Strong sales reported at Tampa Boat Show

CHICAGO – The 2008 Tampa Boat Show, which ran Sept. 5-7 at the Tampa Convention Center, reported strong sales by exhibitors and a large number of leads from the nearly 18,500 people who attended, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which produced the show, reported in a release yesterday.

More than 600 boats were on display at the 2008 show with several vessels of all makes and sizes sold at the show, including more than 30 entry- to mid-level boats, representing millions of dollars in retail sales for local boat dealers, NMMA reported.

“We were especially pleased with the upbeat attitude of exhibitors at Tampa and were excited to learn they saw such strong sales,” said Ben Wold, executive vice president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “We feel good about what’s ahead and hope the sales exhibitors experienced at Tampa are a sign of things to come this show season.”

Appearances by Jonathan and Andy Hillstrand, co-captains of the commercial fishing vessel Time Bandit featured on Discovery Channel’s popular series Deadliest Catch, were a very popular draw during the event. Nearly 1,000 show-goers took the opportunity to meet the Hillstrands during four, three-hour sessions on Friday and Saturday of the show.

Robert Tronio from Sunray Marine, who sells boats by Pro-Line and Rinker, among others, said, "We were very pleased with attendee turnout and were able to close 14 deals onsite – quite a lot given what we were anticipating as a result of sales having been down all summer throughout the industry. Attendee interest levels were high even from those who weren’t quite ready to sign a contract."

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