The recent Johannesburg Boat Show held from the 8th to 11th of August at NASREC Expo Centre, can be described as nothing other than a roaring success! The organisers can pat themselves on the back for hosting yet another spectacular event and one of the brightest instalments on this year’s boating calendar.
We at Leisure Boating had a tremendous time interacting with our loyal readers as well as introducing the magazine to new subscribers. The show also created an ideal platform for us to socialise with a wide array of dealers and manufacturers to get an idea of the current state of the South African boating industry – and the consensus was that it is most definitely on the up! All the exhibitors had only positive remarks about the show and how it adds value, not only to their respective businesses in terms of promotion and exposure, but also in terms of the boost it lends to the industry itself.
Held alongside the Outdoor Lifestyle Show and the Motorcycle Lifestyle Show, exhibitors at the boat show were afforded exposure to all walks of life and hobbyists of all kinds. As a result, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts were introduced to the wonderful world of boats and subsequently new interest was garnered and new relationships were built – exactly what this industry needs to grow and prosper. With over 65 exhibitors at the Boat Show alone; wakeboarding demos; fishing clinics; skipper training and surveys; beer tents; and a multitude of food stands; showgoers had more than enough to keep themselves entertained.
In addition to the huge variety of boats – including wakeboats, fishing craft, cruisers and jetskis – there were hundreds of boatrelated products and services on display; from boat insurance agencies such as Club Marine to safety equipment dealers to custom yacht decorators, kayak dealers and a variety of watersport equipment such as wakeboards, waterskis, and tubes. What once again proved to be a huge attraction this year was the fishing simulators. Jigstar Africa’s simulator especially drew the crowds and everyone wanted a turn at the reel. Showgoers could select their preferred tackle from Jigstar’s selection of rods and reels, and then choose what kind of fish they would like to battle on the super realistic simulator. The screen displays the fish you are fighting (taken from real footage) as it darts around underwater and whether you’re fighting a sailfish, marlin or tuna, it shows the fish doing its on-the-water acrobatics and the pull on the line is amazingly accurate and directly correlated to the fish’s movements on screen. The simulator is so realistic that it had grown men and even seasoned deep-sea anglers panting and sweating!
Another big attraction for the Johannesburg Boat Show was the R25 000 giveaway prize of an Airborne wake tower. Visitors to the show simply had to complete an entry form during the course of the weekend and drop it into the box at an Airborne dealers exhibit and they’d stand a chance to win a new look for their boat! At the end of the weekend, just one name was drawn –massive congratulations to Eurisché Van Rooyen who recently made the decision to buy a boat! All in all, we here at the magazine had a fantastic experience and if you missed the event, make a point of it to attend next year’s show. Tickets are reasonably priced and you’ll certainly get your money’s worth!