Quay Marine’s Splashtacular
  |  First Published: February 2003

OCCASIONALLY things happen in the boating industry that capture the imagination, and that was certainly the case with the recent Quay Marine Splashtacular held on Fitzroy Island, off Cairns.

New owners Peter and Kelly Hadley and Jason Hanlon developed a unique concept of having an open-invitation weekend waterfest at an exotic island location. It sure beats the industry standard boat show, open day or sausage sizzle!

Fifteen power boats and numerous small paddle and sail craft were driven or ferried to Fitzroy Island, and members of the public came across on the passenger ferry or in their own craft to join in the festivities. The staff from local radio station Sea FM came for the Splashtacular, and joined resort guests and the general public for two days of playing with the water craft in an idyllic setting. The crew from Sea FM had an absolute blast and were spruiking about it over the airwaves afterwards. It sure beat their usual work environment of broadcasting from inside a sound-proof box!

At the Splashtacular there were alloy and fibreglass boats from Savage, Yalta fibreglass boats, Stessco aluminium boats and Attack Boats, as well as Quicksilver inflatables, Feelfree kayaks, Walker Bay plastic sail boats, Power Dive 12-volt diving systems, Mistral Wind Gliders, Tropical Ice Boxes, Down Under Eskies, Bermuda Essentials and a stack of accessories.

Industry representatives from various companies that supply Quay Marine made a weekend of it, with some bringing their spouses. I took my family over on Sunday and it was a welcome change to be able to involve the wife and kids in my work. For them it was a great day on the island with lots of toys to play with! I happily went about the ‘job’ of covering the event, without feeling guilty about leaving the family behind.

As well as giving interested visitors test runs in any of the craft on hand, Quay Marine ran a comprehensive program of events throughout the weekend to keep everyone entertained. For the sporty types there was beach volleyball, for the kids there was face painting and a treasure hunt, and for the big kids there was DJ entertainment, barbecue lunch, a champagne cruise and dinner at the Beach Bar.

Some of the industry names in attendance were Mercury Marine's Queensland Sales Rep Guy Williamson, along with Director of Yalta Craft George Groth and his wife Liz, Albo Marine (Stessco Boats) Director Marius Weeks and his wife Kay, Director of Power Dive Steve Gregory, and Lance from Down Under Eskies. Judging by the smiles on their faces it sure beat the usual boat show grind!

Quay Marine is certainly onto a great new formula for getting exposure in the increasingly competitive boating market, while offering the general public the perfect opportunity to test drive boats in a ‘no pressure’ atmosphere. The Splashtacular is going to be an annual event for Quay Marine, and even if others follow suit, as Marius said, "Quay Marine will always be able to say they did it first!"

1) Plenty of big and little kids enjoyed test driving watercraft at Quay Marine's Splashtacular, held on Fitzroy Island off Cairns.

2) Trying out the Power Dive 12 volt diving system was a popular activity.

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