SIBS 2016 – What Makes This Boat Show Special?

It’s deserving of the “international” tag, with a special venue and a wonderful spread of local and global launches! The Sydney International Boat Show (SIBS), the biggest national boat show in the land and on water, was held from July 28 to August 1, 2016, at Darling Harbour and Glebe Island. The show operated across these two locations: the large on-water vessels  hosted at Darling Harbour on the doorstep to Sydney’s CBD, while the undercover displays were housed at the Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island. Connecting the two was a complimentary ferry service that also gave show visitors a bonus voyage across the magnificent Sydney Harbour.

Cockle Bay Marina in Darling Harbour is home to the big-ticket boats, which play a large part in creating the event’s spectacular nature. However, more than 90 per cent of all registered craft live on a trailer. As such, the huge under cover displays located at the Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island play host to a haven of trailer boats and all the associated tackle and gear. Catering for diverse boating tastes are the sports boats such as waterski and wakeboats and PWCs. Then come the family cruisers and popular fishing boats. Show research shows that more than half of all visitors to the event have a primary interest in fishing, so fishing rigs and gear for them feature heavily. Kayak, canoes and all sorts of craft play a part in what is a huge display of recreational boating fun!

Show-goers, lovers of boats big and small, admirers of all things nautical and nice, come from one side of Australia to the other, from overseas and the big boating corporations to exhibit their new launches and talk about trends. No other Australian boat show is as deserving of the “international” status and tag and no other boat show commands this kind of attention. Owned and organised by the Boating Industry Association (BIA), the industry’s peak body, the Sydney International Boat Show has consistently delivered an excellent balance of products to meet the needs of both experienced and newbie boaters. Together with the hundreds of boats is an buoyant education program to help new people entering the recreational boating market. The end result being that the big event in downtown Sydney has become an annual pilgrimage for those who love the water.

Staged annually since 1968, Sydney International Boat Show stands unchallenged as the largest and most important recreational boating exhibition in the region. While it obviously attracts major industry exhibitors from across Australia, the Sydney International Boat Show is truly an international event, with visitation from many of the world’s leading boat builders, marine engine, OEM and After-Market manufacturers and wholesalers, confirms the BIA. Making the event so popular is the huge array of large vessels on display on the marina. The show has become a popular occasion for new releases from local and overseas marques. With the event bringing visitors from around the country, many from New Zealand and others from further abroad, the industry players make sure their offering takes pride and place during the event. Sailors will find the biggest spread of new keel yachts, catamarans, comfortable cruising yachts and club races at any national boat show on display. The sleek array of mono-hulls are complemented by a large number of multi-hulls that have had a huge surge in popularity over the past five years. With almost half of all vessels on the marina display of the sailing ilk, sailors can be assured to have all types of tastes catered for.

The marina venue, Darling Harbour, is only a short stroll from the central business district of Australia’s largest city, surrounded by hotels, restaurants and many of the city’s attractions. The undercover displays are housed a short ferry ride away across Sydney’s famous Harbour at Glebe Island. The location and venue have proven immensely popular with many visitors from around the world impressed by the convenience and sparkling harbour. Of course, safe boating is good boating and the BIA has teamed up with Transport for NSW to work as their partners in safety. At the show you will find a whole lot of supporting information to help make your time on the water better and the Boating Safety Zone is all part of the education, edification, entertainment and excitement.

For further information see Next year, the 50th Sydney International Boat Show returns to one unified venue and the renovated and relaunched Darling Harbour!

This article was compiled and shared from

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