The Gold Coast International Boat Show & Marine Expo (GCIBSME 2017) opens today. The event marks the start to the Australian boat show calendar. The show opens from 17-19 March at the Gold Coast City Marina (GCCM) and Gold Coast Marine Precinct.

GCIBSME is Queensland’s largest boat show. It boasts 230 exhibitors and 600 boats worth over A$150m and it has been anticipated that 20,000 visitors will attend.

In addition, the Boating Industry Association (BIA) has teamed up with the GCIBSME organisers. The Association has been linked with SCIBS for a number of years but this extension is important as the BIA transforms itself from a series of state BIAs into a national association; a process that is due to be completed this year.

After two years of directly clashing with the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) held in May, organisers of GCIBSME changed its dates this year to March so to become the first major event in the Australian calendar.

With 250ha of space, the Gold Coast Marine Precinct is Australia’s largest centre of boating and yachting activity. The site comprises not only the GCCM but also the manufacturing plants of a number of marine businesses including Riviera, Maritimo, Telwater, Quintrex and The Boat Works.

Some 13,000 boats of all sizes are produced at the Precinct, which currently contains 60 individual businesses employing nearly 2,500 staff.

Several new boats will be on display at the show making their global, Australian or Queensland debuts.

These include:

  • Boston Whaler 420 Outrage and 345 Conquest – Australian and Queensland premieres
  • Pacific Blue Cruise Cat – Weekender 40 and the CC35 design
  • Sea Ray 21SPX – Australian premiere
  • Cobra Cat 525 – Australian premiere: The new fiberglass multihull from Mallards Australia is a fishing machine, 5.25m in length with two 70hp engines.
  • Swift 165 Centre Console – Australian premiere
  • Bayliner Element F16 – Australian premiere
  • Cobalt of Australia – Multiple Australian premieres: A25, R5 Surf, 220S, R3 and CS3

Alongside the GCIBSME the Riviera Festival of Boating will take place. The event offers factory tours and an extensive programme of education courses to boat owners.

Maritimo is not attending the GCIBSME but is holding its own three day ‘Open Day’ event at Sanctuary Cove which also runs from 17-19 March.