The Moncton Boat Show at the Moncton Coliseum Complex in Moncton, NB, held March 27 to 29, drew a little less than 6,500 – consistent with last year's attendance – and featured approximately 50 exhibitors.
“In light of everything we've seen this year across Canada for recreational boat shows, coming to the same number for attendance is probably a good sign,” said Scott Sprague, show manager. “Weather was good. We had sun and cloud all three days, at over 10 degrees each day.”
According to Sprague, boat sales were slightly less compared to last year, however, two of the largest boat dealers at the show, Phil's Auto & Recreation and Quartermaster Marine, reported positive sales.
“We brought a mixture of Maxum, Boston Whaler and Trophy boats,” said QuarterMaster Marine's sales manager, Jason Craig. “We found that all different age groups were buying, from newly-weds to retired couples. The manufacturer's had some pretty good incentives to get people to buy.”
Phil's Auto & Recreation which displayed various models from Bayliner, Lowe and Stratos, also reported similar results.
“We had a very good show, said Sylvia Waugh, Phil's Auto & Recreation's business manager. “We sold quite a few units, about on par with last year. We figured we'd have a decrease due to the economy and the hype, but it was a very successful show for us. We had a lot of aluminum bass boats set up, which drew a lot of attention.”
“The sales are there, dealers just need to work a little harder to get them,” added Sprague. “The will is there to purchase.”
This year the show also featured guest speakers and entertainment including Dave Mercer host of the Facts of Fishing television program. Mercer drew large crowds as he spoke for two sessions on both Saturday and Sunday.
“Small-mouth bass fishing is really popular in New Brunswick, which was really evident by the crowds present for Dave's sessions,” said Sprague. “We had the Keats, a country music duo from Newfoundland and they performed each day, which provided some light entertainment for show traffic as they took a break from the show floor. The show also featured serious topics including a safe boating panel put on by the Atlantic Marine Trades Association (AMTA) and Transport Canada.”
Next year's Moncton Boat Show is scheduled for March 26 to 28.