Drama and Diversity at Boot Düsseldorf 2014
Visitors to Düsseldorf exhibition halls for boot 2014 were treated to a vibrant, upbeat show, packed with opportunities to learn about yachting innovations and new water sports equipment, from a wide range of international exhibitors.
Exhibitors at Boot Dusseldorf were pleased with the number of visitors – 248,600 in all – who ensured that a large amount of business was done across many sections of the product range. The figure was higher than in 2013, when the mega trade fair was attended by 226,300 visitors.
From 18 to 26 January, 1,650 exhibitors from over 60 countries presented their new yachts, water sports gear and services, while visitors lapped up the expertise and enjoyed a host of unique show attractions.
Initial feedback is that visitors who came had the economic potential to give the industry a welcome boost, and that exhibitors benefited from orders and valuable prospects for the year ahead. Thanks to a range of watersports ‘experience worlds’ visitors of all ages had the chance to try wakeboarding, skimboarding, stand up paddling, sailing, diving, canoeing and fishing.
Great stage for innovations
According to the organisers, the German Marine Industry Association (BVWW), the German boats and water sports market has proven itself as the most stable and ‘full of life’ in Europe in recent years, and this has been reflected at boot this January, providing international exhibitors from the Netherlands, UK, Italy, France and beyond a reliable stage for their own purposes.
“We have been able to build on last year’s success, and strengthen our position in the international trade fair market,” says boot Director Goetz-Ulf Jungmichel. “The next few months will show whether our expectation of a slight increase will pan out or not. One thing’s clear already: The sector has concentrated its budgets on boot in order to leverage the international clientele with strong buying power offered by Düsseldorf, the central marketplace in Europe”
Improving the value of boats
Boats and yachts have traditionally been the main interest at boot, and indeed for 2014 most visitors were looking for information on sailing boats, motor boats and boat equipment and accessories. Improving the value of boats or maintaining their value proved a very popular topic around the halls. Exhibiting firms able to offer high-quality comfort and safety equipment enjoyed high levels of visitor interest and significant sales.
Eleven of the total 17 exhibition halls at Boot Düsseldorf were dedicated to boats and yachts powered by sails, engines or even muscle power. A total of 440 shipyards, distributors and importers presented a range of 1,700 boats and yachts there, from canoes and dinghies, to luxury yachts and even floating antiques, in a unique indoor exhibit which certainly seemed to delight the crowds.
Superyachts of course proved to be crowd-pleasers at boot 2014, and attracted plenty of media attention. Sunseeker took the opportunity to showcase the 68 Sport Yacht for the first time on German soil. “As the only one in her class, she unites a sleek design with features such as a garage, hydraulic bathing platform, flybridge and crew cabin,” says Sunseeker.
Another German premiere from Sunseeker was the new Manhattan 55 – lived up to its description of elegant, sporty and versatile. Jeanneau displayed its elegant Prestige line, while Dominator from Italy showed an impressive live yacht, the Dominator 640. The Brits had plenty of highlights in their range thanks to Princess with two motor yachts in the 30-metre class. Van der Valk from the Netherlands was on hand to showcase the 26-metre-long steel yacht Continental III.
Hanse Group’s big news was the launch of the Hanse 675. This yacht in the 60 - 70 foot class will be taking the place of the successful Hanse 630e in the coming year. The new Hanse 675 has been designed to combine extremely good sailing characteristics with lots of space below deck.
A stunning sailboat exhibit was staged in Halls 16 and 17, featuring 150 international shipyards, distributors and importers. Oyster from Great Britain showcased the Oyster 825 yacht, the largest vessel under canvas at the event. Other popular attractions were the special multihull segment, and the refit centre, which was showing everything required for refitting boats or making them more safe and comfortable, including on-board electronics, motors, upholstery and accessories.
Family fun at ‘Experience 360° Water sports’
The Experience 360° water sports exhibit, offered a great programme of new water sports to try for 2014. Alongside Beach World, Diving Center and World of Paddling was a relaunched Sport Fishing Center and a new feature - the boot Sailing School, aimed at children and young beginners.
The Sailing School, set up in an indoor pool in the middle of Hall 14, offered sailing fun for beginners in dinghies under the watchful eye of a professional trainer, with wind machines delivering the necessary breeze.
“Even though sailing plays a central role at boot, there have never been any explicit join-in activities. This new theme world gave us an opportunity to involve the numerous exhibiting sailing schools and clubs in order to actively and jointly promote this attractive water sport,” says Jungmichel.
Photo and Video: Messe Dusseldorf