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: Admin : 2014-06-14

Korea International Boat Show increases focus on mid-size boats [IBI PLUS]

The Seoul-based event has 30 boats on display and 300 exhibitors

The Korea International Boat Show, in its seventh edition, opened on Thursday at the Kintex exhibition centre in Seoul. During the ceremony, Governor of Gyeonggi province Kim Moon soo and the Singapore Boating Industry Association (SBIA) pesident Y P Loke signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“I feel there is a cultural affinity between our two countries and the MOU gives us a framework for sharing information and ideas for the development of leisure boating,” commented SBIA Y P Loke.

With 300 exhibitors and some 30 boats on display, the floor space reveals an increasing focus on the middle class boating market. The largest boats at the show are in the 9m-10m (30ft-35ft) size range.

Major brand name manufacturers seem to have left the exhibition to be the province of mid size boat manufacturers such as Brunswick, Rodman, Sea Ray and Yamaha although larger boat brands are still represented in the country by distributors. Korea is one of the few countries in Asia with a large middle class population and an extensive coastline.

These factors, combined with the propensity for Koreans not to display wealth has led to a growth in smaller and more practical boats that can be used for activities such as leisure fishing, which is extremely popular in Korea.

Weather protection is another factor to be considered in Korea. Temperature remains low and humidity high for some 50% of the year, more northern European conditions than Mediterranean, which has shown an influx of boats with protected wheelhouse stations.

Other Asian markets such as nearby China are heavily focused on the high-end boats such as flybridge cruisers, which are extensively used for entertaining.

Korea has many boat owners that skipper their own boats while in other Asian countries few owners skipper their own boats preferring paid crew.

The Korea International Boat Show runs until Sunday and on Friday will feature the sixth edition of the Asia Boating Conference.

By Mike Derrett


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