Speed boats, leisure craft and paddle boards were on show at Sanctuary Cove today for the official launch of its International Boat Show.

A world champion race boat built by Maritimo shared the spotlight with more humble craft.

Jessica Turner reports.


They come in big and small, but they’ll all be on display from May 22nd to 25th when the Gold Coast welcomes its annual international boat show.

Now in its 26th year, the focus in 2014 is on families.

Keith Allardice, Sanctuary Cove GM: “Getting entire families here is always the key, so having the ability to have, you know, jump on the train in Brisbane with the kids, come down to Helensvale, get off, straight onto a bus and 10 minutes later you’re here.”

Visitors from last year’s show are turning up again this year to an event they describe as world class.

Kevan Wolfe, Boat Enthusiast: “Well I’ve been coming here for 25 years, since the inception of the show and it is one of the best shows, I believe, in Australia if not the world.”

Local boat businesses are hoping for a spike in sales after a disappointing last few years for the industry.

Russell Wright, Local Business Owner: “Basically it puts our range on display with all the people who are potentially in the market, and whether they buy this year or the year after it tends to plant seeds.”

Last year’s show injected $150 million into the city, making this event important to the local economy.

With free public transport for all pre-sale tickets, 38,000 visitors are expected through the gates this year.

There’ll be a range of 500 boats on show, catering for all budgets and levels of enthusiasm.

Johan Hasser, Head of Events: “There is something for everyone here at the show, so it’s something from $500 to $1000 up to $10 million!”

As well as all things nautical, there’ll also be live music, cooking demonstrations and a special kids zone.

Jessica Turner, QUT News.