The 2017 Detroit Boat Show saw an increase in attendance this year as well as stronger sales, according to the organisers. The Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) said in a statement that an additional 1,606 people attended the event at the Cobo Center from February 11-19, increasing attendance by 3% to 69,169.

Chris Stevens of Grande Pointe Marina in Sterling Heights and Lansing said that this year’s show was record-setting for his company. “From small fishing boats to large centre consoles, sport boats, and sport yachts, we crushed our personal sales goals and nearly tripled our results from previous years,” he said.

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), 2016 was the sixth consecutive growth year for new boat, engines, trailer and accessory sales nationwide and in Michigan.

Sales are expected to rise again in 2017 and 2018. The Detroit Boat Show also grew in 2017, adding 50,000sq ft sold for a total of 400,000sq ft.  “Along with our bigger footprint came bigger boats,” said Nicki Polan, show manager. “We had twice as many cruisers on the floor this year as compared to last year.”

“Attendance certainly appeared to be up over last year and, more importantly, our show sales increased substantially. We are looking forward to an early spring and double-digit sales gains this season,” said Mike Tusa of Mike’s Marine Supply in St Clair Shores.

Mark Munger of Bee’s Sports in St Johns said: “It is fun to meet people that have the same passion about boating as we do. Our sales were good again this year and that makes Cobo the best boat show of the year."

Studies have shown dealers can attribute nearly half of their annual income to the sales and leads generated at the Detroit Boat Show, which is among the largest in the country based on size, attendance and sales.

The 60th edition of the Detroit Boat Show will be held at the Cobo Center from February 17-25, 2018. The show is produced by the Michigan Boating Industries Association, a statewide marine trade association representing Michigan’s US$7.4bn boating industry.