Dealers Close Deals at Halifax International Boat Show

Many exhibitors at this year's Halifax International Boat Show report excellent sales despite a pair of snowstorms during the event. The show, organized by the Atlantic Marine Trades Association (AMTA) and Master Promotions in Saint John, NB was held at Exhibition Park in Halifax, NS from February 3 to 6 and featured 117 exhibitors.

“We had terrific boat sales at the show this year,” says Show Manager, Scott Sprague. “We had some significant storms so our attendance is down marginally.” Sprague estimates show attendance was down about 12 percent compared to last year.

However, attendance didn't seem to play a factor as several exhibitors report outstanding sales results.

“This year's show was one of our greatest ever,” says Chris Mills, VP of Operations for Seamasters in Saint John, NB. “Our sales were up by 70 percent compared to last year.” Mills attributes much of the dealership's success to its addition of the Stingray Boats brand, which Seamasters picked up during the winter. Seamasters brought five Stingray units ranging from 18 to 21-1/2 feet in length as well as 14 boats from a variety of other boat brands.

White Water Marine, which brought Princecraft and Fincraft boats, reports good show results. “Our sales were up by 25 percent,” relates Owner Graham White. “There seemed to be more interest and sales than we've had in the last four to five years. We found that the people coming to see us were seeking to upgrade.”

Patricia Nelder, AMTA Executive Director, says that the show was held two weeks earlier this year to avoid conflict with the 2011 Halifax Canada Winter Games, which run from February 11 to 27. “We'll be returning to our regular dates later in February for next year,” says Nelder. Show organizers are still determining the exact dates for the 2012 Halifax International Boat Show but anticipate the show will run shortly after next year's Miami International Boat Show.