Fort Lauderdale Boat Show: couldn’t make it at FLIBS and want an update ? Here it is:

PrintWere visitors actual serious buyers?

Yes, they were qualified visitors. Exhibitors were more than happy. Everyone I talked to said that this 2015 edition was the best one in 15 years. About 100 000 visitors for the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show wandered on the pontoons this November 2015, one of the strongest attendance ever. Unanimously, most people were actual potential buyers.

How will this convert into signed deals?

The above being said, the psychological depression that followed the awful years of 2008-10 probably helped feeling the upturn more than realistic figures do show though. Over 80% of the visitors I surveyed on site were indeed there to either by a boat or buy equipment for their existing boat. However, most of the time, the purchase of a new yacht was conditioned to either the selling of their existing yacht (average price range from 700k USD to 5,5 m USD for this poll) or a credit subscription. Let’s just remind that credit in boating in the US is currently at a 2-year low. Equipment buyers had the cash and were more looking for advice and novelty.

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How international was FLIBS?

From a visitor standpoint, majority of visitors were from the USA and Canada with a non-negligible portion from Mexico and Latin America. A few Russian boaters were also actively looking. You barely heard any European language spoken on the field aside from exhibitors’.

Analysis of exhibitors will be the subject the next post.

I am a manufacturer in sailing /maritime or a small shipyard. Is it worth for my SME to be present at the next #FLIBS edition? If yes, is #FLIBS the most adequate north American boat show for my products?

The answer depends on :

  1. Your products: answer is different wether you are in sailing or motoryachting, for exemple. High-end, niche or mass-market. Etc.
  2. Your readiness to tackle the US market: are you compliant?
  3. How do your products stand out vs. local and/or international competition
  4. Results of 1 & 2 & 3: cost of deployment versus ROI
  5. Last but not least: your long-term commitment to a standardized north American client service (in other words, is your team ready?). The last thing you want is going through the process of spending the money going to boat shows, finding distributors and finally, having disappointing results down the road.

The process is actually easier than it sounds. @SAILINGEXPORT offers a FREE AUDIT to the first three companies that will contact us during the METS. Based on the four above mentioned points, it will help you assess the US market and make an informed decision to go or not to go. Contact : h.hall (at) or tel: +33628070367. We can also meet at the METS in Amsterdam if you are there.

If you already are on the US market but are disappointed with the sales, we regularly do help companies to understand why and remedy the situation. Results with upcoming sales come sometimes as quickly as within two months after @SAILINGEXPORT came on board, most likely allow nine to twelve months to really see sales picking up.


Comment les chantiers de SuperYachts Français peuvent regagner des parts de marché sur les chantiers Hollandais?

La Hollande est internationalement vue comme LA référence en terme de qualité pour la construction de superyachts. C’est une réalité que je constate systématiquement lors de mes déplacements à l’étranger. Toutefois, je suis toujours surprise de voir que ce qui fait leur différence n’est absolument pas insurmontable pour les chantiers Français dont la base est déjà très solide.

Pour mémoire, même la délocalisation en Turquie par exemple pour la construction menuiserie de la coque est vue par le client final du chantier Hollandais comme un service à valeur ajoutée. L’idée étant: “je bénéficie de la réduction des coûts tout en étant assuré du contrôle qualité Hollandais lors de la livraison”.
Les Italiens se démarquent par leurs innovations en terme de design notamment mais comme (certains) chantiers Français, ils  peinent à faire la démonstration d’un qualité de construction ET d’un service qualité du niveau Hollandais.

Or, pour bien connaître les chantiers étrangers, leurs forces et leurs (petites) défaillances dont ils ne se vantent pas; je peux vous assurer qu’il s’agirait de peu finalement pour que la France sorte de sa position de challenger pour prendre des parts de marché au leader voisin.

Un exemple parmi d’autre: la notion de service client à l’anglo-saxonne.

Combien de fois ai-je entendu “nous avons bien contacté X (PME française) mais ils ne nous ont pas répondu”. Lorsque je vérifie chez X, on me dit “mais si, on a travaillé sur ce dossier, d’ailleurs on leur a envoyé une quote”. Qui a raison? Et bien, les deux mon capitaine. Mais, le service client à l’anglo saxonne signifie un contact EN ANGLAIS dans les 48h, des échanges de mail dans la semaine et… un SUIVI! Alors, que côté français, l’envoi d’une quote dans les 15 jours (parfois non traduite en Anglais!) semble suffisant. Il faut donc travailler sur ce fameux “service client à l’anglo-saxonne”.

Si vous êtes un chantier intéressé pour (re)gagner des parts de marché à l’international, sachez que SAILING EXPORT procède  à un audit interne de quelques jours de votre chantier suivi par la mise en place des recommandations directement opérationnelles qui s’implémentent dans l’entreprise en moyenne en 6 mois. Les bénéfices tangibles (càd l’augmentation de CA à l’étranger)  apparaissent entre 9 mois et 18 mois suivants l’intervention.

GCC: UAE - QATAR - OMAN March 15

@SailingExport March 4th, 2015 : I am currently in the Gulf Countries: UAE during and after Boat Show, leaving for Qatar and Oman, back to France on March 23rd. Reports of this business trip available upon request. Main focus is as usual on Sailing but includes Motoryachting and some maritime infos.

You can also check to find an interesting article with factual facts & figures as well as comments on how @GulfCraft manages its growth and international devpt.

As a reminder, the luxury shipyard earns 20% of their annual revenue from Dubai Boat Show @DubaiBoat.

Turkish sailing market info - Latest update from 2015 Istanbul Boat Show

Very unusual picture of 2015 Istanbul Boat Show under a snow storm (!)

Attendance was very adversely affected on Tuesday and Wednesday as the city was blocked by a snow storm with many flights cancelled at Ataturk Airport.

However, exhibitors on the high-range / luxury spectrum of the market were very happy with potential clients visiting the first week-end and expect returning prospects concretizing sales this coming week-end as weather is back to normal.

Ironically, the quite days were a GREAT opportunity for me @SailingExport to talk to many Turkish professionals in Sailing : contacts, colleagues, equipment manufacturers etc… and hence, to gather the potentialities of the Turkish sailing market.

Let’s remind, as an example, that the 141m sailing yacht DREAM SYMPHONY, the largest sailing yacht / schooner in the world is currently being built in Turkey.

Feel free to contact me for any questions