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Boat Show a resounding success

The Boating Industry Association of Victoria has said that the 2023 Melbourne Boat Show was a resounding success.

From Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 October, the event celebrated boating across more than 1km of waterfront, and five full marinas at Docklands, in Melbourne’s CBD. Featuring well over 100 exhibitors and 42,575 attendees, the event provided something for all boating enthusiasts, as well as those new to boating.

Show attendees lauded the event, noting its growth on the 2022 event, the additional exhibitors, as well as the new activations. “The initial feedback from visitors has been fantastic,” said BIAV CEO Steve Walker. Adding, “Our members put on a great display of boats and boating lifestyle, and the new activations and features were really well received.” Those new features included Hooked Up’s Rig-Rundown, the Supertank, Retail (Tackle) Island, as well as the Heritage and Wooden Boat Precinct. The historic ferry Grower was also well received as it transited visitors over to North Wharf to take in the two Tall Ships, the historic steam tug Wattle, and a vast array of beautiful wooden boats.

Exhibitors too were impressed with the event. “Great show, great people, great weather, great weekend”, stated WBA’s Andrew Cohen. 38 South’s Rohan Veal added “Surprised how busy it was. Was well worth the effort as we will have a number of sales as a result. Will be back next year!”. The winner of BIAV’s best on-land exhibit award was Edencraft and their feedback, via Josie Maher included, “The Melbourne Boat Show was better than ever, and we were pleased to be a part of it. We want to give a big shoutout to the organisers for putting on a well-planned and well-executed Boat Show that has set a high standard for years to come!” Attending over 20 shows per year, the well-qualified-to-comment Cookie, from the Supertank summed it up with, “Brilliant show, well presented with great back up staff and the public loved it!”

Other event highlights included the extensive display of every type of boat for the Victorian market, an entertaining and educational array of stage presentations, the Women on Water networking session, the Apprentice of the Year awards, the launch of Boating Careers, the added value of event ambassadors Ronda Burchmore, Jack Crisp and Merv Hughes, the arrival of SsangYong as Official Tow Vehicle, the Dunbier supported Welcome to Boating sessions, BBV’s boat handling sessions, the array of coffee and food options, the kids maritime art awards, numerous new model releases, and a great celebration of boats and boating lifestyle.

Congratulations to Edencraft for the best exhibit on-land, and to Yamaha for the on-water award.

BIAV president Scott O’Hare rounded out the initial feedback with an overwhelming thumbs up to his fellow exhibitors who collectively did an amazing job to so positively position boating to a major audience. Scott went on to thank the City of Melbourne, the Victorian Government (BBV and VFA), Melbourne City Marina, MitchCap, SsangYong, Dunbier, Quest Newquay, the many event contractors, Gravia, Stamping Ground, Moose and Kosta for their contributions to the new activations, the many heritage volunteers, and finally, the delivery team of New Tack’s Mark Turnbull and BIAV’s Steve Walker and Katrina Muir.