Crowds thronged event venue, the Galway Bay Hotel, which featured over 100 exhibitor stands, including outdoor boat displays and a vast range of other service and equipment suppliers.
Highlights included the exhibitors’ seafood buffet and an interactive Personal Flotation Device demonstration in the hotel’s swimming pool. Founding Skipper editor Arthur Reynolds and author Seamus Hayden were also on hand with past issues of The Skipper dating back from 1964 right up to 2006. The expo attracted widespread media publicity and was the focus of a major feature on RTE’s Nationwide programme.
Among the successful exhibitors was G Smyth Boats who sold two 8.3m hulls to Paul Ennis and Jim Foley of Wexford. The company also sold a fully fitted GM7M to Charlie MacKay of Scullomie, Scotland. Charlie is already the owner of the Caspian III, another GM7M that G Smyth Boats built in 2012.
Gerry Smyth of the Annalong based boatbuilder said: “The show really was one of the best for us. We are delighted with how the expo went and the amount of interest we received.”
Jim Foley said: “It was a superb show. We were impressed by the G Smyth hulls and their excellent draft and beam dimensions.”
Sharon Boyle of show organiser Mara Media said: “The expo was absolutely incredible and we have been particularly thrilled by the large numbers of exhibitors who have come back to us saying that they were delighted with the excellent level of business achieved.
“A large number of companies have already booked for next year’s expo and even at this early stage we are developing plans for 2015.
“I would particularly like to thank official show supporters BIM and Mullion, and also the sponsorship for the highly successful seafood buffet from Island Seafoods, Rockabill Shellfish, Errigal Seafood, Connermara Seafood, Island Crab Exports and McMullan Shellfish. The buffet provided a superb opportunity for networking and socialising and was absolutely packed out.”
The 2015 Skipper Expo Int. Galway will be held on 6 and 7 March.
Mara Media is now turning its focus on the forthcoming Skipper Expo Int. Aberdeen, which will be held on 30 and 31 May.