A major boating industry event returns to Sidney when the BC Yacht Brokers Association (BCYBA) hosts the BC Boat Show May 12-15 at Port Sidney Marina.
The West Coast’s largest on-water boat show will showcase watercraft of all kinds, from paddle boards, kayaks and inflatables to powerboats and sailboats of all sizes, with visitors invited to tour boats from their dreams.
The upcoming show not only signals the return of a familiar event, but also builds on a historic first.
“We had our first boat show in nearly three years last fall in September and it was a huge success,” said Steven Threadkell, boat show manager. “We had never had a fall show before. So it was wonderful. We had a great turnout, great exhibits.
The event confirmed the growing popularity of boating, he said.
“A lot of brokers say, ‘we’re having trouble finding boats to sell.’ It’s extremely popular, however the fall show had a great variety of boats which is very nice, something to suit all budgets.
With limited to no public health limits and increasingly popular boating, Threadkell expects bigger crowds.
“Typically, here in Sydney, the show draws between 4,000 and 5,000 people. That said, our social media campaign has gone crazy. There’s a lot of public interest there and it’s looking very good for us that way.
The show is primarily inspired by Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia, as well as Alberta and Washington State. Last fall’s show attracted people from around the world, Threadkell added, with vaccination passports required and other public health measures taken. “Not that they came here for that, but they were there. We had people from various countries in Europe, many parts of the United States and all the provinces of Canada.
The show also demonstrates the important role boating plays in the local and provincial economy. Recreational boating in British Columbia generates at least 17,000 direct full-time jobs, “because buying a boat is only part of the equation,” he said. “People are constantly maintaining it, accessorizing it, taking care of it, so there are so many industries associated with boating.”
Many local businesses also organize their showcases around the boat show. “We (also) get tremendous support from the City of Sidney, Sidney Council. It was very gratifying. It’s hard not to be happy that you’re getting good support,” Threadkell said.
Looking at specific trends, the industry is moving towards greater energy efficiency, he added.
“There is a very strong movement towards the development of hybrid-electric and fully electric boats. We’re going to have our first all-electric boat at the show… it’s 29ft long and will cruise all day at six knots. It has a combination of solar power for the batteries, plus you plug into the dock overnight to recharge.
Fans of boats powered by more traditional renewable energies, namely wind power, will also be able to get their fill of the show.
Mill Bay Marine Group, owner of the Port Sidney marina, will showcase its century-old tall ship The Providence. Visitors can also enjoy various on-site food and beverage offerings.
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Boat ShowsSaanich PeninsulaSidney