We know the summer is not over yet (and we plan to enjoy it quite a bit more), but we have started planning out 2011-2012 boat show circuit. Whether you are a customer or a broker, there is a lot to be excited about (and to do!). Customers, if you are thinking about going to a show, please let us know so we can get you some passes into the show. Brokers, we'd love to get your boats looking great!
- Michigan City Boat Show - August 25-28, 2011.
- Newport Boat Show - September 15-18, 2011.
- Norwalk Boat Show - September 22-25, 2011.
- Baltimore Trawlerfest - October 4-9, 2011.
- Annapolis Sailboat Show - October 6-10, 2011.
- Annapolis Power Boat Show - October 13-16, 2011.
- Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - October 27-31, 2011.
- Chicago RV & Boat Show - January 12-16, 2012.
- Fort. Lauderdale Trawlerfest - February 2-4, 2012.
- Miami International Boat Show - February 16-20, 2012.
- Palm Beach International Boat Show - March 22-25, 2012.
In slightly less than a month, the Bay Harbor Boat Show will be upon us! June 17-19 at Bay Harbor Lake Marina, admission is free. In case you forgot, we were there last year handing out tasty drinks and popcorn. We will have more exciting news as the event gets closer, but for now you can get your BHBS news fix at www.bayharborboatshow.com! There are listings of most of the boats currently scheduled to be at the show along with a twitter feed with important boat show news (@bayharborshow).
Summer is here folks, enjoy it while it's here!
Our work is done before the first person is let in the gates on the last day of a boat show, but that does not mean the work is over for Show Management or any of the captains, far from it. The event that was months in the planning, weeks in building, is torn down in a matter of days if not hours. It really is impressive to see boat after boat after boat after boat pull away from the docks like meat from the bone of a perfectly cooked rib. However, there are some days when the well oiled machine breaks down, and the end of the Palm Beach show happened to be that day. Check out the video!
Sure, we might be back in the land of Seger, but that does not mean we are out of things to say about the Palm Beach Boat Show! Here is a great video of Trevor down at the Palm Beach International Boat Show talking about First Mate and boat shows. We are also in the process of uploading some video content of our own, including some information about the Tiara factory and BoatQuest.com!
It really is this easy.
We are slowly getting around to publishing all the material we gathered at Miami. Here is a video I took the day after the show, of a huge chunk of boats heading north along Collins. We actually saw some of the same boats 2-3hrs later as we were driving by the port of Miami. Quite a trip home, and as you can tell by the video, there is a bit of congestion getting around.
Just can not wait to get into the Miami Boat Show?! Well here is a sneak peek! Not quite as glamorous as you envisioned it? Just wait a few days. With some elbow grease and boat show magic it will become your boating mecca. My personal favorite photo is the wrap on the Contender. Leave your comments on your favorite pictures!
Not signed up for the Miami Boat Show emails? Well, you should be! We just got a nice run down of events and new opportunities in our inbox:
Participate in Our Navigation Electronics Focus Group — $50 Incentive Help marine manufacturers shape the future of navigation electronics! Sign up now to take part in an innovative 45-minute focus group at the 2011 Miami International Boat Show. Put $50 in your pocket for participating, and be entered to win a $200 West Marine E-Gift Card.
Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have past experience with at least one type of marine electronics navigation device. The study will take place on Feb. 19 & 20 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in the pre-hall meeting rooms (Washington Street Entrance); light refreshments will be served. Must be pre-registered to participate. Space is limited so sign up now! Contact: Marine.Research2011@gmail.com with preferred dates and times. (edit: Original email had an incorrect email which has been corrected.)
So go ahead, go sign up to earn yourself $50!
Brokers, listen up, this post is for YOU! We KNOW the following:
- Online content is more important than ever.
- Boat shows help generate leads.
- Buyers are doing more and more research about the boats they look at before coming to shows.
- Traffic at sites, such as YachtWorld, goes up prior to boat shows.
Given all of this knowledge, it seems like you should be acting on it! Have brokers been at putting this puzzle together? No!!! Brokers are failing buyers and sellers alike. I can not do either of the following:
1. Easily go to a show website, search for a certain boat ("63' Hatteras"), and within 2-3 clicks be at a brokers full blown listing with pictures and discription.
2. Easily find out from a broker's listing description a certain boat will be on display at a show (ie. "This 63' Hatteras "Maderia" will be at the Miami Brokerage Show").
When I do use the built in search engines on a show website I can get semi-usable results.
Notice however not all the boats have pictures included with them (and I have do to an extra click to view the 1 picture). So with one more click I can make it to the most in depth view of the boat from the show website.
Now what happens? What if I am marginally interested in the boat and want to see a price (which is not included in any boat show website search) and more pictures? I have to go to the brokers individual site and start the search all over again! Now if brokerage "Q" is well known for selling Hatteras, I might have trouble finding the exact boat which is scheduled to be at the show out of the 5+ they have listed. Online shoppers have a short attention span, so why of these extra steps! The contact usually listed on the boat show website is rarely the listing broker. What does this mean for the online shopper? It means a phone call, being put on hold, forwarded, and then you may or may not end up with the right person, or get their voicemail. All of this just to see a few extra pictures? No thanks.
However, when I do try to track down which broker is bringing which boat to a certain show, there is almost NEVER any mention the boat will be at the "X" boat show. Instead, I'm left to wonder which of eight 56' Vikings brokerage "Y" is going to bring to the show.
Does the blame lie entirely with the brokers? No, some of it has to site with the show websites. To be fair, they could rethink some of their layout.
What do I want? EASY AND QUICK. It would be great if a show website was just a repackaged version of Yachtworld/Broker sites with show info and relevant ads. For this there has to be a demand from brokers. Even more important is brokers need to be putting the show site to its fullest/best use. Brokers should always upload pictures for the show website, and keep their listings updated with information on which shows a boat will be at (I still visit broker listings and can not find their email address!). I would also love to see brokerages highlight which boats they will have on display at shows. A special landing website specifically designed to highlight the boats brokers are taking to shows would be an easy work around in the current system.
At the end of the day, I do not care how it is done, I just want it to be better. The multiple steps of search, click, click, click, search, click, guess, just to find one boat needs to end. Given how much time and money is spent on renting dock space, detailing, manning the booth, electricity, it seems like giving a lot of buyers (and sellers!) easier access to the information they care about before they get to the show seems like some easy to grab low hanging fruit.
To further round out the First Mate repertoire, I think this is the second or third time we have loaned some help for booths at shows. When you get FMYC Booth help, you get someone who has learned your boat. By learned, I mean memorized every piece of information we can find on it from every source available. Tankage, power options (pricing (if you acceptable), measurements, features, and differentiating characteristics means YOU can take a day off answering those same 3 questions that EVERYONE asks! Booth Help is available, either male or female, and can range from basic crowd control ('line starts here', 'shoes off', 'you may board now') to the more advanced ("2 or 3 lumps with your coffee?"), or, the meticulous, simply staying on the boat acting as security/detailing on demand, making sure every fingerprint has a short lifespan, and ensuring no 'presents' in the heads. If you would like us to put you in contact with previous customers of this service, those references are available.
Dave Buitendorp spent a day with (L to R) Mr. Mark Lindsay, Mr. Scott Smith, and Mr. Bob Johnstone of MJM Yachts at the Chicago show.
Candace Boss of Dry Harbour tells us about how much traffic Formula has received at the show! They had half their booth filled with people willing to wait in line! Looked like a rollercoaster line! With 8 boats at the show, Formula had one of the largest single manufacturer footprints. Also, the 45 was in the top 3 largest boats at the show. Certainly, not every one waiting in line was...qualified, but it is still a great sign.
Dry Harbour is also an Avalon Pontoon dealer, and Candace tells me if you look at their catalog/ booth promo videos, there are a few videos of her complementing the boats nicely. Candace Boss; booth girl, boat model, broker extraordinaire. We think she has a pretty good mentor:
(put your caption ideas in the comments)
After a few days of prep work, the 81st Annual Chicago Boat, RV, and Outdoors show kicked off today at 2pm. The event is taking place at McCormick Plaza in Chicago, and is taking up all of hall B and the garage area for the RVs. The focus here is definitely on smaller boats, 15-45 ft. Plenty of express boats, such as Formula and Regal, ski/wakeboard boats with Malibue, Mastercraft, and Nautiques representing, and fishing boats, including smaller bass boats, and the larger scouts and pursuits. There is even a 'down east corner' (FMYC name) with MJM, Vanquish, and Hunt representing some eastern/lobster-looks.
The show is just getting started, but there are plenty of boats to see, and quite a few events. The Rail Jam, with indoor wakeboarding, a reptile show, plenty of boating seminars from DIY Boating, the DockDogs, and plenty more. Be sure to check back for more details, posts, and media. If you are (or want to be) a FMYC customer and would like a guided tour of the show, drop us a line! If you are snowed in and can't make it to the show, but want to request that we take pictures of X or get you the specs on Y, let us know in the comments.
Back to the show!
It may be cold in Michigan, but our schedule is certainly filling up quick for the remainder of the boat show season. We will be at all of the following WARM events:
Hey, we will not be there (unless someone from across the pond wants to pick up our travel expenses), but the Sunseeker display at the London Boat Show sounds like it would be worth checking out. (HT: Diane Byrne)
Further underscoring its commitment to the megayacht market, Sunseeker will officially unveil the Predator 115 at the London International Boat Show next month.
While Sunseeker is still considered by some buyers to be a production builder of harbor hoppers, it began designing yachts exceeding 100 feet LOA about a dozen years ago. In fact, its Predator range of performance yachts already includes a 108 and a 130; on the smaller end of the superyacht scale, it further features an 84 and a 92. As for the 115, the hull was completed in April, and the superstructure a few weeks after that.
The Predator 115 will carry on the model’s tradition of emphasizing speed and luxury. Top end is expected to be 30 knots, depending on the MTU engine option selected. That should ensure anyone reclining on the flying bridge’s sunpad cools off on a particularly hot day. Other features on the flying bridge include a hot tub and a bar, and buyers can opt for a hardtop for shade. A nice touch on that optional hardtop is down lighting, to make the flying bridge a great gathering spot at night.
How well this megayacht will do in todays highly competitive market is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure, Sunseeker has sure come a long way from their first boat shows and their the 17'-23' boats.
Word on the docks at the Fort Lauderdale Show was that you needn't wait till St. Petersburg to get your boat show fix again, as Yachting Magazine would be hosting an event in Palm Beach. Yachting Magazine started the event, with a more intimate setting, only 500 people invited.
Hosted at the beautiful new Palm Harbor Marina, the Yachting Life show will feature as many as 50 premium yachts, along with showcases for lifestyle and luxury brands, creating an engaging environment for guests. Access will be by invitation only, creating a very targeted audience that assures participants reach only the best prospects.
Though this sounds to be driven by land-based advertisers (Corum watches, St. Croix beverages seemed to be headline sponsors), I assure you that there were plenty of boats there. A few FMYC friends in attendence included the brand new 78 Vicem Cruiser, also the Hargrave "Sassy", and the 130 Westport "Constellation" (which we got a full tour of; very nice!).
It is good to see a new venue being introduced to the calendar, and Mr. David Carr with Yachting Magazine said they will be planning on future events on the East and West Coast, but also the Midwest. Fun Fact, Michigan is their 4th largest state by readership.
Be sure to look out for more of these "Private Yacht Showcases" as a way to see the boats without having to deal with the strollers and the boat show crowds.
Link, contact info: David Carr, Events Manager Tel: 954.594.7655 • E-mail: email@example.com
So while we are at boat shows, we do more than checking out booth girls and attending swanky parties. We stop at a lot of booths and ask the pros about any and all questions we might have. While we have done our homework on working on teak, it is always good to stop by and see the guys at Teak Decking Systems, as they are the industry standard (they do a lot of factory installs). Who better to spend 30 minutes with asking questions about teak?
While a lot of boats we work on are not painted, we still have quite a few customers who have some Awlgrip paint on their hull or non-skid.
Boat shows also give us a great opportunity to get the heads up on new products, such as new anchor designs.
No boat show would be complete without a stop to the Navionics booth. We got to play with their maps on the iPad, and talk to them about their expansion into the world of Android.
Have something you want us to check out for you at the next boat show? Drop us a line at info@FirstMateYachtCare.com!