Exhibitors Report Strong Sales at Annapolis Sailboat Show
Attendance was up at the Annapolis Boat Shows and exhibitors reported strong sales, The Capital newspaper reported in a recent story on its website.
Boat shows owner Ed Hartman told the newspaper that unseasonably warm and rain-free weather, coupled with a stronger advertising push and advance online ticket sales, pushed attendance higher this year.
Dealers said the Federal Reserve's recent decision to cut interest rates, along with boat dealer incentives, helped boost consumer confidence.
National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich said fall boat shows around the country have seen strong demand.
"Annapolis was even more positive than the other shows," he said. "The reports I've been getting from boat builders was that it was a big crowd, sales were very strong."
Interviews with Sail America members that exhibited at the 38th Annual U.S. Sailboat Show from Oct. 4-8, confirmed that they thought the show generated a good deal of business for them.
Eric Braitmayer, vice president, IMTRA Corporation and Sail America Board member, gave the show a B+ grade, saying, “My sense was that overall traffic was flat, but the visitors were serious and we had a good amount of business as a direct result of the show.” He said he thought the mood of consumers was pretty positive. “People were shopping for boats and those that weren’t, were shopping for gear to improve their existing boats.”
Travis Blain, co-owner of MACK Sail, said his company did “exceptionally well this year,” selling rigging, hardware and electronics. “The crowd was in a buying mood.”
Brenda Collins, national sales manager for Sabre Yachts, said she felt “very good about the show,” that generated a lot of leads, plus a pending contract on a Spirit, one of Sabre’s new daysailors. As for the mood of boat prospects, she said she was very optimistic: “I heard a lot of people talking about buying and if I didn’t know about the economy, I would just think it was just another good boat show.”