Exhibitors at the Stockholm International Boat Show, which closed after its nine day run on Sunday reported high levels of business despite a 4.9% drop in visitor attendance.

This year's show, which ran from March 3-11, welcomed 78,497 attendees (down from 82,825 in 2017) but after a slow start, gathered momentum through the week, garnering positive feedback from those canvassed by IBI.

“We saw record sales from the boat exhibitors and I'm astonished how good sales were at the show in spite of the drop in visitors numbers,” says Hanse Thorslund, project manager of the show.

The Finnish boat producers had an even bigger space this year, exhibiting boats in aluminium as well as GRP in all sizes. Finnish brands like Buster, Grandezza, Finnmaster, Targa, Bella, Flipper and Husky are all well-known and very well established on the Swedish market, which stands for a major part of the Finnish boat export.

One of the big Swedish dealers, displaying boats from both Finland and Poland were Marindepån, with a 1,000 sqm of stand space and 58 boats. The company had 10 sales people working the show, all of whom were busy: “We were better prepared this year as we knew this was going to be a very good show,” says Björn Sandhaag, CEO of Marindepån.

Öregrund Marine Service AB, producing Viggo aluminium boats, also reported strong sales. “We are very satisfied, because normally we don't close deals at the boat shows. This year we sold six boats in total,” said Stig Andersson, sales and marketing manager.

For the first time in a number of years sailboats were back - there were eight bigger sail boats in total with brands like Najad and Hallberg-Rassy represented.

“We showed a Hallberg-Rassy 44 with interior in European oak. We're very pleased with the show and reached far more serious boat buyers compared with the Stockholm Floating Boat Show,” says Magnus Rassy, CEO Hallberg-Rassy Varvs AB.

Also the head of Najad was satisfied, especially since the news about their acquisition of Arcona Yachts was presented on the show's opening day.

“We made a big investment with two boats at the show. We're pleased since we saw several thousands of visitors with a good response and we had four sales at the show,” says Jörgen Ottosson, CEO Najadvarvet.