The drop in the Australia dollar against the US dollar this week has been welcomed by a contingent of USA boat marketers on the Gold Coast for the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show this week.
Luxury cruiser manufacturer Maritimo, based at Coomera, has some of its key US based team members here on the Gold Coast for the show.
Maritimo USA President, Dave Northrop, said the drop in the dollar was encouraging. “We hope that it drifts a little lower and stabilizes below parity,” he said.
“There is no doubt that a strong Aussie dollar makes it tougher for us back in the US, but having said that there are definite signs of things improving.
“A lower dollar and a continued improvement in the market conditions will be warmly welcomed by all involved in the Maritimo family.”
Mr Northrop said the two new models being launched by Maritimo at Sanctuary Cove, the M50 cruising Motoryacht and the S 50 Sedan were exceptional vessels and he believed they would be well accepted in the US.
He said several of the M50’s had already been ordered for the US.
“The full beam master suites in these two vessels, plus the two additional cabins and twin heads/bathrooms make them extremely versatile for cruising couples with friends or for families,” he said.
Mr Northrop said his confidence in the future of the M50 and S 50 was in part because of the huge success his team has had in the US with the M58, their slightly larger sibling.
“Roughly half of the M58’s produced thus far have headed to the US and we have had very strong support particularly in the North West of the United States around the Seattle-Vancouver area,” he said.
“The M58 has been in the marketplace a few months longer that these new models and with its full beam master it is a real winner for us – something we think the M50 and the S50 will replicate.
“In the north west Maritimo has a strong brand awareness and we probably have more than 30 owners in that region. ‘We even have some owners doing $250,000 customizations to their vessels. “
He said he had a number of customers coming from the United States for the Sanctuary Cove show specifically to look at the M50 and the S50. “The full beam masters in these vessels are a real drawcard.
“Whether you prefer the flybridge option or the single level living of the sedan we can accommodate you and the quality in both is second to none.”
Mr Northrop said the leisure boating market in America was improving in step with the economy.
He said existing boat owners were now starting to visit dealerships with a view to upgrading and other aspiring boat owners who had sat on their hands post the GFC were now starting to become active.
“It is still a very competitive marketplace and there are some great deals to be done, but we are seeing optimism which is encouraging.”
While he is in Australia for the boat show Mr Northrop is spending time at the Maritimo Coomera manufacturing base and attending workshops with key executives looking at future models and marketing overall.
He said the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show was a major event for Maritimo and this year being the company’s 10th anniversary made it even more important.
Maritimo’s founder Bill Barry-Cotter said he was quietly optimistic about the show this year. “I think we have turned a corner and we are seeing some positivity which is great after a tough four years,” he said.