West Coast yachting market drives boat show success

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – The California yachting market is booming right now, driving up exhibit and attendance numbers at this year’s Newport Beach Boat Show, according to a recent statement from organizers.

This is despite rising fuel prices, limited slip availability, and last year’s enforcement of a 7-percent sales tax on yacht purchases, organizers reported.

In Orange County alone there are over 5000 slips, yet at one marina in Newport Beach there is up to an eight-year wait for a slip over 45 feet. Megayachts in Southern California are increasing not only in the number but in size, according to organizers. Almost 45 percent of large luxury yachts in the U.S. are owned by people on the West Coast.

As a result, the 33rd annual boat show featured the largest display of luxury and megayachts for sale in its history – more than 300, double the number of luxury yachts from last year, organizers reported.

During the show, Southern California’s KTLA television station broadcasted the news each morning from Zemba III, a 95-foot Brazilian built Inace. The expedition luxury mega yacht with a helicopter sitting on the top deck is for sale by Fraser Yachts Worldwide at $4.1 million dollars, helicopter not included. The media coverage helped produce a record number of attendees at Orange County’s Lido Village Marina, according to show producers, who reported that weekend attendance was up 30 percent from last year.

“The size and price of toys the wealthy are purchasing is going up and up. Homes are bigger. Cars are faster. Boats are larger,” said Vince Krivanek, general manager of Fraser Yachts Azimut Dealership in San Diego, which exhibited at the show.

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