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Auckland Boat Show 2023 - Good news for the New Zealand marine industry

by Isla McKechnie 28 Mar 2023 00:39 NZDT 28 March 2023
Auckland Boat Show 2023 - Jellicoe Harbour - Auckland - March 2023 © Auckland Boat Show

“It’s all good news,” said one exhibitor, when describing the Auckland Boat Show, which closed today after a four day event.

Reports of strong sales, quality attendees and a public ready to purchase have set the tone for the return of the Auckland Boat Show, which ran from 23 to 26 March in sunny Auckland conditions.

At the first Auckland Boat Show since 2019, the fully-booked event allowed exhibitors to display 112 boats, and more than 500 marine brands in a central Auckland location.

“As our first Auckland Boat Show, we were unsure as to the attendance and quality of attendees, but it’s surpassed our expectations and we’ve done better here than at our last Sydney show,” said Stephen Tritton, of Water Makers New Zealand.

For the first time the show also featured cars alongside the yachts and boats on display, with Bentley and Aston Martin joining the line up.

Aston Martin Auckland presented the DBX707 at the Auckland Boat Show. The world’s fastest and most beautiful SUV proved a perfect pairing to tow the Crownline Boats, with its 900NM of torque and 707PS.

Kennedy Point Marina had a very successful boat show campaign. The new marina on Waiheke island is due for completion later in the year and numerous sales and leads were achieved at the show. Only a handful of unsold berths remain.

“We saw good quality people through who were genuine about boating, and it was great to see a new generation of keen boaters in their twenties and thirties visiting the show,” said Tim Porter of Boating New Zealand.

The team from Hutchwilco reported a steady show with the new Jellicoe Harbour layout paying off. “The show was easy to move around, with a bigger footprint than ever before and layout that made the most of its central city location.”

Exhibitors have reported strong trading across the range of marine displays; from berths to large yachts. As the central Auckland location has filled with boats, sea trials and suppliers, the boating public has demonstrated a strong appetite for new marine purchases.

“We were blown away,” says Alisha Hickling of Sevenstar Yacht Transport, speaking of customers who snapped up the last spots on a European-bound yacht transporter leaving in just ten days.

“It feels like everything has ramped right back up again, boats are moving and the industry is out in full force.”

Orakei Marine christened two new Prestige yachts to fanfare during the show, with a champagne christening to mark the handover to their delighted new owners. Joined by clients and owners, the celebration not only marked two successful sales of the Prestige 460S and Prestige 520, but an exceptionally productive show so far for Orakei Marine.

New Zealand boat builder, Elite Marine Design has found the show full of visitors appreciative of the company’s custom designs.

“We sold a 16 metre directly from the show on Friday, to a visitor who had come to the show from out of Auckland’ says Elite Marine’s Bill Upfold.

Onboard some of the largest yachts in the show, brokers have been kept busy as potential buyers move through the three impressive vessels on display.

“The show has been really good with steady genuine enquiry throughout the weekend,” says managing director of Pinnacle Marine European Ltd, Azimut and Elan, Grant Saunders.

“There has been a lot of interest in our new Azimut 53 Fly model of which we have sold two recently and quality enquiry on a number of other models in the Azimut range.

“We are also pleased to announce that we sold a boat at the show to a new client.”

Whakatane yacht builder, Legacy Marine launched its three New Zealand-built Legacy Motor Yachts to the public.

“The number of people who have looked through them has been amazing and Jellicoe Harbour has proven itself as the ideal venue for a great event. All we’d change is more space to store shoes while onboard as we were not prepared for the amount of shoes the pontoon would hold as people explored the boat!”

The show has featured the New Zealand debut of Bentley’s Hybrid Flying Spur alongside the New Zealand debut of striking Princess models the V55, V65, V40 and F55, with the two brands long sharing a philosophy of luxury, performance and the best hand-crafted work Britain has to offer.

Central Auckland has been transformed into a boater’s paradise with the largest collection of luxury yachts seen in New Zealand, as well as a sea trial marina, and marquees full of New Zealand marine companies after a hiatus of the boat show since 2019. In the on-land section of Jellicoe Harbour formerly filled with America’s Cup bases, rows of trailer boats are providing fodder for a public hungry for the boating lifestyle.

A study commissioned by NZ Marine last year showed 1.9 million New Zealanders take part in boating annually, with more than 1,540,000 boats on the water in a $2.9 billion dollar industry which is growing by an estimated 44,810 vessels per year.

“The marine industry is New Zealand’s largest non-agricultural, manufacturing industry,” says NZ Marine CEO, Peter Busfield.

“It’s an industry built on high-tech design, industry-led training and passionate people.”

Running from 23-26th March, it’s New Zealand’s largest on-water display of vessels and takes place in central Auckland’s Jellicoe Harbour. The internationally-acclaimed event is known for its sea trials - allowing those in the market for a new boat to take for-sale vessels straight from downtown Auckland and onto the Waitemata Harbour - as well as hosting New Zealand’s largest collection of luxury vessels, innovative marine launches and annual new releases within a boat show.

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