Bigger, better boat show
The hugely varied boats at this year’s show suggest a more confident market, writes DAVID LOCKWOOD
TRADITIONALLY Sydney stands mast and boom above other national boat shows when it comes to the range of new-season launches on display.
And last weekend was no exception.
Investment in research and development has spawned a range of dashing new designs, with the trend in 2010 towards bigger, more luxurious cruising yachts that are easier to sail.
You would need to wing it to Monaco or Miami to find a spread of luxury pleasure boats of the calibre gracing last weekend’s Sydney International Boat Show.
At last count, 226 private liners, clever cruisers and hot yachts were tied to the temporary 2km marina. Anyone who strolled all their teak and fibreglass decks would have walked the equivalent distance of Darling Harbour to Circular Quay. The bigger fleet, up from just 187 craft at last year’s show, points to improving confidence in the pleasure-boat market.
But the lift in demand stems as much from product development and the do-ordie attitude of the big boat builders on improving market conditions. Build it, inspire, and they will come.
Meanwhile, underscoring the international part of the boat show’s title was a standout flotilla of five-star yachts and cruisers from Europe, Asia and America.
Teamed with the latest Australian-made luxury liners and it was a real show of strength. Some of the must-see new boats on display, starting at the top shelf, were:
Luxury UK marque Sunseeker had the biggest boat on show. Last year it was Lindsay Fox’s 34m Yacht. This year, it’s a private client’s new 30m Yacht costing about $15 million.
Along with the 80 and 86 Yachts, 60 and 70 Manhattans, and Predator 64, the Sunseeker display was valued at more than $40m.
Fellow Briton Princess was soliciting attention with a spread of mighty motor yachts, from the nimble V45 to the dashing V85-S with twin 2400hp MTU diesel engines and double tender garage.
Not one to be left wondering, Fairline completed the UK assault with, among other models, the new Targa 58 Gran Turismo with cuttingedge computer systems and a unique ‘‘global open’’ convertible window system.
While the US contingent
A trick Skyhook function, described as an invisible anchor, uses satellites to hold the boat’s station
was not quite so big this year, there were some real highlights.
In the true Yankee fashion, the 52 Sports Coupe from Regal has been supersized. From the garage to the cockpit, the sun lounges to the saloon lunch setting, from the aft stateroom befitting of a 60-footer, the flagship aimed to please with more of everything but asking price.
Perennial favourite Sea Ray had a new 470 Sundancer with twin 425hp Cummins diesel engines and revolutionary Zeus drives.
The underwater pods with rear-facing propellers are independently articulating, thereby granting amazing manoeuvrability along with a top speed of 36 knots.
A trick Skyhook function, described as an invisible anchor, uses satellites to hold the boat’s station.
Among the standout European powerboats were the Bavarias with interiors courtesy ofBMWDesignworks.
But the Greenline 33 was something else again, a hybrid cruiser powered by a Volkswagen Marine propulsion system with solar panels, electric motor, diesel generator and diesel main engine. If you’re seeking Scandinavian style and finish, look for the Windy 48 Triton.
Another new player at the Sydney show, New Ocean Yachts, was debuting a 640 Sports Yacht with Euro styling and an Asian build.
As much as performance is making a comeback, frugal semi-displacement cruisers remain the currency for plodding about local waterways.
The Taiwanese-made Clippers, from 36ft to 60ft, Chinese-made Hampton Endurance 750, and the stunning Fleming 55 and 65 are veritable homes away from home with everything including stabilisers, watermakers and several kitchen sinks.
But it wouldn’t have been a Sydney boat show without our legendary local boat builders unveiling their wares.
Thanks to new demand for boats under 50ft, Riviera is opening a new production line. Last year, it built 50 boats.
This year, it has budgeted for 100.
The must-see Riv’ is the 43 with Volvo Penta IPS pod drives, hitherto new levels of manoeuvrability, and a fullbeam aft cabin.