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The 2018 Sydney International Boat Show has been and gone. The Trade-a-Boat team walked the marina and halls in search of the stars of the show — here is what we found.




For the 51st straight year, the sun shone brightly on the Australia’s biggest boat show, and not just metaphorically so. Cockle Bay basked under cloudless days that brought good numbers of visitors, with a reported 59,753 entering the halls and walking the marina. Although the number of visitors were marginally down, the exhibitors were in good moods with Horizon’s Erica Rae and Whitehaven’s Peter Pembroke reporting strong shows for their respective luxury brands. In the Halls, Sailfish Catamaran’s Gavan Webbe told Trade-a-Boat that interest in the new 3100 was excellent and that sales were forthcoming, and by the volume of foot traffic and number of bags full of new tackle and accessories in the halls, turnover must have been good for the undercover displays.


There were plenty of new releases too, with Australia’s premier brands Riviera and Maritimo both releasing details on new models and displaying 2018’s newest locally-built models. Of particular interest was the coming Belize 66 Sedan, which is due for launch at Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show beginning on October 31. We saw drawings and construction updates on the new sport yacht, and we eagerly await its Australian launch in 2019. Maritimo released images of the in-build X50 — a smaller version of the talk-of-the-town X60 and hinted at a larger model already in the works. Whether it is a rumoured 80-foot model or an X70 based off the S70 platform we will soon know.


Rivera's Rodney Longhurst aboard the new 39SMY

Ribco, a luxury RIB brand from Greece, launched in Australia with a range of models, while Trade-a-Boat favourite Palm Beach released the gorgeous Eastbay 44 alongside a strong display of Grand Banks and Palm Beach models. In the halls, Chapman Marine launched the Flipper brand to Australia, their alloy-hulled glass-topped boats causing quite a stir among onlookers. Sealegs, the amphibious technology leaders, released a new recreational model in the 8.5 Alloy Cabin: it’s a serious bit of kit for anyone wanting the freedom to choose where to launch and retrieve.


There were a few surprises within the gear on display — the Seakeeper 2 was a standout, and so much so that we immediately commissioned a review (found on page XYZ.). As is always the case at the BIA-run show, family entertainment and industry support were prominent. The Event Deck pool was a popular place during the hotter hours, while the marine safety and education zones were swarming with advice and safety messages.


Standout of the show, the new Palm Beach East Bay 44 

Next year's show is locked in for the familiar first weekend of August, with gates and doors opening 1 August 2019.


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