The Miami Boat Show saw over 82 000 visitors this year. SABBEX joined six South African Boat Builders for the 5 day show held at the Marine Stadium Park and Basin, with a small in water float adjacent to the South African boats.
Balance Catamarans, Xquisite Yachts, Royal Cape Catamarans, Knysna Yacht Co and Kinetic Catamarans were all displayed on Pier 9, with the Robertson and Caine Leopard cats a short distance away on Pier 8.
Thina and Vanessa were on hand to represent builders who could not display a boat at the show, and to answer questions about doing business in South Africa and the support that SABBEX can give to prospective buyers interested in a SA cat. They were joined by Jennifer Cheong of the SA Embassy office in Washington DC who provided on the ground support and logistics. Mr Malose Letsoalo of the Embassy office also hosted an informal cocktail event on the Thursday evening for the boat builders with wine kindly supplied by Jim Cooke of Wines of South Africa (WOSA) in the USA.
Whilst the rain on Saturday put a slight damper on the show numbers, South African boats were sold on the show and strong leads were also generated. With many builders also planning to be at the Annapolis Show later in the year, hopefully these leads will translate into confirmed sales. Whilst the local economy outlook does not look particularly positive at the moment, it was good to know that the boat builders have future orders and will continue to generate important export revenue for South Africa and to retain and grow employment figures in the sector.
Miami International Boat Show 2021 will be supported by a dti funded National Pavilion. This will allow more boat builders to exhibit at the show which has become an expensive show since moving to the Marine Stadium Park and Basin. There will be a strong South African branded presence at the 2021 show with other suppliers and equipment manufacturers also represented.