The Miami International Boat Show is always a great time for our team at Marine Concepts to see the fruits of our labor. That is, after spending most of the previous year assisting in designs and making plugs and molds, we get to see the finished products our great customers have produced from this partnership. This year was no exception. New models are bringing more consumers to the buying table, and manufacturers are seeing this. This was evident by all the new models at the show (and thus, in our shop). With outboard models obviously being the dominate force, there are so many great new designs available today. Companies are finding more creative ways to integrate and utilize the space gained by having outboard(s) on the back.
We are also seeing more crossovers than before, be it between a bay boat and offshore center console or a day cruiser and traditional cruiser, on which more families are starting to go on weekend getaways. With 3-D CAD modeling and CNC milling pretty much now an industry standard, designs are as complex as ever, while giving the fit and finish our boatbuilding forefathers could have only dreamed of. All this is accomplished while also greatly increasing the speed to market. What used to be one new tooling project per year for our customers is now two to four new models per year.
Most of the industry leaders ended their time at the show with the yearly luncheon hosted so graciously by Regal Marine. This is always a great event where competitors come together as one for a prayer and lunch, while listening to a great speaker. Our founder, Kiko Villalon, was even called out by his first customer (Regal) for his youthfulness and going strong at another Miami show, since formally founding MC in 1976. When the event concluded, it was back to finding a way to the mainland. However, as the bugs are being worked out at the show’s location and getting to/from either becomes excepted or improved at times, great new products ensure that consumers will go to great lengths to see them.