Strong attendance reported at Newport show

NEWPORT, R.I. – Despite one full day of rain, ticket sales indicated an increase in paid attendance at the 36th Newport International Boat Show, organizers said in a recent release.

Nancy Piffard, the show’s director said, “The 2006 Newport Boat Show was the best ever. People from all over the country came and the exhibitors filled the show to capacity. And, most important, our exhibitors have indicated a great deal of satisfaction with their sales results and the number of qualified boat buyers who came to the show.”

Chris Lufkin, of Triton Boats, said the event was, “by far and away, our best Newport boat show ever. Qualified customers were in our boats, studying and finally buying, even on the rainy day.”

Rosemary O’Brien, the vice president of Legacy Yachts said that while her company always sees good results from the show, this year “we saw great results.”

New to this year’s show was the “Newport for New Products” program. Fifty-one new boats and 11 new boating products – never shown at any other boat show in the country – made their official debuts.

Winners of the program were:

  • Best Sailboat – the 38’ Seawind 1160 Catamaran
  • Best Powerboat – the Maritimo 60 Flybridge Cruiser
  • Best New Boating Product – the Volkswagen TDI-225-6 marine engine.
  • Industry Outlook

    The annual press conference was held on opening day, this year featuring Gerry DiSchino, CEO, Hinckley Yachts and sailor, writer and television commentator Gary Jobson. Both indicated that the boating business is in good shape despite the rising cost of fuel. They cited the following as reasons for their optimism: a continued increase in boat registrations; more consumers are discovering the recreational satisfaction of boating; technology has come a long way making it easier for boaters; and manufacturers are working hard to show that boating can be environmentally friendly.

    Both agreed that perhaps the most important issue facing the industry today is water access. They believe that boating, sail or power, will continue to be a popular recreational and family driven activity, but will be limited if access is not preserved, according to the release.

    Next year’s show is scheduled to run Sept. 13 – 16.

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