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New York Boat Show Responds to Javits Center Controversy



August 20, 2013


By: Jena Tesse Fox






While New York’s convention and exhibition industry buzzes about the legal and moral implications of Governor Andrew Cuomo rescheduling the New York Boat Show at Manhattan’s Javits Center for 2015 and beyond—at the expense of five other previously booked expos—we reached out to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which hosts the show, to get their take on the issue.

“We don’t consider it a controversy,” said Jon Pritko, manager for the New York Boat Show and a regional manager with NMMA. Pritko explained that the Show had held prime dates in late January “for years and years,” but was bumped to less-profitable dates 15 years ago. Over the ensuing decade, attendance from both buyers and sellers declined, he added, leading to a drop in profitability, and the show was eventually shorted from nine days to five. “Dates are critical to us,” he said. The New York Boat Show is not merely an exhibition, he explained, but a marketplace where success is measured in deals. “The number of sales received from a show are critical to the exhibitor, whether a dealer or a manufacturer. The New York show was the barometer for the marine industry, and its sales were skewed because of poor scheduling.” 

After years of declining attendance, exhibitors were at the breaking point, Pritko continued. “The oldest boat show in the world was going away because it didn’t have good dates…An exhibitor called the governor, he heard our story and the timing was right.”

The boating industry has seen upturn in recent years, and Pritko believes that rescheduling the show will help it further. “Fifty-five percent of boat sales come from shows,” he explained. “It’s very critical.” Between the economic downturn and the past fifteen years of less-lucrative dates at the Javits Center, Pritko said that some dealers who once sold 260 units were now selling 60. “It was a real hit to them, and that’s why the show shrank. It’s a double-edged sword: If the show shrinks, you lose the attendance…Some shows came back after the economy improved, but this one didn’t because of the dates. This was the breaking point. There was no light at the end of the tunnel.” Next year, he added, the show was scheduled for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and if exhibitors couldn’t expect a reasonable return on investment, it would not be worth the time away from their families to come to New York over the holidays.

Pritko acknowledged that the change in scheduling would be troublesome for the five previously booked events that would need to be moved. “It’s hard to produce shows—we know that. We didn’t do this to hurt anybody. But we’ve needed this for years. [Javits is] trying to clean this up and have us all produce successful events.” Some show producers have already reached out to the NMMA, he added, and the Association is working to minimize the impact the Boat Show will have on other events scheduled for Javits. “We’re willing to work with everybody. We will do what we can to help, but not at the detriment of our show.” 

Pritko directly addressed what he feels are two misconceptions about the overall issue: First, that the Boat Show simply “received better dates” out of nowhere. “We had these dates for 100 years, and we’ve been fighting for 10 years to get them back…This was done out of need for something we had that was taken away, and that proved detrimental.” Secondly, he does not feel that the Show got its new dates because the NMMA “made the most noise.” Instead, he argued, the governor looked at the bigger picture. “The boating industry is a $6 billion industry. A lot of small businesses are involved. [The show doesn’t] put heads in beds, but we have a big impact to the state and the city with sales taxes.” The New York show, and the New York market as a whole, is important for the overall marine industry, he added.

But when asked what could be done to keep the marine industry in the black and to be fair to the events that will have to be moved, Pritko acknowledged that there was no readily visible solution to the problem. “The people working on that are at Javits Center,” he said.

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July Was a Bang-Up Month for Boat Sales

sailing yacht boatHot weather last month appears to have re-ignited consumer interest in boating.

Sales of recreational water vehicles jumped in July. Aluminum pontoon boats saw sales surge 24.8%, while aluminum fishing boats sales gained 20.4% and mid-sized outboards sales climbed 23.1%. In fact, of the seven powerboat categories, five registered double digit sales increases in 31 states last month, Trade Only Today notes.

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Ski boats also sold well during the month, up 19.7%, as did sail boats, whose sales rose 10.1 in June. Even larger cruisers and yachts fared well.

Jet boat sales sounded a lone down note, falling 34.6%. That segment is reeling from the departure of See-Doo, which has withdrawn from that market.

An analyst from market research firm Statistical Surveys said the sharp increase may represent consumers finally releasing pent-up demand for boats, whose sales sank during the recession.

Shares of boatbuilders Brunswick Corp. (BC) and Marinemax (HZO) gained modestly in Tuesday morning trading.


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trn/irs sailing easy/one

The Louis Vuitton Cup finalists are doing their best to once again reassure more boat problems are not a major obstacle.

For the third time in as many finals races, issues with the boats have wrecked any contest in racing.

This time, wing problems to Luna Rossa handed Team New Zealand an easy victory in race three.

Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena says they will be fine to race on Thursday morning.

“Sure we’re ready to race, it’s an easy fix fortunately.

“And I think we’ll take today and tomorrow to maybe try to put maybe extra carbon all over the place and the wing.”

Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker insists they can get through a race without incident.

“It is frustrating because we had one yesterday, they had one again today.

“But I’m sure, I’m sure that we’re going to get some good racing as we keep going in this series.”

But frustrations are growing ever clearer with yet another Louis Vuitton finals race wrecked by boat problems.

Barker says continuing problems with the boats are growing tiresome.

“It’s pretty disappointing. For us, for them. I’m sure they’re feeling the pain as well. They’ve had two they haven’t been able to finish.”

High winds have once again seen the second race of the day postponed, with the next two races scheduled for Thursday morning.

Team New Zealand leads the first to seven series 2-1.


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Middle East boating market struggles after recession

Middle East boating market struggles after recession


Posted on 19 August 2013


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The United Arab Emirates’ boat and yacht industry still hasn’t bounced back from the market crash that gripped the global economy five years ago.

Ross Gill, regional sales manager at Al Futtaim Marine, told the Gulf News the industry was recovering, but wasn’t experiencing growth like other sectors in the local economy.

“The housing markets are telling one story, but we’re not seeing the trends reflected in the boating manufacturing and services industry,” he told the publication.

Al Futtaim Marine is the exclusive dealer for Larson Boats in the UAE.

Sales of boats 80 to 120 feet are doing well, but the market is small, Gill said.

Owners of large luxury yachts make up a small market and are generally seen as less affected by economic constraints than consumers who buy 17- to 30-foot boats. The first sign of recovery will be when small-boat sales pick up, Gill said, because they are a larger part of the overall market.

Despite slow sales growth, the services industry is performing relatively well as owners focus on upgrading their boats rather than replacing them.

“People are fixing and painting their boats. They’re doing AV upgrades and adding new equipment,” Gill said.

UAE-based powerboat builder Al Marakeb has seen strong growth in recent years, recording a 75 percent increase in sales in 2012, compared with the previous year. The company attributes its sales growth partly to its footing in the international market.

Nour Al Sayyed, architect and head of design at Al Marakeb, said 40 percent of the builder’s sales come from outside the UAE.

Click here for the full report.

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Comox Bay Sailing Club duo win regatta


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Under warm sunny skies, a consistent breeze, and with the sights and sounds of Comox Nautical Days providing an exciting backdrop, the Comox Bay Sailing Club (CBSC) hosted this year’s Comox Cup Regatta and BC Provincial 420 Class Sailing Championships. With 45 boats marshaling in the Bay the view of the fleet from the Filberg Festival was simply picturesque!

Over the course of the Aug. 3-4 weekend, seven races were held under the direction of Rob Douglas and his team of dedicated volunteers. Sailors saw challenging currents and shifty winds, especially on Sunday. The two-day regatta was a great cap to a fabulous week of sailing where over 120 sailors participated in a pre-regatta training camp.

With participation from HMCS Quadra, sailors from Nanaimo YC and our local contingent from the Comox Bay Sailing Club, over 80 racers competed in the regatta itself. The top three finishers in the ferociously contested 420 class represented all three clubs.

First place was captured by CBSC sailors Theo Truax and Oliver Barry, second went to the Cadets – Chris Volkers (from Comox) and Stewart Clark (of Victoria) and third was secured by Ben Daniels and Max Goering from the Nanaimo Yacht Club.  The open fleet (results overall) went to Truax/Barry first, Alex Brown in second sailing a Laser Radial and Volkers/Clark in third.  Veteran CBSC member Gerry McClintock and daughter Sandra placed fourth overall.

Andrew Walther, Club Commodore and Rob Douglas, Junior Race Team Director, stated that given the development of the Comox Bay Sailing Clubs learn to sail and race programs many of our young sailors are now consistently ranking in the top of their fleets throughout the BC Sailing Circuit.

Most of the junior racers are now also qualified Sail Canada instructors. In the coming years we are sure to see these kids taking on larger events such as the recently held Black Press Van Isle 360 International Yacht race and the upcoming Sail Canada Nationals in Vancouver this month.

The club would like to thank the following groups for help in making this event such a success: Wills Marine Supply, Tide Rip Grizzly Tours, Gas and Go Marina, Comox Bay Marina, Town of Comox Marina, BC Sailing, BC 420 Class Association, Nanaimo Yacht Club, and HMCS Quadra.

See www.comoxbaysailingclub.ca for more information.

– Comox Bay Sailing Club


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Boat sales get hot in July

Boat sales get hot in July


Posted on 19 August 2013


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The heat of July — the heart of the American summer — never fails to lure boat owners and their families to the water. This year, it also apparently attracted plenty of new people to boating.

After the industry’s late spring rally appeared to fade in June, recreational boat sales suddenly got hot in July. Led by aluminum pontoon boats and 11- to 40-foot outboards, five of the seven categories in the industry’s main powerboat segments showed double-digit sales gains in 31 early reporting states, according to figures compiled by Statistical Surveys.

Pontoon sales rose 24.8 percent, or 769 boats, to 3,867, giving the increasingly popular segment the best results of any of the industry’s high-volume categories. Close behind were small to mid-sized outboards, where the gain was 23.1 percent, or 658 boats, to 3,512.

Sales of aluminum fishing boats, which have closely tracked pontoons for more than a year, rose a strong 20.4 percent, or 449 boats, to 2,652.

Sales in the main segments rose 18 percent overall, or 1,771 boats, to 11,609, and industrywide sales gained 12.9 percent, or 2,317 boats, to 20,318. The early-reporting states represent 62 percent of the national market.

Ryan Kloppe, national marine sales manager at Statistical Surveys, said it was a relief to finally see the surge in boat sales that the industry has been expecting.

“Everybody has been talking about pent-up demand,” he said. “We’re obviously seeing some of that in July.”

With 19 states and more than a third of the market yet to report, the industry has a chance to surpass its 50-state totals for July 2012, when 14,767 boats were sold in the main segments and 28,192 were sold industrywide as sales continued a year-long recovery from recession-era levels.

Sales of 31- to 40-foot cruisers grew by 10 boats to 98 in July and sales of 41- to 62-foot yachts rose by 15 to 70. The Coast Guard was up to date on its reports of documented vessels, so the sales figures for boats larger than 31 feet were complete.

The 14- to 30-foot sterndrive and inboard category was the only one in the main segments that had a poor month. Sales in the category dropped by 127 boats, or 8.4 percent, to 1,391.

Sales of ski boats, which traditionally do well in the summer, rose 19.7 percent, or 113, to 686, and personal watercraft sales climbed by 532 units, or 10.1 percent, to 5,815.

Sales of jetboats continued to suffer in the absence of Sea-Doo, which has left the market, falling by 176 boats, or 34.6 percent, to 333. Kloppe has said he expects sales in the segment to improve once builders that plan to move into it begin to roll out their boats.

Sailboat sales rose 9.5 percent, or 20 boats, to 231.

— Jack Atzinger

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Sailing-Mechanical snafu again mars America's Cup racing

By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge suffered a mechanical breakdown in the third race of the America’s Cup challenger finals on Monday, handing Emirates Team New Zealand a point and deepening concerns about the fragility of the high-tech AC72 catamarans being used in this year’s version of the venerable regatta.

It was the third consecutive race in which a mechanical malfunction crippled one of the competitors and handed a victory to the team that managed to cross the finish line.

On Monday, a line used to control the 130-foot (40-meter) wing sail on Luna Rossa’s yacht broke, slowing the boat to a crawl. As the Italian sailors fought unsuccessfully with winches to control their boat, New Zealand extended its lead and won its second point of seven needed to win the Louis Vuitton Cup.

A second race scheduled for Monday was canceled when the winds exceeded a limit put in place to make the AC72s less dangerous. It was the third postponement due to weather in the past three days.

On Saturday, New Zealand captured the first point in the Louis Vuitton finals despite a near-capsize that sent two crewmen overboard. The Italian team dropped out of that race because of a damaged daggerboard.

Then on Sunday, a malfunction in the electronics used to control critical hydraulic systems forced New Zealand to give up mid-race, allowing Luna Rossa to win its first point. The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will sail against defending America’s Cup champion Oracle Team USA next month in the world’s oldest sporting trophy.

“It is getting massively frustrating,” said Luna Rossa grinder Giles Scott. “The racing has been almost governed on who can get around the course as opposed to winning the races.”

In races leading up to the Louis Vuitton Cup finals, New Zealand’s polished crew handily outsailed Luna Rossa. But the last three races served as a reminder that both teams are just one big mishap away from disaster.

“To have had three races where basically there’s a breakdown every race is a little unusual. But having said that, the boats are a lot closer to the limits,” said New Zealand team grinder Chris Ward. “It’s like a Formula One car – something small goes wrong and it stops you.”

When software billionaire Larry Ellison’s Oracle team won the America’s Cup in 2010, it gained the right to set the rules and choose the venue, the windy San Francisco Bay, for this year’s competition.

Ellison’s team came up with the AC72 yachts, which can hydrofoil across the waves at 50 miles per hour (80 kph). But the risks of the twin-hulled boats came tragically to the fore in May, when a sailor was killed in the capsize of an Artemis Racing AC72.

Oracle is favored by many to successfully defend this year’s Cup, partly because it has two boats ready to sail. But in a practice race on Sunday, a rudder sheared off of one of them, sending the yacht to the shed for repairs.

Luna Rossa has only one AC72, while New Zealand has a second boat that is currently not in sailable condition.


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