Boat shows…a different experience

Andy Adams

Mar 8, 2022

In the February 22nd News Week Digest Editor’s Message, (written in Miami before the 2022 Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show had closed), I wrote that in my opinion, the weather steadily improved through the week, the crowds grew larger and the vibe seemed very positive. I said that I felt a sense of momentum as the days went on.

I also wrote that there was a lot of product on display, that we had a long-awaited reunion with many friends and business clients and I noted that I was able to locate almost everyone on my list, in spite of the show being spread across four different locations.

One of our readers had a very different experience. He wrote: 

I am writing in response to your article on the Miami International Boat Show. We have just gotten back from the show and to say we were disappointed is a major understatement. Having spent thousands of US$, not to even consider the costs after converting the funds into Canadian $, to drive to Miami, stay in an overpriced hotel for 3 nights, and wander the show looking for products relating to sail boaters, we left frustrated and angry! The show was completely disorganized, the lines long, the products sadly lacking… and the information for out of towners completely missing….etc.

Our readers were looking for displays and products relating to sailing and it’s true – there was very little and yes, what was there for sailors was scattered across different locations.

Given today’s strong interest in things environmentally friendly and the booming market for all boats, new and used, it’s surprising that there wasn’t more for sailors generally, and for people who are interested in repair and refit of used boats.

I did write that getting new boats continues to be very tough and there is a growing interest in buying and upgrading older boats as a response.

I have contacted NMMA Canada President Sara Anghel and she recommended that I share the letter to the Miami show organizers.

While the power boat side has been booming, it makes sense that there would be growing interest in sail. Shows like Annapolis cater to sailors, but I think it’s a much stronger market now than people realize.

It occurs to me that people attend the shows to see what’s new and that the show organizers and their displays should be leading the parade. Let’s hope our Canadian shows make a strong come-back and address our market better.

Andy Adams – Editor

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