Bump's World - February 2020
February 20, 2020
2020 NEW ENGLAND BOAT SHOW
I just completed my 41st New England Boat Show. 9 very long days. I'm very happy to have lived thru this again.
Attendance was very good, around 52 thousand, which is the second highest ever. Last year was the highest but only slightly higher. No bad weather days, only Valentines Day being a little slow. Hey honey lent's go to the boat show for Valentines day, honey why am I sleeping on the couch tonight???? Also not kids school vacation week, which would mean a few less brats.
Everyone agrees the economy is doing very well and there was an upbeat attitude. A good economy is defiantly good for the boat business. This also was represented by the fact that the show is back to pre 2008 full size. The entire building is being used. They even moved the food stands up stairs and had less beer and booze stands. Less drinking, that cannot be good?? The pieces are all there for a good show.
But was it a good show?? The gate did well but what about us?? Saturday the Boston Whaler guys said they sold 10 new boats. The toon boats across from me, pontoon, said they sold 5 boats for at the show and that was good. We sold 2 new boats at the show and had many good leads. So I feel it was a very good show.
I have been showing Hanses at shows since 2002 and finally people seem to recognize the brand. Dehlers I have been showing since 2012 and some people still don't seem to recognize them. I had a Hanse 348 and a Dehler 34 at the show. So trucking, cleaning, and moving in this size is manageable. Everyone liked the boats and almost no one remarked that European styling is very different from American. European is now the standard. There are more European build sailboats sold in America than American built sailboats.
Here is a quick state of the boat industry: Toon boats have led the industry growth since 2008 with more than doubling their sales since 2008. 2019 was the first year the sales flattened out. Toon boats now represent 25% of the boat industry and that was apparent at the show with over 100 toon boats on display. Catamarans have also the shown steady growth but the numbers are way less, probably less than 2% of the boat industry. The hurricanes in the Caribbean also helped the Catamaran business.
Inboard power boats are down in sales and outboards are up. Most powerboats at the show had outboards. 3 outboards on the back is not unusual and even a few had 4. The Boston Whaler as there, with 4, 350 HP outboards at 1.1 million. It is a center consul! Whaler says they cannot keep up with demand.
Inflatables are about the same as is the other ski boats etc.
When I first did this show at the old Commonwealth pier, 1979, the show was 90 percent sailboats. At this show there were 7 sailboats over 30 feet and about 10 other sailboats out of 1000 boats displayed. Sailboats over 25 feet now represent 5 percent of the total boat business. New Wave Yachts had the largest sailboat display at the show.
In spite of our small sailboat industry share our new boats sales are back to before 2008 levels. I see lots of younger buyers coming into the market. I am very optimistic about the future. Things are good.
Please mail comments to me at Bump@newwaveyachts.com