The Who, What, When, Where, and How of Boating
From the exotic, boutique-lined streets of the French Riviera for the Yachting Festival de Cannes, to the storied waters of Narragansett Bay for the Newport Boat Show, the on-the-rise event at Norwalk, and the perennially popular powerboat show in Annapolis, our editors have worn through a couple soles of boat shoes and have earned very little sympathy from friends and family along the way.
As we take a breath and review our notebooks from the months past, we came to the conclusion that morale, attendance, and energy were up across the board at the fall 2016 shows. The builders and manufacturers we talked to reported numerous good prospects if not outright sales, which seemed to be especially strong in the U.S. for European boats and center consoles.
We stopped to chat with various industry influencersat the Annapolis show, to hear first-hand what they thought of the shows so far, and how that bodes for the upcoming winter shows, and 2017 in general.
VP of Marketing and Sales for Sabre/Back Cove
“The fall shows have been comparable to years past for us with a little more consumer confidence. There’s a little bit of fear and loathing surrounding our political election, which is causing some at the entry level to be a little more tight-fisted. But on the higher end, most of those customers are above the fray and aren’t too concerned with the outcome. We’re doing really well.”
President of Jeanneau/Prestige America
“Surprisingly enough, knowing that we’re a few weeks away from some major elections, people seem to want to come out to the boat shows and talk business. We’ve seen very good activity at all the shows we’ve been at. Our powerboats between 30 and 60 feet are growing double-digits. It’s pretty exciting to see that we’re inching back to the number of sales from 2006 and 2007. Things are slowly coming back.
Another thing that’s been surprising is how big some of the regional shows are becoming. Take Annapolis, for example. We have about 12 boats; Beneteau has a whole bunch of boats, as does Sabre and Back Cove. And they’re competitors, but that’s pkay because we want to have a big showing with a lot of different types of boats to attract serious boaters.”
Jay Dee Jackson
Maritimo U.S. Marketing Representative
“This is the first year in a long time that we’ve had two Maritimos in the [Annapolis] show. Last year we only had one boat here. I’d say the fall shows have been much better. I don’t know if it’s because everyone is coming out with great product that’s attracting a lot of attention, or if it’s because of the economy—I’m sure both play a factor. We’re making a bigger investment into putting more boats into these shows, and that kind of speaks for itself.
What we’ve seen in the past is that someone will see the boat here and then buy it in Lauderdale or Miami.”
Secret Agent Style
Aston Martin, the luxury car manufacturer of 007 fame, has teamed up with Dutch builder Quintessence Yachts to create the sexy new AM37 that debuted at the Monaco boat show.
From her razor-sharp bow to her twin 370-horsepower Mercury diesels (speed at WOT should be 45 knots), everything about this boat says bad-guy-chasing fun. Intended to be used primarily as a day boat, the AM37 offers large expanses of teak deck for laying out and soaking up the sun, as well as space for seven adults to converse comfortably in the cockpit. A small, yet conveniently placed, fridge to starboard will keep guests refreshed.
Should inclement weather threaten your day on the water, a three-piece, carbon fiber roof encapsulates the cockpit. (A request for comment as to whether they would include a bulletproof canopy was not immediately returned.)
Cleaner and Greener
If you’re following the news on our oceans’ health, well, it’s grim (much like the regular news). Pollution and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch seem to be growing by the day. The good news is that The Ocean Cleanup, founded by 16-year-old (you read that right) Boyan Slat, created a system that uses the ocean’s currents to collect pollution. Check out a must-see-video here. ▶
Tom & Kate Update
There were a hundred reasons to put off a trip as ambitious as the Great Loop, but Tom DeBacco and Kate Payne decided that none of them were good enough to keep them from taking that voyage. Originally introduced in our feature, “Great Adventure” (September 2016), their trip so far has been just that. As with any major cruise, there have been good days and bad days, cold days, rainy days, hot and humid days, and everything in between.
They’ve faced trials like engine maintenance, a severe grounding complete with bent props (it happens to the best of us), as well as locks, locks, and more locks. From small towns like Mackinac Island to big cities such as Montreal and Chicago, they’ve visited some world-class destinations the best way we know how—from the water.
Along the way, they’ve entertained their growing fan base at www.firstmatekate.com with light-hearted posts and impressive photography and drone footage. They even found the time to connect with other Power & Motoryacht readers.
An unintentional side effect of their trip so far: Inspiration.
This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.