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‘This is what it means to be in Auckland' - Mayor sums up Auckland Boat Show

by Isla McKechnie 20 Mar 01:50 NZDT 20 March 2024
Auckland Boat Show - Day 4 - Viaduct Event Centre - Jellicoe Harbour - Auckland - March 16, 2024 © Chris Cameron

The Auckland Boat Show has wrapped up for 2024 and, in an industry facing challenges, New Zealand companies have risen to the challenge and kept selling boats while Mayor Wayne Brown added his support.

“This is what it means to be in Auckland,” said Mayor Wayne Brown to the New Zealand marine industry companies gathered at the Auckland Boat Show.

The Mayor of Auckland was speaking to the assembled marine representatives during the show, New Zealand’s largest boat show on water, which ran from 14th to 17th March.

“It’s events like this that make Auckland unique. We’re here celebrating the playground of Auckland - the Hauraki Gulf - and what it means to be in Auckland; out enjoying its waters.”

“I’m a keen supporter of the marine industry, a sector that provides 8000 jobs, and delivers local training which is held in high regard internationally. We’re a leader in new technologies, with our electric ferries a good example of this.”

Mayor Brown’s speech came as the marine industry presented its new releases, technology and in-novation at the 2024 show, with a larger number of new releases than had previously been seen at an Auckland Boat Show.

“Like many industries, we have our challenges at the moment,” said Auckland Boat Show organiser, Stacey Cook.

“However we’re meeting them head on. The Auckland Boat Show gives our industry an opportunity to show its products in the way they’re meant to be experienced; on the water.”

The show, which is held in the Viaduct Events Centre and Jellicoe Harbour, is the only boat show in New Zealand where boats can be viewed on the harbour. As New Zealanders’ appetite for the marine world grows, the show has grown and this year featured 180 trailer boats and RIBS with a further 130 large boats berthed in Jellicoe Harbour to be explored.

“It’s a crucial show for us,” says Yamaha Marine’s Pete Dick.

Yamaha Marine released its new F350 in the show’s sea trial area, with Yamaha saying the ability to demonstrate it to customers on the water is a game-changer.

Also on the water, Whakatane boat builder Extreme Boats likewise had a successful show demon-strating its products, with the ability for visitors to walk through and experience the finish quality in person.

“We’ve had really great enquiries from all over the world during this show,” says Legacy Marine’s Hadley Boyle.

“We’ve had keen interest from the United States, Canada, and from Europe so we’re really happy to be here.”

Fellow members of the larger end of the market, Jimmy Buffit brokers experienced solid interest dur-ing the show.

“We’re finishing the show with a Maritimo 45 under contract and it’s been a great show for us,” said broker Mitchell Thompson.

Also on the marina, brokers 36 Degrees presented a number of yachts on the water, with New Zea-land debuts direct from France to be explored by showgoers.

“We’ve had excellent leads, there’s no doubt that buyer behaviour is changing at shows. Enquiries have been good, numbers have been good, and reaction to the New Zealand releases to the market are bringing in a lot of interest,” said 36 Degrees broker, Jono Baker.

“The Beneteau First 44, and the tried and true boats which are always popular - like the Swift Trawler 41 which we’ve had at the show for the last three or four years - people just love to see them.”

“It’s been a really good show,” said Caribbean Boat’s Scott White.

“Though the trailer boat market has taken a bit of a hit, the new larger range of Caribbean Boats is going really well. These larger boats sell well throughout the Coromandel, Northland and into Auck-land; all up the east coast of the country, while our trailer boats are popular on the West Coast.”

Boats were also selling within the show’s on land section.

Graeme Heaphy, Makaira Boat’s sales manager, travels with the aluminium boat brand from its North-land factory.

“We’ve sold a boat because of the show. The show demonstrates our wares so well, and it’s great to come and get the temperature of the industry. We love this show, we wouldn’t miss it.”

The Auckland Boat Show’s footprint spreads to the Viaduct Events Centre, with a number of stands inside the VEC demonstrating New Zealand innovations.

“The work post-boat show will keep us busy for a month,” said Richard Cleave, of HullWell. HullWell creates advanced antifoul and substrate protection for aluminium, steel, composite, and timber.

The Auckland Boat Show will run again in March 2025, bringing showgoers in contact with New Zea-land’s, and the international marine industry. Known for its unique sea trial area; the only one of its kind in a New Zealand boat show, it presents attendees with the chance to experience how vessels perform on the water. It presents the largest collection of vessels on the water available to view in New Zealand, acting as a one-stop shop for the industry to gather with its audience in Jellicoe Harbour and the Viaduct Events Centre.

On land, exhibitors include a range of brands across the industry, including engines, commercial, electrical and paint and antifoul.


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