Travelling freely to an overseas boat show for the first time in a few years was an opportunity many New Zealanders took. The number of Kiwi voices at the show and full flights there and back were a significant indication of just how many! Story by Andrew Howard.

The location of the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS), halfway between the Gold Coast and Brisbane, provides a superb venue. The show runs over four days, and to do it justice, requires at least two days to see it all and also enjoy meaningful conversations with vendors and fellow boaties.

The range of boats on display at this show is always extensive, with something for everyone. The 33rd Sanctuary Cove Boat Show was loaded with everything from luxury motorboats and yachts, to trailer boats, PWCs, engines and supercars, watersports gear, gadgets and chandlery – even fishing lessons. It was also great to see a couple of high-profile New Zealand trailer boat manufacturers with large displays.

This year’s four-day show proved to be the classic ‘game of two halves,’ in that two of the days were bright and sunny but the other two were wet. Very wet! Fortunately, the show is very well-organised, with plenty of car parking and easy public transport options. Despite the challenges of keeping boats clean and dry inside when it was raining, the vendors were incredibly accommodating, helping show visitors to stay dry and look over the boats regardless of the rain.

Visitor numbers didn’t flag either, despite the weather, and there was an energy and buzz in the crowd that we haven’t seen in New Zealand for a couple of years.

Eyachts Managing Director Peter Hrones: “Despite some unfortunate weather, it was great to see so many still come to see our line-up of Axopar, BRABUS Marine and Pardo Yachts. Since bringing in the first European day boat in 2007, it is astounding to see how much this sector has grown. When Eyachts first brought Axopar to Australia in 2015, I thought this would be a niche brand, but now we are seeing so many people at the show who recognise and love these boats. Eyachts are now on track to have sold 250 Axopars by the end of 2022.”


Traditionally this is a show of world premieres, Australasian launches, and innovation. This edition of SCIBS certainly had all of those in spades.

The new Jeanneau 60 yacht was stunning, as were the three new Riviera models that premiered at the show: the 465 SUV Platinum Edition, 4600 SY and the company’s flagship 78 MY. The expanded display from Maritimo was its largest-ever at this show, and with three new models – M60 Flybridge, M600 Offshore Flybridge, and S600 Offshore Sedan – there was a feast of options to explore.

One of the best parts of any show is that the people behind any product or brand are usually present and available. In speaking with Tom Barry-Cotter, Maritimo’s Managing Director, we had a lengthy conversation about its new models and where the brand is heading globally, and in New Zealand. The new models capture heritage features like the walk-around deck and rear galley and include the more contemporary design elements that create more space and overall volume for customers.

Another highlight of the show was talking to the technical experts. The live ‘corrosion tank’ at the joint Propspeed and Marine Protection Systems stand was one such opportunity. The tank contained three different anodes, combined with a propeller coated in Propspeed. The purpose of the stand was to show two things: firstly, how effective Propspeed is in a natural world environment; and secondly, to show how it works with different anode types. The anodes on display included aluminium, zinc and Maddox. The latter is a proprietary alloy.

For most of us, anodes are not overly interesting – provided they work and we don’t need to change them too often… But this tank clearly showed the impact of the ‘anode drop’ onto the seafloor and on any sea-life ingesting these microparticles. The results were plain to see and, frankly, a bit frightening.

The Maddox product showed next to no anode drop, reduced fouling growth and lasted 50% longer than a traditional anode. These new anodes will not suit every vessel type, but with zinc anodes already banned in San Diego marinas, it won’t be long until we are encouraged, if not forced, to think differently about all matters below the waterline. It was a great innovation, and with Propspeed leading the charge in New Zealand, it was great to hear directly from them about how a New Zealand company is taking on the world and securing global naval contracts.

The range of personal flight boards is growing rapidly, with many more options on show than we have seen domestically. I am somewhat fascinated by these powered mini-craft, and I might have to get one soon!


What boat shows like these do exceptionally well is to feed our aspirations by providing the opportunity to get close to boats most of us will only ever dream of. Rick Rodwell, Ray White Marine’s CEO and founder, presented one such dream for everyone to see: the stunning Riva 88. This writer was fortunate enough to spend some time with Rick aboard this vessel, an enormous yet practical motor yacht.

The Riva 88 is a beautiful example of what is possible and seeing such a craft in person is just another reason to visit the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. If you have never been before, I highly recommend putting a visit to this boat show on your ‘to-do’ list.