The Changing Landscape

Andy Adams 2018 Edited 400

Jan 31, 2023

In the three-year gap since the last Toronto International Boat Show in 2020, there have been big changes in the fleet of new boats, in the marketplace and among the dealers. When the doors opened at the Toronto International Boat Show 2023, it was fast forward to a new order in the marketplace.

The main entrance at Hall A seemed like previous shows at first, but visitors quickly discovered  few displays were where they might have remembered them. To their left was the Four Winns display where they have been in the past but on the right was a huge display of MasterCraft boats capitalizing on the trend to family wake sports activities. Just beyond that was an eye-catching display of Swedish-designed Axopar adventure boats. The concepts and styling of the Axopar line is groundbreaking in my opinion. (Read more)

Further down in familiar locations were the Cruisers Yachts display, Regal boats and across from that was Sea-Doo showing their revolutionary Sea-Doo Switch pontoon. So that was familiar but with many totally new models. A little further down the main aisle was a dramatic Schaefer V33 hardtop from Brasil and opposite that was a boat we had never seen before; the Rand which is a large open electric boat with a full canopy like a floating patio.

There was a big focus on electric power and of special interest were electric surfboards and what some are calling flight-boards with hydrofoils. These look really cool, are quiet and throw very little wake. On the other hand, some have a propellor and there could be safety concerns so buyers should be careful. 

As you went through the show floor you would discover boats like the Spanish-made, electrically powered Magonis which was making its debut at the show. Other brands that will be new to most of our readers include NauticStar, Outlaw Boats, XO EPLOR, OXE Diesel outboard motors, X-Shore Electric boats, Galleon yachts and more – loads of brands that are new to our market.

Of course, most of the best-established brands were there too, and some were where you might remember them from past shows, but a few big brands were conspicuous by their absence in Toronto.  The rapidly ascendant Maple Leaf Marinas group was well represented with a dozen top brands available through their 17 marinas and they occupied a significant amount of floor space.

In my NMMA Canada State of the Industry Breakfast speech, I mentioned that people want to buy their boat where they do their boating and having quality service and support is their assurance that their boat will be there for the good times this coming summer. All these new brands and new boat designs are a big part of the excitement and it appeared that the buyers were open to new ideas. It looks like we’re off to a strong start for 2023. Now, let’s see what happens in Vancouver.

Andy Adams – Editor

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