05 Jul 2013

It’s not every day that Boating World’s Cape Town and Durban teams get together and where better than at the recent Durban International Boat Show to enjoy a festive atmosphere in glorious East Coast winter weather.

After the very wet build-up day on the Thursday, where everyone got thoroughly drenched, it was a huge surprise to wake up to perfectly clear skies and bright sunshine – a fitting start for  the first day of this popular show.

Relieved exhibitors gathered at Royal Natal Yacht Club for the breakfast laid on by the organizers where awards were given for the best stands. Boating International walked away with Best Water Stand thanks to their impressive line-up of Ace Glider skiboats with eye-catching black Mercury outboards – moored together at their familiar corner jetty spot.

Among the other awards was the special presentation to the person who has contributed the most to the industry and Richard Crockett of Sailing Magazine, who serves on several committees – was a most deserving winner. In his acceptance speech Richard emphasized the importance of boat shows and their vital role in bringing the best of the marine industry to all boaters and keeping water sport alive despite the economy.

Boating World’s Derrick, Suzanne, Greg, Jessica and Craig, well turned out in their smart show outfits, were ready for the many visitors eager to clamour on board their stunning boats. Of course the Riviera 37 Sport Fisher attracted much attention among avid anglers, who admired the large cockpit, spacious cabins and the great visibility from the towering flybridge.

Curious show-goers loved watching the on-water demonstrations of the revolutionary Airberth Boat Lift system which showed exactly how easily the Lowrance Demonstrator (or any boat) can be stored right out of the water. 

The team was also hard at work controlling the large queues of people waiting to board the spectacular Ocean Solace – a 24m ferry boat complete with twin MPU 120HP diesel engines.  Spans of interior room make this the ideal vessel for large functions and there are even four cabins which sleep eight people for overnighting.

Visitors strolling the jetties took a good look at the beautiful cruisers, sailing yachts, skiboats and other craft moored alongside - while enjoying the good food, refreshments and cheerful music which added to the festive atmosphere.  A great attraction was the cardboard boat race in the bay where rudimentary “boats” were built using only boxes and duct tape and the plucky winner was Gabriel Clarke (10), from Morningside in Durban.

Boats could also be viewed on the grass area near Café Fish next to the two marquees sporting a range of marine accessories and other gear as well as inflatables, paddle skis, boating magazines and more. Demarcated areas hosted seminars aimed at the youth and SAMSA had excellent talks at regular intervals throughout the weekend covering boat safety. 

Club Marine ran a lucky draw offering One Year Complementary insurance and Lowrance South Africa had off a whole selection of their latest electronic units well displayed on their brand new show stand.

For those who couldn’t make it – there’s another show coming up next month.  The Johannesburg Boat Show takes place over the long weekend of August 8th – 11th at NASREC exhibition centre – from 9am – 6pm daily.