Confidence and Stability from Autumn Boat Shows
The Southampton Boat Show 2015 closed with more than 110,000 visitors. 23 new boats debuted at the show and more than 320 world leading sailboats and motorboats were presented. It was reported, that sales were strong during the show. Many companies saw increasing sales figures, even though the harsh weather harmed the show’s success.
Many Orders and Sales
© Southampton Boat Show
A lot of people showed a great interest in boats and yachts at the show which resulted in a lot of negotiations and paper work after the show. For instance Clipper Marine’s Richard Hewett stated that his company had great results with impressive 26 sales - a record result for his business. Many visitors booked sea trials that might result in future sales. Sales and orders showed that there was no particular “star” yacht, while interest was equally distributed among models. It is notable that motorboat sales are improving, as the economy is getting better. It also has to be mentioned that most of the business was done on either one of the both weekends, while midweek proved to be more quiet.
Inspiration Marine Group (importer for Dehler, Hanse and Varianta yachts) has bucked a trend and introduced the small and attractive cruiser Hanse 315. The Hanse 575 was also quite popular as it is an impressive sailboat of which more than 170 were built already in only 18 months. Even the Scandinavians attended this time the show, which is always a good sign. Furthermore, X Yachts, Hallberg Rassy, Nauticat, Arcona, Najad and Maxi (made in Poland by Delphia) were providing attractive contrasts to yachts from France and Germany, that are produced in larger quantities. In general, positive conclusions were drawn except for the weather.
Many Reasons to Celebrate
Jeanneau Odyssey 349
The exhibitors of the Jeanneau Prestige stand had plenty of reasons to celebrate as they were experiencing great success at the show. The new Sun Odyssey 349 almost appears to be unstoppable with already more than 250 sales. Additionally, the brand new Jeanneau 64 (an over £1,200,000 yacht) has made a good start itself with 30 yachts sold in only 18 months. One Jeanneau is now produced every 15 days. Sales in the north of the UK, however, were unsatisfactory due to poor performance of the oil industry and the independence talk.
Bénéteau was also quite successful with sales being better this year compared to last year. This partly is due to the drop in the value of the euro. Mark Shave from Ancasta said that the same thing applies for motorboat sales in general. It also has to be noted that Jeanneau Prestige as well as Bénéteau Swift Trawler and Monte Carlo are doing well, too.
Motorrboat Sales are up
Peter Whitehead from Bénéteau’s finance division confirmed that the sales of powerboats were definitely up. When looking into the marine finance deals, an increase can be seen as well, with the quotes on powerboat exceeding quotes on sailboats. There are also good signs coming from Sealine, owned by Hanse, as preorders are in until March 2016 already. Additionally, the new Sealine models (including the F530) launching in 2016 make for good prospects for the future. Hanse is already building as far as 100 Sealines per year and is aiming to build 120 in 2016. Hanse plans to make a big investment into Sealine. Similar focus on power can be also observed from Bavaria, Bénéteau and Jeanneau.
The comparison to Princess and Sunseeker seems natural. The range of models from Princess includes 25 in its M, V, S and Flybridge classes - from the sporty and sleek V39 to the impressive, over 130ft long 40M. As sales director Will Green tells, Princess is experiencing great success throughout its product range and of its multi million pound model 40M, two are built now every year.
Sunseeker also experiences great success, as in August its pre-orders are up 70% year on year and 143% rise on orders of yachts over 90ft. All those details let us come to one conclusion: big is beautiful - and successful!
Sailing Holidays Are Popular
Bénéteau Oceanis 35
For those interested in sunny climates, sailing holidays are still very popular. 2015 bookings are up and already 400 reservations are in for 2016, says Amy Nielson, marketing manager. Due to the good business, in the last 3 years the company was investing in no less than 14 Oceanis 38, three Oceanis 35 and two Oceanis 45 for its already impressive fleet. Moreover, it is announced, that new Leopard catamarans to offer to tourists. Generally speaking, business in 2015 was better or as good as in 2014, even though the weather was not way worse.
What is New?
The magazine Sailing Today has landed a smart PR coup by starting its brand new awards program. Also, the 12 categories results, decided by online readers’ votes, were announced and celebrated. It has to be noted that one of the lucky winners was Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who was not only the first man to perform a single-handed non-stop cirumnavigation of the globe but also the second winner of the Jules Verne Trophy. Congratulations!
So, to put it in a nutshell, it was a great show, even without the PSP sponsorship. However, the fast-changing exchange rates, the see sawing stock market and the political uncertainties around the globe remain reason to worry. But they have not had an effect, yet.
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