Sydney International Boat Show

The Sydney International Boat Show is the largest and best-attended in the region. Held this year from the 2nd to the 6th of August, it enjoyed temperatures in the early 20os — the highest for winter since the 1800s.

The venue was the International Convention Centre and Cockle Bay Marina Darling Harbour, which is surrounded by retail outlets, restaurants and the Sydney Maritime Museum all of which were taking full advantage of the crowds of boating enthusiasts.

Exhibitors from Southeast Asia had a strong presence on the water and inside the pavilion. Seawind/Corsair from Vietnam were prominent with two Seawinds cats and two Corsair Trimarans (pictured top) in the water. Multihull Solutions, which has a branch in Phuket, had a number of its Fountaine Pajot cats on display and is reported to have made 20 sales during the show. Incidentally, the Astrea 42 (including Australian GST) comes in at just on A$1 million, options included.

Pattaya builder, Bakricono, brought along it flagship — a Heliotrope 48 designed by Albert Nazarov of Albatross Marine Thailand. Grand Banks Malaysia held pride of place with an East Bay 44 motor cruiser (pictured middle). Shanghai Double Happiness Co exhibited an Alaskan 44 Sedan motor yacht. The same is represented in Thailand by Derani Yachts. It’s a popular brand in the region. Fleming Yachts from Taiwan showed their beautiful 58-foot motor yacht. McConaghy Catamarans China had an on-water exhibit and a small booth with a scale model displayed. Perhaps they could bring one of their magnificent cats next year! Gulf Charters Thailand / Island Spirit catamarans had a scale model, marketing both sales and charters. Again a pity they could not have had a real cat for visitors to touch and feel.

Tourism of Thailand had a booth with a number of other Southeast Asian country representatives. The regional dive
industry was also well represented.

Boatbooks, a major marine publications and chart seller, spread out a wide range of cruising guides, including the well-known Southeast Asia Pilot. A notable shift in the market was in the small powerboat runabout range from 4 metres up to 11 metres with many of these craft now being built out of alloy rather than fibreglass. The show is geared for sail and motor yachts up to 70 feet, marine accessories (right), dive equipment and runabouts with lectures by marine experts and achievers. An example of the later was Lisa Blair, the young Australian Antarctica last year. She described her experiences in heavy seas, passing Cape Horn, being dismasted, setting up a jury rig, finding and fitting a second-hand mast in graphic detail. Lisa is an ambassador for climate action

There was also a talk on the Sydney Hobart Race and how they did it in the early days before GPS. A notable comment from the speaker about times gone by was that they tacked away from shore when they heard dogs barking!

While this was all happening, it was announced that Australia’s population would reach 25 million at 100 on Tuesday, the 7th of August, and that person would be from Southeast Asia.

The next Sydney International Boat Show will be held from the 1st to the 5th of August 2019.

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