Organizer: Sales doubled at boat show

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Organizers say it was the best they’ve seen in a long time as more than 10,000 people converged on the Charleston Boat Show over the weekend.

For boat show president and organizer Jacqueline Bomar, it was more than a success. Bomar said it was a positive experience — possibly a sign of better times soon to come.

“Within three minutes Sea Ray sold two boats on yesterday,” Bomar said.

Sea Ray wasn’t the only dealer to do well. Bomar said merchandise vendors seemed to have a positive experience, and several boat dealers had sales in double digits.

Despite the Lowcountry’s strong boating market, Bomar said the drop in the economy could be seen at recent past shows.

“It affected us in attendance, but it more so affected us in boat sales. To see this kind of turnaround, it’s amazing to me.”

Bomar won’t have final numbers until weeks from now, but she knows that at least twice as many boats were sold this year as compared to last year’s show — possibly more.

“I’m hoping this is a positive sign for things to come for the industry and the economy,” she said.

Among the successful sales of merchandise and boats was another big success story. Bomar said the appearance of Trigger Tommy and Trapper Joe from the hit reality show Swamp People was a huge attraction.

“I have never in my life seen crowds like that,” Bomar said. “People were waiting in line just to take a picture and get an autograph with these guys. That really surprised me. I knew they would be popular, I just didn’t know how much. They were there for two days and the line was always about an hour wait from the end.”

Last night, after the lights went out at the show, Joe and Tommy stayed, determined to meet the last of the fans in line.

“They were adamant about meeting everyone,” Bomar said.”We’re considering bringing them or some of the other guys back next year.”

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