The 25th biennial Dublin Boat Show has got off to a good start with more visitors than expected

The Dublin Boat Show has surprised organisers and exhibitors alike by pulling in the crowds and giving the ailing Irish marine industry a much-needed shot in the arm.

Organisers were understandably sceptical going into this show as Ireland is in the grips of recession and the marine industry has been hit hard in recent months.

However, Steve Conlon of the Irish Marine Federation, which is behind the show, told us that a shift of focus to marine leisure has helped create a family atmosphere and has led to queues forming outside each morning.

And, he says, people are still buying boats: “We have about 1000 sq ft less space than normal but I have spoken to exhibitors and they are all happy, and, yes, boats are selling.”

Martin Salmon, sales director at MGM Boats, dealer for Sunseeker, Jeanneau, Aquador and Maxum, said: “There was a lot of negative talk coming into this show and it is smaller than last time but this turnout proves that the industry is still strong and we sold a 2100 Maxum on the opening day so we’re happy.”