LATE BREAKING UPDATES AND SHOW REPORTS:
LONG BEACH YACHT & BOAT SHOW
Sailing fared well during this West Coast show and
enjoyed stronger visibility; SCMA closes out the season
on a positive note.
Better than expected and boats were sold," is how Southern California Marine Association (SCMA) Executive Director Dave Geoffroy summed up the 41st Annual Long Beach Yacht and Boat Show held four days in mid September.
According to a post-show tally, the SCMA demo dock delivered free test rides to show attendees through a new Discover Sailing initiative cooperatively promoted through Sail America which provided signs and promotional materials. Guests enjoyed free sails aboard a seven-boat sailboat fleet that included assorted Catalina, MacGregor, W.D. Schock, Walker Bay and Columbia models, all skippered by ASA instructors.
“The success we saw with the demo rides included some first-time sailors meeting with dealers and putting down deposits on boats during the show,” added Bruce Brown of Mediadirection1. “Also, for the first time, we encouraged interested boaters to make a demo ride reservation online at the boat show website. This allowed us to build a database of information that demo ride providers could use later as follow-up sales leads. A total of 99 people signed up for the demo rides before the show opened … and we ended up with more than 350 people experiencing their first ride aboard a sailboat.”
“The comments we received from those after taking the demo ride was how much fun they had, how much easier it is to sail than they thought, and how they would like to sail again,” he added. “Some of those boat dealers were able to convert that enthusiasm into sales.”
Specifically, Brown cited “good to excellent” sales results from Sailboats Inc. of Marina DelRey and Catalina Yacht Anchorage in Ventura and Marina Del Ray. Accessory sales, he said, were also strong.
More than half of those who registered indicated that they presently didn't own a boat. SCMA is offering the participant database from the Discover Sailing event to the ASA schools that participated for follow-up on sailing lessons.
In addition, more than 350 attendees attended the show’s Saturday night party hosted by Latitudes and Attitudes Magazine. Another popular feature was the Legends of Sailing event which was promoted heavily prior to the show, including guest appearances by highly respected California sailors Tom Schock from the WD Schock Company; Roger MacGregor from MacGregor Yachts; and Bill Hannah from Forespar.
“SCMA made a conscientious effort to enlarge the scope and diversity of sailing products on hand at the show and the number of exhibitors showing sailing product,” said Brown. “The sailing industry task force committee continues to create interest and activities to ensure that the sailing market has a voice in the marine industry.”
“The SCMA is committed to making sailing and boating a part of the lifestyle in our market. We are focused on selling that lifestyle to first time boaters, and reinforcing it to those that own boats now,” said Geoffroy. “We are investing in getting new boaters into our sport.
“More than anything, our Long Beach show renewed our faith that there are still a lot of people interested in owning a boat,” he added. ‘I think we can take this as a positive sign of better things to come for our industry in 2010."