Boat Show crew, sales included “a little bit of everything” according to the company’s Brett Manire.
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