Close to 40,000 attended the 2021 Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show.
If there were one word to sum up the 2021 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show, it would have to be…outstanding. Organiser Dave Gibbs said that it was far better than he had expected and was overwhelmed by the positive feedback from exhibitors. Held at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland, the show covered 8.5 hectares and was home for four days to 217 exhibitors.
“It has been two years since we have had the show, and it is obvious from both the public attendance and the fact we had sold out all the space well before opening day that it was certainly missed”, says Gibbs.
The four-day show attracted just shy of 40,000 visitors (39094), a 10% increase from the last show in 2019. There were many new first-time show exhibitors, especially from the bulging alloy trailer boat market. Both local and international brands displayed with the coveted boat show awards being split between traditional brands, new entrants and imported boats.
“I can’t praise the local marine industry enough for the support of the show, and while there was some scuttlebutt a few months ago about the show’s viability, we certainly proved the detractors 100% wrong.
“What was interesting was while a few major engine manufacturers and boat builders chose not to attend this year, the void left by them we filled within a few phone calls. Considering the amount of business that was done at the show over the four days, any marine company that wasn’t at the show lost a great opportunity to expose their brand and ultimately sales”, says Gibbs.
Strong sales were reported from the smallest alloy dinghies and RIBs through to big grp and alloy hardtops. Sports Marines’ Ian Williamson, the importer for the Nimbus range of cruisers, remarked it was probably the best NZ Boat Show he had ever done.
“On day two, we had a virtual walk-in client, who checked out our Nimbus 365 and within an hour had purchased the boat. Considering it was the biggest and most expensive boat in the show, I was delighted, and we came away from the show with a bulging list of potential clients for not only the Nimbus but also for some of our other brands such as Boston Whaler, Sea Ray and COX diesel outboards”, says Williamson.
Despite a 12-18 month wait for delivery of a new production trailer boat, be it a 5m alloy cuddy cabin or a 7m fibreglass hardtop, dealers were busy signing up new sales. “We sold a number of boats during the show, and even when I explained that the waiting time could be upwards of 18 months, that didn’t seem to deter their buying decision”, said Haines Hunter NZ’s Lionel Sands.
This sentiment was repeated throughout the show, from builders as far South as Invercargill, Christchurch and Nelson. However, some brands had the bonus of boats on display available for immediate delivery or at least later this year.
The Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show proved again to be trailer powerboat dominant and supported by all the world’s major electronics and engine brands. As is always the case for a Kiwi boat show, there was a significant emphasis on fishing, with one hall solely devoted to fishing tackle.
The 2022 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show is booked for around the same time in May.