Promoting boating

Andy Adams 2018 Edited 400

Feb 6, 2024

The subject line for this February 6th 2024 edition of Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest is drawn from the announcement (story below) by Brunswick Corporation that their Freedom Boat Club delivered 600,000+ member trips in 2023. That’s an impressive number of trips to me and the Freedom Boat Club (and other similar boat clubs) offer a fleet of mainly larger, mainly new boats, supported by an on-site staff, and who require members to have at least some level of training before they cast off.

My point is that a person with no childhood boating experience, can get started in boating thanks to the support the clubs provide. Also, they can get started at a price that is far below the price of buying a boat to “try it out”. I have long felt that there was a high barrier to entry into boating, but the boat clubs bring that way down. For the broader benefit of our industry, I see clubs as an important development in boating, and as a natural first point of contact, I see boat shows as an important gateway to our future.

Last week I wrote about the unexpected surprise of the new boat show at Toronto’s International Centre. That show opened a week before the 2024 Toronto International Boat Show at Exhibition Place. I was at TIBS almost every day and got many questions, and many opinions from a range of exhibitors. To be sure, some were happy. Some participants in the new show said they enjoyed strong sales there. Several dealers spoke about the sales slowdown last summer when consumer interest rates rose rapidly and triggered inventory problems. But we have heard that inventories are up across North America. Ontario is not unique that way.

TIBS show management was certainly on the case and working hard to keep their exhibitors informed throughout the show. On Sunday January 28th, the last edition of the TIBS Exhibitor Newsletter went out and it included a lot of key information. First, they reminded Exhibitors about the Post Show Survey for Exhibitors and Consumers. All feedback is useful but perhaps it’s time to be a little more creative – ask ourselves what can the show be and how can the show lead the industry to better times.


TIBS show management directly addressed the questions about the date patterns and number of show days. It’s good to be open to questions like that. Those issues have a big impact on the exhibitor costs. As a direct result of the government’s luxury tax on boats, there were fewer big boats on display this year and yet, the TIBS show floor still looked great and there seemed to be more boats on display at accessible prices.

I thought that the marketing promotions were especially good this year and yet, attendance was flat or even down a little. Are we sending the right message? The population of southern Ontario is growing rapidly. The show attendance should be growing too.

We enjoy an embarrassment of world-class boating areas in this part of Canada and it seems logical that we should be promoting that to our many new residents. The Toronto International Boat Show should be the bright and vibrant expression of our boating lifestyle and the gateway to discovering boating. It seems that the two shows have stimulated more discussion than usual and that is a positive. I hope you contribute your best ideas and input to the discussion of promoting boating.

Andy Adams – Editor

Related Posts





See Taiga’s Orca Performance electric watercraft in action at the Toronto Boat Show

CMRA

Taiga Motors, the Canadian leader in the electrification of powersports, will showcase its latest personal watercraft at the Toronto International Boat Show January 19-28, 2024 at booth 136, Heritage Court.

If you’d like more information about Taiga and would like to see the Orca Performance, a 100% electric personal watercraft in action at the Toronto International Boat Show’s indoor lake, Taiga Experts will be available for interviews and demos.

Read More




Need to Catch up on News This Week?

Every Tuesday we publish a fresh Digest with informative articles pertaining to the Canadian boating and marine industry. Stay up to date with the latest products, research and industry developments.

Missed an Issue of Boating Industry Canada News Week? If you’re looking for a specific issue, or simply want to catch up on previous issues, check out our Boating Industry Canada News Week Archives.

Not signed up for News Week? Subscribe here.



Boston Whaler launches the 210 Vantage

Boston Whaler just introduced the newest model in the Vantage lineup – the 210 Vantage, an all-new, keel-up dual console model designed with premium features core to the Boston Whaler brand, as well as intuitive technology to attract the next generation of boaters.

“Building on the success of the Vantage series, we’re thrilled to officially introduce the all-new 210 Vantage into the marketplace and offer consumers a truly differentiated experience,” said Dennis Tilden, Senior Director of Sales & Customer Service. “The 210 Vantage embodies the core values that define Boston Whaler’s legacy – quality, innovation, unsinkability, reliability and simplicity – and was designed to cater to young families and empty nesters with its manageable size, thoughtful design, weather protection and spacious seating. We’re confident that our newest model will be well-received in the market and set the standard for its category.​”

Read More


JL Audio unveils MediaMaster® Wireless Remote with Zone Control for Marine Audio Systems

Hubbell-Marine Stainless steel outlet covers
Hubbell-Marine Stainless steel outlet covers

Keep it cradled, or take it with you to conveniently control your JL Audio marine source unit and audiozones from anywhere on deck.

JL Audio, a Garmin brand and manufacturer of high-performance marine audio systems, announced the addition of the MMR-25W wireless remote controller to its growing portfolio of MediaMaster® source unit control solutions. Equipped with Bluetooth® Low Energy technology, this compact, handheld controller connects directly to the latest MediaMaster® source units, including the MM105 and MM105-HR, and allows for robust, multi-zone system control from anywhere on deck.

Read More