From Kids in Oppies the nextboat owners may come

10.04.2016 19:35

One of the neat initiatives at the Shanghai Boat Show was a sizeable pool in car park provided by the organizers and run by Shanghai Sailing Club. On the pool were 4 or 5 Optimists either being wafted along by the gentle breeze or towed round the edge for those youngsters less confident. Beside the pool were lengthy queues of youngsters, some little more than tots – you could say ideal Oppie age patiently waiting their turn for their first taste of boating. While they were waiting they could color in a miniature Oppie sail –proper sailcloth not just paper too. Catch them young clearly the moto of this operation.

Inside the show it was obvious that many of the dealers would have less boats to take home than they brought  to the show with sold stickers appearing as early as the Friday on many boats. On other stands healthy interest was reported and most people spoken too branding the show as ‘worthwhile’or better.

Less in evidence were the brochure collectors who at previous shows could be seen walking around listing to port or starboard due to the weight of of their shoulder bag. This was balanced by more knots of small groups of people in obvious meaningful discussion with this salesman of that salesman at various stands. It would appear that it is not just the exhibitors that were getting more serious, there were clearly people who were there to do more than just fill a weekend afternoon.

And there was more evidence of though being given to stands by many exhibitors too. One that caught my eye was a dummy trapezing from the wall of the Ronstan stand, in full wetsuit, trap harness on and tiller in hand. Much more eye catching that stock hanging on a pegboard.

That leisure boating has a future in China is beyond question. Most dealers spoken too agreed the market has more buzz about it than before, people are asking more informed questions and there is an overall more professional feel to the local dealers. Strikes me that the foreign builders that hang back may just miss the boat (apologies for the pun but it was just too obvious to not use)

Today marks the end of the tenure of the China (Shanghai) International Boat Show at its current venue, the show has simply grown too big for where it is.

The 22nd China (Shanghai) International Boat Show will be at the Shanghai New International Expo Center on Long Yang Lu, a short distance from the downtown end of Shanghai’s Maglav line. Home of the Shanghai Auto Show and with enough space to satisfy the Shanghai Boat Show for many year to come.