I just completed my 39th Newport Boat Show. This show had very good weather, overcast on Thursday but no rain, and sunny warm days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I have not seen the industry's inflated attendance numbers, but I would guess attendance was very good. I measure attendance by seeing if the docks start to sink. I also measure it by the line at the men's room. Last 2 years that measurement got thrown off because I found a little known bathroom next to the marina office. It is very new and clean. It is never busy. Please do not tell anyone about this.
Hanse Yachts had a really nice display. Hanse had 8 boats on display and 2 tents with lots of hangout seating. Hanse won best sailboat display of the show which makes us proud, even though I think it had a lot to do with the full page add they bought in the show guide???
Last year I rented a really nice house which is a short walk to the show. It also has lots of parking. I was able to get the same house this year so that was really good. It seems that every time I think I have found a good location, it gets sold or something happens and I have to search all over again. It also abuts the local ball field so I can sit on the deck and watch the games at night. This is a big added bonus. I hope I can get it again next year.
Overall people were upbeat and friendly. The strong economy has made many people feel good about the future. Hanse has also been marketing in the USA long enough that almost everyone knows who Hanse is, and has seen them at past shows. When you spend all your time trying to explain that Hanse is the second largest sailboat builder in the world and the customer has never heard of them, it is a little strange.
The boats looked good and we had our boat show specials, so we were ready to do business. We did do business. New Wave Yachts sold 4 new boats at the show. We also left the show with many good leads. New Wave Yachts has not sold 4 new boats at a single show in a long time.
In 1985, I sold 5 new C&C 29s at Newport in one day. That is my record for total number of boats sold in one day. The strange part was I was not sitting on the C&C 29. I was sitting on the C&C 33 which was on the other side of the dock. I could see the 29 very well and when I saw the same people come back more than once, I walked over and said the show special was only good today and they must sign a contract and leave a deposit.
The total value of those 5 C&C 29s was about $250,000.00. The total value of what we sold at Newport this year was much higher.
Hanse continues to provide a huge amount of boat at an excellent value. The Hanse 458 with generator, heat and air conditioning, is less dollars than what we were selling a Sabre 38 for 10 years ago. That is amazing!!
Newport 2018, was a very successful show. 2019 will be my 40th. I think it will only get better.
Please mail comments to me at Bump@newwaveyachts.com