18 Januari 2021


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Another Sydney boat show has concluded and the subjective result are in.

Both organizers and exhibitors appeared to be happy with the numbers through the door and the quality of those looking at product and services. Cruising Helmsmen certainly caught good vibes from those on the boat at the water venue and on the exhibition hall stands.

According to the Boating Industry Association organization the numbers were up over four per cent from last year. As last year at the first time the show was held in the two venues, Darling Harbour and Glebe Island, the BIA were happy that last year did not dim the public’s interest in all things nautical.

Hitting over the magical 50,000 in visitors is a good sign. Having perfect Sydney winter weather may well have assisted in getting them through the door; but there was also a lot of selling going on as well.

I did not get to discuss figures with all boat agencies but three told me they had sold more than three boats, monohulls as well as multihulls.

By far the best days were the Friday and the Saturday for yachting. The weather certainly assisted there. The other two days of Sunday and Monday tended to be quiet. Although the numbers through the door were good, the people were mostly families on a day out or looking for a tinnie to buy.

There were some movements in the boat harbour this year: Antill Marine is no longer the agent for Dufour Yachts. That agency has gone to Performance Cruising Sales (formerly known as US Yachts). Lagoon Catamarans has also changed agencies and will now be a part of the Windcraft Group in a dedicated multihull division of the company.

Vicsail launched its new luxury brand, Amel. CH will publish a bout test of 55 footer soon.

In the exhibition halls all show space had been taken up and this is also a good sign for the industry.

My favourite picks included the personal AIS beacon by Ocean Signal and on display by All Sat Communication. This is a great innovation in quickly locating and rescuing a MOB and we look forward to seeing more from Ocean Signal after its recent world buyout by ACR, which also has plenty of good safety gear.

The recent launching of chandlery Ross and Whitcroft included the selling of te new clothing line from Marine Pool.

We were invited to an introduction to Garmin’s latest equipment for sailing and it is interesting to see the range this company is starting to introduce. Traditionally a fishing-oriented range, they are producing chartplotters and GPS that should provide good competition.

Another company also making inroads into cruising yacht is Flir. They produced as well known range of security cameras for big boats but they also have an interesting range in the thermal cameras. They are compact and quite useful in all sorts of areas on boat.

During the show I took advantage of sales on clothing and accessories that all clothing suppliers provide. I bought a Musto wallet and a Musto toiletries bag.

The funny thing is the toiletries bag is perfect as my action camera tote.

It stores both my action cameras and all it accessory clamping gear!

I also can never go past Boat Books without purchasing something.

There are some new shoe lines appearing as well, which should make for good Christmas presents. So keep an eye out for our December issue.

In our stand we had a competition for a pair of Canon stabilizing binoculars. Anyone who came to the stand (or Canon’s) and tried them out could see how easily these would be of use on a lurching yacht.

Two other interesting items that took my attention was Rescue Tape and Sydney Marine Supplies.

Rescue Tape, I reckon, is a product that should be on every boat. They turn up at all manner of shows as one of those spruiker booths. The tape is an instant repair tape that can seal all manner of things in a jiffy.

Sydney Marine Supplies weer selling an amazing wipe on gel coat. We bought some to trial at some stage and will report later. (Gino/My Sailling.com).

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