The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) opened today in a very positive mood for its 30th edition with more boats and exhibitors compared to 2017.

SCIBS 2018, being held from May 24-27 at the Sanctuary Cove resort and marina on Australia’s Gold Coast, has 300 exhibitors and brands with 180 boats in the water and 500 on land.

The amount of exhibition and marina space has been significantly expanded this year and a new Sports, Leisure and Fishing Boats precinct has been added. This will provide much-needed space for trailer boats, which account for a 90%-plus portion of the Australian boating market.

Part of the growth of SCIBS can be attributed to the demise of the Gold Coast International Boat Show and Marine Expo, although it also reflects the strength of the Australian market. The organisers anticipate an increase in visitors over the four-day event compared to the 42,000 that attended last year.

Over the past 30 years, more than 1.4 million visitors have attended the 30 editions of SCIBS to see over 10,000 exhibitors and thousands of boats. The first show had just 100 boats. Over three decades, SCIBS has generated more than A$3bn for the Gold Coast economy with A$150m expected this year.

Another new event for 2018 is the Industry Trade Breakfast taking place on May 25 at which Mark Richards, CEO of the Grand Banks Group, will be keynote speaker. Richards is the founder of the Palm Beach Motor Yachts brand in Australia, which for a number of years has been a division of the Singapore-listed Grand Banks Group. He is also a leading skipper of Wild Oats XI.

SCIBS has several boat and yacht launches on a global and national basis. Riviera is holding the world premieres of its 395 SUV and 72 Sports Motor Yacht. Maritimo has launched its new X6O, the first of a new range that will include at least two other models.

Two of the three new models being launched by Palm Beach Motor Yachts this year, the PB65 and PB 42, are being shown at SCIBS. The PB65 comes in both a sedan and flybridge version. Ocean Alexander Yachts is holding the Australian launch of its 85 motoryacht, and Leopard will be showing its new Leopard 43 and 51 models.

Gulf Craft, through its local dealer Australian Super Yachts, is displaying its 32m (100ft) Majesty 100 model named One World, which is proving to be a very successful model for the Middle East’s largest yacht-builder. The Yacht Brokerage, local dealer for Beneteau, will be showing the Antares 8 and Barracuda 7 and 8.

Local brand Clipper Motor Yachts, which has 10 boats in the show, is holding world debuts of its Hudson Bay 540 and Hudson Bay 390 models. The Multihull Group is exhibiting the Lagoon 450 from the Beneteau Group and also having the Australian debut for the Danish-built Dragonfly trimaran.

UK brand Fairline is making its comeback to SCIBS using Leigh-Smith Yachts, which will be showing the Fairline Targa 48GT. In addition, Leigh-Smith Yachts will be showing craft from the Alaska and Hampton brands for which it is the dealer in Australia.