I moved to Australia from the UK in 2007 and was surprised to find that the Sydney International Boat show really had little to offer small boat sailors - no sportsboats, no skiffs, no multihulls, no kids boats, no seniors boats.
The Sydney Sailboat Expo has attempted to fill this niche but for a variety of reasons, doesn't attract much foot traffic and few exhibitors.
According to the BIA the 2015 Show Visitor research Shows that 24.1% of the audience don’t own a boat, 56.2% own a power boat and 23.5% own a sail boat. Breaking that sail statistic down further, of those sail boat owners, 33.3% owned a sail boat greater than 12 metres long, 47.1% owned one 8 to 12 metres long, 15.2% were 4 to 8 metres long and 4.4% owned one less than 4 metres long.
But if you go to a BIA event, there are few if any sailing dinghies on display - so which comes first the boat or the audience?
How are we going to get people into sailing if they can't even see an entry-level sailboat if they go to the event and how can we get manufacturers to get involved too?