2023 Post Show Summary



First and foremost a huge thank you to you all for participating at The Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show 2023. It is no small investment and effort that you all put into the event.

We trust the show has again delivered a strong injection of both sales and a pipeline of genuine inquiries for you to follow up.

And what a show it was, with extreme weather conditions and severe wind gusts proving a challenge, especially to our many outdoor exhibits and marquees. (A big thank you to our contractors and suppliers who went over and above to keep us safe and well informed).

Many of you pointed out it was perfect conditions to keep boaties off the water and at the show. With literally tens of thousands of enthusiasts on-site, it’s hard to argue with that!

Having assumed ownership of the event a mere 8 months ago it has been a steep learning curve for XPO’s team to understudy the delivery of this event from Dave and Veronica Gibbs – whom (in no small way) did the bulk of the heavy lifting on this show. We are deeply grateful for their guidance, mentorship and trust on this journey as we caretake the show for future generations ahead.

We mentioned at the Boat of the Show Awards dinner we respect the rich history of the event for the industry and have worked very hard to legally defend the Showgrounds from being repurposed – a vital events site for the city of sails, and a site upon which this very show has run since 1956.

We are listening to your feedback and will aim to stage considered tweaks around the sides of the show, in an effort to improve the experience for all.


The final attendance figure for 2023 Boat Show is 31,939 unique visitors which is overall on par with the 2022 reported attendance (32,672). We are generally pleased with the overall result given the severe wind gusts and heavy rain experienced across show days.

Here’s some quick stats on what we know about our attendees so far:

  • 76.5% attended a previous Boat Show, with 23.5% FIRST TIME attendees
  • 82% male

Age groups (ticketed only):

  • 16 – 24 yrs: 6%
  • 25 – 30 yrs: 9%
  • 31 – 39 yrs: 18%
  • 40 – 54 yrs: 33.5%
  • 55 – 64 yrs: 21%
  • 65+: 12.5%


Our photographers collated hundreds of great photos from the show which we are sifting through. Here’s a small glimpse of some of our faves on Facebook.

We encourage you to trail through the Facebook & Instagram pages online as there are hundreds of very positive comments such as Lance.


We had very keen interest from major media coverage of the show.

Going into the event there were naturally reservations from exhibitors as to the how the show would deliver, given so much talk around recessionary pressures. Both TV3 Newshub and TV1 News explored that very theme – however they reported on many impressive sold stickers prominently displayed on high-end pleasure-craft and literally hordes of crowds buying up new fishing rods, tech and gear.

XPO likes to be transparent about how we allocate your investment into what is a huge marketing campaign to attract visitors to the show. Here’s a snippet of some of the campaign for 2023.


Close to 400 exhibitors, sponsors, staff and family attended this year’s gala Boat of the Show Awards evening.

Founder of Surtees Boats, Neil Surtees, was inducted into the New Zealand Boat Show Hall of Fame. Neil is still an integral part of the company, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary and recently launched its 6,500th boat. It now has a comprehensive dealer network in both NZ and Australia and sells an increasing number of boats into the US and Europe.

Neil and his team have also been outstanding supporters of the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show, supplying the Show’s always-impressive Grand Prize boat since 2016. Our whole-hearted congratulations Neil.

Congratulations to Offshore Boats for winning the coveted Altus Industrial Aluminium Boat of the Show Award Supreme Winner for the second year in a row.

Their winning entry, the Offshore 850HT also took out both Specialist Fishing Boat Open and Best New Model awards.

Congratulations also to the evening’s other Altus Industrial Aluminium Boat of the Show Awards:

Altus Industrial Aluminium Boat of the Show Launch:
Beneteau Antares II

Altus Industrial Aluminium Boat of the Show: Specialist Fishing Boat Up To 6 Metres:
Senator 500

Altus Industrial Aluminium Boat of the Show: Specialist Fishing Boat Up To 7 Metres:
Extreme 646 Walk Around

Altus Industrial Aluminium Boat of the Show: Specialist Fishing Boat Up To 8 Metres:
Innovision Boats 757 Explorer Custom

Altus Industrial Aluminium Boat of the Show: All Purpose Family Boat Up To 6 Metres:
Dreadnort V4000 Tiller

Altus Industrial Aluminium Boat of the Show: All Purpose Family Boat Up To 7 Metres:
Offshore 700 HT

Altus Industrial Aluminium Boat of the Show: All Purpose Family Boat Up To 8 Metres:
Machina 731

Altus Industrial Aluminium Boat of the Show: All Purpose Family Boat Open:
Purekraft 800HT

Altus Industrial Aluminium Boat of the Show: Most Innovative Boat
Marco 600 Sojourn

And to this year’s Tenob Wholesale Marine Stand of the Show Awards:

Tenob Wholesale Marine Most Innovative Stand:
Sealegs International

Tenob Wholesale Marine Best Interactive Stand:
Lusty & Blundell’s Haswing Challenge

Tenob Wholesale Marine Best Small Stand:

Tenob Wholesale Marine Best Commercial Stand:
Suzuki New Zealand

And to the winner of this year’s New Zealand Boat Show Most Innovative Product Award:
Balex Ultra Trailer


You will have noticed XPO rolled out a new ticketing and scanning technology to visitors at this year’s show, replacing handwritten entries and physical stamps. We had plenty of staff on hand to explain the new process for visitors and a simple ‘scan your own ticket’ process for visitors to see in real-time which of the 8 booths they had remaining to enter the draw.

We’re pleased to report we received a whopping 24,468 valid entries to the grand prize. This may well be an all-time record of entries.


The prize was drawn on the Sunday night under the watchful eye of Maritime Police and many thousands of live Facebook followers. Yamaha’s Scott Henderson pressed the random select button with much ceremony and a special Yamaha glove, with Cliff Schick from Surtees making the phone call to winner Blair Morland.

Blair commented that he thought the call was a prank to much laughter from the crowd! He’s 29 and single from Hamilton. He’s a self employed builder who LOVES game fishing. He’s caught a few marlin, but never a Blue. He doesn’t own a boat and had been saving to buy a new house and then next the boat, but that has all changed! Unbelievably Blair is the boss of the cousin of the 2021 prize winner! Small world!

The amazing Surtees / Yamaha package is due to be handed over to Blair next week. Again a huge thank you to Surtees, Yamaha, Garmin, GFAB, Hutchwilco and all sponsors who delivered on a truly beautiful boat fully loaded with the very best of…well…everything!


  • Haswing Trolling Motor Challenge: Russell Billing
  • MAC Boats: Steve Fearon (MAC270) & Johanna Lewis (MAC210)
  • Tides Out XL Map: Wayne Richardson
  • Debono Speargun: Courtney Rutledge
  • Viking 2+1 kayak packages: Cypress Allosada, Lara Ashley-Smith, Adele French, Franziskus Meiselbach, Johnny Hargreaves, Suzie Jackways, Warren Clark & Wayne Cantwell


Scanners are not just for collecting entries for the Grand Prize. Exhibitors were able to hire scanners for the very first time in the show’s history – allowing you to collate your own database of visitor contact details who were interested in follow-up, and with the ability to electronically record detailed follow-up messages next to those scan records.


XPO will look to launch the 2024 show in August this year, a touch earlier than usual. We will once again give exhibitors at that time a limited period in which to rebook their positions.

If you are already decided to rebook your same stand then by all means please send us an email at admin@boatshow.co.nz and we will register your expression of interest.

In the meantime please save the dates as the next Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show will return to the Auckland Showgrounds 16-19 May 2024.