This year's Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, Miami's premier in-water boat show, was a testament to the resilience of the yachting industry. The mile-long strip along Collins Avenue featured more than a billion dollars worth of new and brokerage yachts and the latest in marine accessories and electronics. According to many exhibitors, the show's success exceeded expectations with qualified, eager and more relaxed buyers taking to the docks.
"Overall, the show was very good, resulting in quality leads. We saw many familiar faces from the yachting world, which is a good indication the market is turning and the nervousness is fading away," said Mark Elliot, a top-producing yacht broker with International Yacht Collection. "In addition, one-third of our show traffic was new to the industry."
Feedback from manufacturers, brokers and other exhibitors within the marine industry consistently suggests that the yacht market as a whole is turning in a positive direction and boats are beginning to sell again. "Broker referral and optimism is up," said Alan Murphy Jr. of Pioneer Linens. "It seems the industry as a whole has a much stronger sense of well-being."
Tripp Nelson of Alexseal agreed, saying, "This year's show is stronger than last year's. Our customers have sold boats at the show, which in turn, results in projects for us, allowing us to grow our market share."
The Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach lived up to its reputation as a truly international event with many countries represented by exhibitors as well as by buyers. "In addition to qualified buyers from the U.S., we met with many qualified buyers from a number of other countries including; France, Brazil, China, Colombia, Russia, Argentina, Mexico, Italy and Sweden," said Kevin Callahan of Moran Yacht & Ship. "We are expecting a lot of business to come from this show."
A good sign that market turnaround is becoming a reality was that many newer-to-the-market companies such as NISI Yachts, Zeelander USA, and J Craft reported a strong show, many coming away with multiple sales.
"Boat values are seeing an upward trend and we anticipate a rebound in 2011. The manufacturing sector is beginning to stabilize, which in turn will result in a stabilized brokerage market," said Tom George of Tom George Yacht Group. "The show brought us good quality traffic, resulting in at least one offer on each of our boats on display."
In addition to the spectacular array of yachts, other activities at the Boat Show included fishing seminars presented by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). "This show represents the yachting lifestyle," said Dane Graziano, senior vice president and COO of Show Management, the company which manages and produces the show. "Through our top notch exhibitors and state of the art seminars and entertainment, there is something for everyone at The Yacht and Brokerage Show in Miami Beach."
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