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News from BIA Victoria – October 2023

The Boating Industry Association of Victoria have been again busy.  This is an update on what is happening locally.

This Boating Life

The BIAV welcome you to episode 3 of This Boating Life, a podcast series created by the Boating Industry Association Victoria (BIA VIC) to showcase the individuals who have shaped the boating industry in Victoria.

Join host, 3AW’s Pat Panetta as he talks to Haines Hunters’ John Haber about his transition from a first-time customer of the company to its Managing Director, while also recalling his earliest boating and fishing experiences that have shaped who he is today.

We hope you enjoy This Boating Life with thanks to – more than a career, it’s a lifestyle.

Click here to have a listen!

Roadshow rolls to the North-West

The BIAV Roadshow continued this week with a visit to Sunraysia where flood recoveries are near to complete, boating conditions on the Murray are delightful, and the industry is strong. Like other visits to locations such as Mallacoota, Queenscliff, throughout Melbourne, Bendigo and many other places, the themes are quite consistent. The market is picking up as Spring gives glimpses of summer, boating facilities and access to the water remain a priority, everyone is looking forward to the Boat Show (even if not exhibiting), and most of all, the skills and resourcing challenges are biting. The percentage of members grappling with skills issues is very close to 100%, and the appetite to engage with BIAV’s new platform/program, Boating Careers, is just about at the same level. Captured with BIAV CEO Steve Walker are Lucy from All Seasons Houseboats, Brett from Sunraysia Marine, Maddie, Kim and Holly from Baldwin Boats, as well as the 22-year old owner and manager of Lake Boga Marine Pat Storer. All fantastic Sunraysia businesses, providing amazing service to the Murray region and beyond.

BIAV thank, Phillip Island Marine, Yaringa Boat Harbour, Westernport Marina, Complete Boat Repairs, Sealand Marine Motors, VicSail Westernport, MY Marine, Hart Marine, Martha Cove, Queenscliff Harbour, Cayzer Boat Builders, Hunter Marine, Mallee Marine, Murray Downs Marina, and JR Nautical, for engagement and input over the previous week or so.

Members that have not yet had a Road Show visit or the chance to engage please don’t hesitate to contact to lock in a visit.

Sail into summer with Better Boating skills

Recreational boaters in Victoria can brush up on their skills before summer, thanks to a series of free clinics hosted by Better Boating Victoria (BBV), backed by the Allan Labor Government.

Held at Portarlington, Nagambie and Docklands, the clinics will feature lessons in trailer reversing, vessel handling and boating basics, and are designed for boaters of all experience levels with all equipment provided.

Click here to read more.

President networking at the Genoa Boat Show

As well as collecting another prestigious dealer award, BIAV President- Scott O’Hare caught up with and exchanged industry experiences with International Manager of Genoa Boat Show, Igor Carlini (pictured together). Igor is also the international liaison for the Italian Marine Industry. Various topics were covered including the state of each country’s respective industries – particularly with regards to consumer sentiment and boat shows. “The importance of boat shows in Europe to attract new buyers, introduce new product and innovations to the market and to bring together boating businesses in a single public forum is stronger than ever,” said Mr O’Hare. “A tour of the Genoa show, and conversations with a dozen or so exhibitors highlighted the resurgence in interest from the boating public and the importance offering of one location to compare brands”, he said.

Celebrating their 64th year, Genoa is one of Europe’s and world’s biggest boat shows, with over 170,000 visitors and hundreds of brands on display. “The massive exhibition space is only used for the annual Boat Show, remaining empty for the rest of the year, which was a surprise; but they are currently spending several million on expanding the marina and modernising the buildings to take the show into its next phase”, said Mr O’Hare. “Their foot is well and truly on the pedal to ensure the future of their show and they have faith in the state of the industry to support this large infrastructure cost moving forward”.

Other discussions revolved around encouraging Australian and Italian manufacturers to participate in each other’s shows, focusing on how the respective show organisers may assist with this. “We have offered to help determine what products would have relevance in our respective markets, both to retail customers, but also to boat manufacturers. The Genoa show organisers are seeking to create a METS style pavilion, for Australians and the world to exhibit their products, but also hope to see a reciprocal arrangement with our shows”; he said. In other networking news, domestically there’s been some valuable industry networking and at this link you’ll see more information in relation to BIAV connecting with BIAWA, BIA Ltd and MIA at recent industry events.

Boat Show updates for industry

We are proud to present over 80 exhibitors, many new brands and over 13,000 ticket registrations for the 2023 Melbourne Boat Show.

Momentum continues to build toward the 61st Melbourne Boat Show, which will take place at the Docklands waterfront, and on the water from 26-29 October. Industry members please note these important events –

  • Welcome and Official Opening – Thursday 26 October 3pm at the main stage.
  • VIP and Exhibitor Function – Friday 27 October 7pm upstairs at the Melbourne City Marina
  • Launch of Boating Careers – Friday 27 October 8pm upstairs at the Melbourne City Marina
  • Apprentice of the Year Awards – Saturday 28 October 2pm at the main stage

As well as additional exhibitors, and a vastly enhanced footprint, please also note these 2023 inclusions –

  • Heritage and Wooden Boat Precinct – Tall Ships, Steam Tug, Wooden Boats, Boat Building, Museums, and more.
  • Hooked Up’s Rig Rundown – Tricked Up / After Market display and presentations, and the adjacent Retail Island
  • Supertank, as well as enhanced food truck and coffee offerings.
  • Grower Ferry taking $2 rides around the boat show and to the Heritage Precinct.
  • BIAV Members are also welcome to utilise the BIAV lounge for meetings, a coffee, or to discuss 2024 opportunities. Enquire via

Further details about the show visit this website.

For more information on BIA Victoria, visit their website here