Eighth Nanaimo Three-Day Floating Boat Show a Success

For the eighth consecutive year, boat sellers and potential buyers gathered in Nanaimo’s waterfront for a successful three-day floating boat show. Inconsistent weather might have kept attendance a bit lower than last year, but there was a positive “buzz” for the three-day event. The mood among exhibitors and attendees was very positive. Buyers were present and some sales were clearly advanced and some were completed.

“The second-hand market is still strong”, reported broker Trevor Matthew of Westerly Yacht Sales, the west coast Beneteau dealer, “a few good nibbles on new boats too. We were definitely not bored.” In addition to the new 45 Beneteau sloop, Westerly also showed the impressive Swift Trawler 34.

Perhaps the most interesting new boat was the new aluminum pontoon craft from Footprint Boats of Victoria. With its modular construction and pop-up tent-like accommodation, this vessel showed some truly new thinking in making a on-water camping experience possible for a small family.

This floating show is the largest on this coast after Victoria and Vancouver, but it is more comprehensive than Victoria because of the ancillary service displays that are included. About 30 dry-land exhibitors joined the approximately 50 boats on display.

With booths and tents on the shore there were additional exhibits from chandlers, insurance and lending services, equipment dealers, accessory suppliers and community services such as Power Squadron, Police Auxiliary and many others. Attendance was brisk and on occasion, the docks were crowded and there were small line-ups to see some boats. There was lots to see for boaters adding equipment or upgrading, not just the ones shopping for a new boat.

The newly re-badged Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue had two vessels and crew on show, as did the Nanaimo Port Authority with its two cutters, the larger of which serves full-time as a pilot transportation in and out of Nanaimo waters, a route increasing in deep-sea vessel traffic.

This floating show is organized and sponsored by the Port of Nanaimo, operators of the largest marina facility in Nanaimo and the authority in all Port operations. “We’re very pleased with the community response to this show” claimed David Mailloux, Manager of Community Relations and Marina for the Nanaimo Port Authority, “and we want the brokers and the public to be well served.”

The show is very well managed with excellent marketing, promotion, and advertising throughout the community, while the on-site facilities are as professional as shows many times bigger. Signage is excellent, as is traffic and parking facilities. West Coast weather added spells of both sun and rain on both Saturday and Sunday, but that’s boating reality on this coast so complaints were actually few.

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