There’s a battle of the boats underway in South East Queensland, but it’s not on the high seas. In fact those involved are close at hand. One boat show at Sanctuary Cove, the other at Coomera.

Helen Driscoll reports.


Today the Gold Coast Marine Expo launched at Coomera.

And down stream at the same time the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show opened.

It’s a competitive market, so what’s the difference for boat lovers and exhibitors alike?

Stephen Milne, Riveria: “The shows are very different and have different things to offer, so they are complementary, that’s our vision and we stick to that vision, unfortunately they haven’t adopted that in this point in time.”

There was talk of a ferry service between both shows but the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show organisors maintains they’re too costly and too slow.

So many exhibitors had to choose one show over the other, some doubled up.

Steve Jenkins, White Water Marine: “I think this show is more directed at the tailorable boat, that’s what we do, I think Sanctuary Cover in this day and age is really pointing more towards the bigger, the maxis on the water sort of boats.”

Mark Suttle, Honda Australia: “I personally think they should work together yes.”

But this year the battle lines are drawn.

Tensions between the two shows are rife, with the Gold Coast Marine Expo sealing a deal with the prestigious Marina Mirage Harbour, ramping up its status.

Helicoptors and ferries will go between the two locations over the next four days.

This certainly is no working class expo.

Stephen Milne, Riviera: “We want to work with them, we think both shows are complementary and we would create the biggest show in the southern hemisphere. That opportunity still exists.”

Both boat shows run until Sunday, for consumers it’s a boating bonanza, if you’ve got the time and money.

Helen Driscoll, QUT News.