Expectations high for Miami show

MIAMI – The boating industry was hopping at the Miami International Boat Show, which kicked off yesterday in three locations, including the Miami Beach Convention Center.

New products and services were being introduced left and right – from the record-breaking 350-hp V8 5.3-liter four-stroke outboard by Yamaha Marine Group and Mercury Marine’s new Vazer sterndrive – designed as an alternative to outboard engine power – to Zodiac’s new SHARC DUOTEX rot-proof inflatable tube fabric and Dometic’s new Turbo self-contained water-cooled air conditioning platform.

Add in a long list of industry awards and the unveiling of future plans for the Grow Boating Initiative, and it’s clear there was a lot to celebrate, despite the industry’s 2006 boat sales decline and expectations for a flat or down year in 2007.

While attendance reports were mixed on the show’s first day, considered a VIP and trade day for exhibitors, organizers told local newspapers they were optimistic about how the show’s attendance would shape up by the end of the event.

Last year, the show attracted nearly 147,000 attendees, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which owns the Miami event, expects more than 150,000 this year, the Sun-Sentinel reported in an article today.

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