It’s hard to know just what bit of magic works when it comes to a boat show. Sometimes, how we measure a show’s success is impacted by the weather here; other times, it’s impacted by the weather someplace else. Sometimes, it matters what the stock markets are doing; other times, it doesn’t matter a bit.
Each of those magical conditions was credited or cursed for creating thin crowds on the docks during the 26th annual Yacht & Brokerage Shows.
Tens of thousands of airline flights were cancelled in the northeastern U.S. as the show opened, which undoubtedly impacted showings and attendance. One broker heard from a client who had left his New England home 48 hours before but had only made it as far as Washington D.C. and unsure when he would arrive, if at all.
Toss in our own dicey weather on Thursday, whose thunder and rain kept some local attendees away, and it’s hard to see what magic was working in the show’s favor.
But then the weekend started, and by the time it finished, the docks had filled in with lots of conversation from Eastern and Western Europe as well as dialects from South America.
One common sight on Sunday were families. While it’s not unusual to see baby strollers, young kids and big kids on the docks on weekends, these all accompanied their young parents onboard for tours, indicating they aren’t just tourists, but prequalified at least a little bit.
Captains and crew, too, felt the slow pace as the show opened but then grew busy as more people walked the docks. One captain said although he gave only a handful of tours, he talked to “some serious buyers and brokers with serious clients.”
“If they aren’t buying this one, they are going to buy something,” this captain said.
“We only need 11,” joked broker Cromwell Littlejohn with Merle Wood & Associates, which has 11 yachts in the show. “When someone says they can’t make it, we take pictures of people here enjoying the sun. It drives them back.”
A couple yachts rang their bells this weekend, signalling a signed contract. Time will tell as those yachts go through sea trials and final negotiations, but even with all that weather up north, the temperatures at the Miami show were better than tepid.
Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of Triton Today. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.