Boatbuilder betting on Jersey City show

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Genmar Holdings founder and chairman Irwin L. Jacobs is asking boatbuilders and vendors from all over the country to participate in the 2006 New York/New Jersey International Boat Show.

Genmar Holdings founder and chairman Irwin L. Jacobs is asking boatbuilders and vendors from all over the country to participate in the 2006 New York/New Jersey International Boat Show.

In a letter he sent to the boatbuilding industry in April Jacobs says the show, with proper promotions and marketing, can become “one of the hottest retail selling boat shows in the United States.”

Jacobs says he has committed to participating in the show and displaying all 12 Genmar boat companies’ products there. Genmar brand boats include Carver Yachts, Four Winns, Glastron and Triumph.

“I’m absolutely confident that [the 2006 New York/New Jersey International Boat Show] will be the new hot boat show,” says Jacobs in an interview with Soundings. “I think the 2006 show will draw a lot of people and sell a lot of boats. People from New York and New Jersey go to Florida for the big boat shows. Now we should bring a big show to them right in their backyard.”

This year will be the fifth installment of the annual in-water and on-land boat show, and is scheduled for Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 at the Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, N.J. Located across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan, the marina has space enough for nearly 1,000 boats up to 175 feet, Jacobs says.

“September is a beautiful time of year and this is one of the best locations for a boat show,” Jacobs says. “The bigger the show, the bigger the turnout. If this show is a success I’m hoping for a spring show there, too.”

Show producer Ken Tesler is also hopeful that this year’s show is a success. “Location doesn’t get any better than what we have here. This is the boating Mecca of the Northeast,” Tesler says. “Since Day One we’ve been committed to making this a nationally recognized show with manufacturers’ presence. I think this show has the potential to become the Fort Lauderdale show of the north. [Jacobs’] support might just be the tipping point for us to achieve that.”

Tesler says that attendance numbers at his show have been rising slowly since it opened five years ago — about 10,000 people attending last year’s show. This year 25,000 people could turn out, he says.

Jacobs agrees, and notes that transportation to and parking at the show is “convenient,” and that prices to attend the show ($10 for adults, $5 for children) are “affordable.”

“I’m encouraging the entire industry to get out there and participate in this show,” Jacobs says. “There’s no question that going to a boat show now is a huge distraction in cost to dealers and manufacturers and to customers. We need to make some changes to this industry and I think this show will be an answer. It has a lot of potential and is sure to be exciting.” www.nynjboatshow.com