EIn retrospect, it seems bizarre what the pandemic has done to the trade fair landscape. The Düsseldorfer Boot was played very badly. The back and forth of announcement and cancellation, confidence and trembling, hygiene concept and devastating ban on events had almost tragicomic features. To make it short: In the past two years, the water sports exhibition on the Rhine, which is one of the largest and most important in the world, did not take place, even if a lot of work and money had been put into the preparations beforehand, the industry in the Corona -Times boomed and longed for a meeting. Been nothing but expenses.
But now. Boot 2023 will take place in 16 exhibition halls from Saturday, January 21st to Sunday, January 29th, and it seems that nothing will really come up this time. The organizers speak of around 1500 exhibitors and promise “fireworks”. Finally, in the past few days, Big Willi was allowed to show what he’s capable of again. For days, the 42-year-old, robust exhibition crane hoisted 748.2 massive exhibition yachts ashore at the Rhine kilometer that had traveled the great river.
Several floors up
Big Willi used to drive into the river on eight wheels, pick up waiting yachts, take them to dry land via the ramp and hand them over to low-loaders, which tow the freight into the halls. The heavyweights of the year are Sunseeker with two 27 and 28 meter long motor yachts, several stories high, which weigh 85 and 83 tons more than Big Willi himself.
As usual, the big-calibre yachts will gather in Glitter Hall 6, where, according to the announcements, manufacturers such as Absolute, Azimut, Fairline, Ferretti, Princess and San Lorenzo will be appearing in addition to Sunseeker. Shipyards such as Boesch, Boston Whaler, Cantiere del Pardo, Nautor, Frauscher, Rand, Wally and Zar Formenti have booked places in Superboat Hall 5.
There will be no shortage of attractions, a few examples: Four Winns is getting into the conversation with a sleek power catamaran called the TH36, the American Bénéteau subsidiary Wellcraft is doing this with a Nordic-looking 10-metre runabout with a closed deckhouse and outboard power of up to 1050 hp for speeds well over 40 knots.
Very modern interpretation
Linssen from the Netherlands has set out to present its new flagship 55 SL AC with Variotop wheelhouse combining inside and outside steering position, bimini and flybridge. This steel displacement vessel, intended for coast and inland waterways, measures 16.50 meters with three cabins and a spacious saloon. The Super Lauwersmeer SLX54 is a very modern interpretation of Dutch travel. Jeanneau from France wants to present the second model of its new weekender series as a world premiere: On the DB/43 follows the DB/37.
Halls 1 and 3 are also dedicated to motor yachts and boats of various sizes. Here visitors meet well-known names such as Bavaria, Bénéteau, Greenline, Jeanneau, Marex, Searay, Quicksilver and Bayliner. According to the organizers, a lot of Scandinavian and diverse things with alternative drives will be on display in Hall 4. Electric is brought up by Axopar, Candela, Delphia, Iguana and X-Shore. Mercury wants to present its first electric outboard motor. A series of events called “Blue Innovation Dock” in Hall 10 will be dedicated to the topics of sustainability and alternative drive systems on all nine days of the fair.
Anyone looking for sailing yachts that primarily rely on wind energy will, as usual, find what they are looking for in Hall 16. There are specimens from Amel, Bente, Dufour, Elan, Grand Soleil, Nautor’s Swan, Solaris and Wally, among others. Bavaria is expecting increased attention for its young C-series, Bénéteau is launching the Oceanis 30.1, First 36 and First 44, Jeanneau the stately 55. A double world premiere is imminent at Contest: the Dutch are sending the 49 CS and the 50 CS two 15 meter long so-called luxury performance blue water yachts Dusseldorf. In contrast to the 49 with an aft cockpit, the 50 has a center cockpit. Bestevaer takes the subject of blue water very seriously with the compact light metal cruiser Bestevaer 36 S/Y – special features: closed cockpit, hydraulically retractable centreboard, recycled aluminium. With the 595, Oyster brings a familiar British touch.
Famed for its internationality
The Düsseldorf Boat Show has always been praised for its internationality. Strictly speaking, it is not a trade fair, but several that take place at the same time. Motor and sailing yachts are the main attractions, but by no means everything. Paddlers, surfers, rowers, anglers and charterers alike gather on the extensive area on the banks of the Rhine, where artificial waters, canoe routes, sailing basins, wind machines and a powerful wave in the large basin are used to create an event character. The boot was never a dry affair. The new diving tower, which had already been prepared for Boot 2022, is now being used for the first time. The transparent pool measures four meters in height and eight meters in diameter.
Oh yes, Corona. Was there something? “Our exhibition halls are equipped with the latest high-performance particle filters, which eliminate 99.9 percent of viruses from the air,” emphasizes the exhibition company. And she also considers this information necessary in these times: “The energy supply is completely secure.” In the halls, “a constant temperature of 19 degrees” will prevail. Well then.