Byline: Shane Scott
NEWPORT BEACH — The 2013 Lido Boat Show — held Sept. 26-29 — offered more than an opportunity for boating enthusiasts to shop for new vessels. There were more boats this year, 14 percent more booth exhibits and 75 percent more dry land exhibits than a year ago. Show results prove that the recreational boating industry is beginning to move forward, and attendance increased nearly 30 percent.
Attendees came to the 35th annual Lido Boat Show in great numbers, to board and inspect more than 150 new and brokerage boats displayed in the water — including brand-new models making their West Coast debuts.
“We were very happy with not only the amount of traffic, but the quality of the attendees,” said Ray Jones, owner of Long Beach Yachts Sales. The company sold models of both Cutwater Boats and Ranger Tugs, and Jones said he has been inspired to put even more effort out for their customers.
Jones has noticed an uptick in business — not just for himself, but for all areas of the boating industry. “New boaters are coming in and existing boaters are making changes in their boating lifestyles. Buyers also expressed a desire to purchase boats due to favorable financing rates that are now available,” he said. “While the Cutwater Boats and Ranger Tugs are targeted to a specific market, we have noticed an increase in brokerage business as well.”
Mikelson Yachts also reported strong results at the Lido Boat Show, selling its brand new 2014 Mikelson 43 to a buyer met at the show. “General enthusiasm and attitude of other brokers and vendors seemed to be on a more positive trajectory — and there were certainly buyers walking around, as evidenced by our sales success at the show,” noted P.J. Sullivan, Mikelson Yachts broker.
“The Newport and Lido shows have always been among our most successful sales events,” Sullivan said. “It’s always nice to find a buyer at the show.
“Of course, the deals are still very good on both new and used boats,” Sullivan added. “But the market seems to be stabilizing, with more buyers taking advantage of the aggressive discounts and low finance rates.”
Three out of five boats were sold from Valkyrie Yacht Sales’ exhibit: the top-priced models, offered at over $200,000 each. Ironically, the smaller, $50,000 price-tagged boats, didn’t sell.
“I would say it was probably the best show in the last five years,” said Anita Mays, Valkyrie Yacht Sales president. The customers at the Lido Boat Show were serious buyers, she added. “It’s really a good time for a buyer to get a good value on a pre-owned boat.”
Silver Seas Yachts reported selling five brand-new boats at the show: two 35-foot Cruisers yachts, two 41-foot Cruisers yachts and one special-order 63-foot Marquis yacht. “We haven’t sold more than one new boat at a single show in a while,” said Rick Young, Silver Seas Yachts general manager.
Boaters may be increasingly drawn to buying new boats simply because there aren’t as many used boats available that are less than six years old, Young said. “People also like the new technology that’s going into these new boats. Joystick technology is something that people who’ve never boated can get the hang of in about five minutes — so, it’s really drawn interest from new customers.”
The average price of the boats presented by Heritage Yacht Sales was up 25 percent at this year’s Lido Boat Show. The company received several serious leads from the Lido show, selling a 36-foot Carver just 10 days after the event, said Tony Duni, Heritage Yacht Sales president and owner. He added that the number of people present at this fall’s show was encouraging — especially during the weekend.
Reporting a Lido Boat Show with lots of positive traffic, South Coast Yachts sold its newest model — the Beneteau Sense 55 — on the opening day of the show. “We’re seeing a lot more people that aren’t just cash buyers: There are people interested in financing boats again,” said Scott Young of South Coast Yachts. “There are also a lot of young families looking to buy boats.”
Denison Yachts sold three vessels at the show — a 2006 Riviera 36, a 2005 53-foot Carver and a 1997 Beneteau 46. The three had price tags ranging from $140,000 to $300,000.
The Lido Boat Show is produced by the Duncan McIntosh Co. Inc., publisher of Sea Magazine, Boating World, The Log Newspaper, FishRap and Editor & Publisher, and producer of the Newport Boat Show — scheduled for April 24-27, 2014 at Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach.