The Barcelona International Boat Show is back from 14 to 18 October in Port Vell with the biggest and most varied commercial showcase of sport and recreational sailing in Spain.
Around 260 national and international exhibitors will be presenting 80 new boat models among the 670 boats on show, as well as 50 new electronic accessories and state-of-the-art engines, and a huge variety of products, services and trends. The event organized by Fira de Barcelona, which takes place in a context of recovery in the sector, also features a broad programme of activities for sailing professionals and enthusiasts alike.
Visitors to the show, which is held on the wharves of España and La Fusta in Port Vell, can enjoy the floating exhibition of with boats from 8 metres long and the land-based exhibition, featuring all kinds of new nautical products and services that range from electronic appliances and engines to paints, sails, trailers, fishing gear, charter vessels and marinas, not forgetting dinghies and small boats.
Some of the new standout products include the Monte Carlo 6 luxury motor yacht, the Azimut Atlantis 43, which exudes Italian style in every feature, and the innovative Sunseeker Predator 57. In the segment of traditional Mediterranean-style boats, the Sasga Minorchino 34 stands out, a llaüt that has been put forward for Best European Motorboat of the Year. Among the sailboats on show, the Dufour 460 Grand Large and the new Grand Soleil 46 LC, both selected as candidates for the European Sailboat of the Year, are worthy of mention, as are the Oceanis 35 and the Jeanneau 54.
The president of the Barcelona Boat Show, Luis Conde, once again thanks exhibitors for their commitment to the show to present their new products, and highlights the show’s role as “the leading platform for the sector in Spain as an unbeatable commercial showcase and a must-visit event for all lovers of sport and recreational sailing.” Meanwhile, the show’s director, Jordi Freixas, explains that “this year the exhibitors have taken bigger stands, new firms have come on board and we’re offering a much bigger range. Once again, it’s obvious that the show is a true reflection of the sector, which is also showing positive signs.”
According to data from the National Association of Nautical Companies (ANEN), registrations of recreational boats have grown by 10.5% in the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period last year. According to its General Secretary, Carlos Sanlorenzo: “This is the second consecutive season of positive figures in the nautical market, a situation we haven’t seen since 2007, and we’re confident that this will also be reflected in the results of the show.”
In the professional sphere, the show will be hosting an extensive programme of conferences and seminars, including the first Market Place of Nautical Tourism in Spain organized by the Spanish Association of Nautical Destinations (AEEN). According to the association’s data, nautical tourism exceeded a turnover of 2,500 million euros this year in Spain and has huge potential for growth, given that 18 million people in Europe practice some form of water sport. Also in relation to nautical tourism, the show will be hosting the presentation of the Rorcual Project organized by the Edmaktub Association with the support of the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment to study fin and minke whales off the coast of Garraf near Barcelona. According to the Association’s information, the presence of whales offers interesting opportunities for developing ecotourism along our coasts. There will also be a conference on fishing tourism in Barcelona.
International sailing on debate
Other noteworthy activities organized by ANEN include the debate on the international nautical market which will involve spokespeople from the most long-standing nautical industries, such as the USA, as well as emerging nautical sectors, such as Colombia. Participants in the seminar include the General Secretary of the International Council of Maritime Industries Association (ICOMIA), Udo Kleinitz; the Export Development Manager of the US National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Julie Balzano; the Secretary of the Nautical Association of Colombia (ASONAUTICA), Antonella Farah, and the General Secretary of ANEN, Carlos Sanlorenzo.
Free Navigation Licence course for buyers
With the aim of promoting sailing for beginners, one of the new features at this year’s event is a special promotion by a group of exhibitors, in collaboration with the show, who will be giving buyers of small boats (between 4.5 and 6 metres with engines of 20 to 150 HP) a free course to obtain their Navigation Licence, given by a collaborating nautical school.) The show has also renewed its collaboration agreement with Deutsche Bank, which is offering visitors a series of special financial products to help them buy boats and moorings. The show will also be publishing an update of the Towable Boats Guide which was released last year; a highly practical and straightforward tool for people who want to get started in the world of recreational sailing. The new document includes details of new sailing qualifications and information on marinas and slipways in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, amongst other content.
Swimming and kayaking on Nautical Night
Many exhibitors are also organizing activities and parties on their stands, most of them on Friday 16 October to coincide with the Nautical Night, another of the big events this year, which will feature tasting sessions, live music, fashion parades and other activities and surprises, such as the “Swimnight & Kayak”, event, a crossing in pairs of the port by kayak and swimming.
The show will also host the usual themed areas on Moll de la Fusta where the majority of activities take place. For example, the Fun Beach Zone not only offers an array of products and services related to water sports but also has a test zone with access to the sea where visitors can practice dinghy sailing, canoeing, kayaking, jet biking or paddle surfing, not to mention the wave pool which was launched last year for surfing. Meanwhile, the Espai del Mar is an area dedicated to presentations of regattas, books, trophies and awards and will also host debates and conferences on the marine environment and every aspect of sailing; and the Traditional Sailing zone features classic boats, notably the San Rafael which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
The show will once again occupy the facilities of Port Vell, which this year includes OneOcean Club, the new official restaurant for visitors and exhibitors.Another new attraction is a new restaurant area and chill- out zone at the end of the Espanya wharf, known as Nautic Food Plaza. The Nautic Village by The Cool Luxury is back at the show once again; an area of stands showcasing premium goods such as gourmet food, fashion, beauty products, art and design.
The Barcelona Boat Show is a founding member of the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers (IFBSO) and an international benchmark in its field. Organized by Fira de Barcelona and held every year, the show enjoys the backing and collaboration of the National Association of Nautical Companies (ANEN).
Technology, connectivity and ecology on board
Multipurpose tactile screens, electronic navigation charts, remote boat controls, state-of-the-art joysticks, wireless connections and, above all, interconnectivity. New technologies are sweeping all before them in the sport and recreational sailing sector, and the Barcelona Boat Show has established itself as the best place for discovering the latest new products for boats that are tending to be more spacious, versatile, light-filled and comfortable.
Recreational sailing is undergoing an accelerated process of implementing new technologies, especially when it comes to engines, electronics and communications that make sailing safer and more convenient than ever. Along these lines, companies in the sector are creating more functional and practical products with high added-value technology. The show will be presenting new multipurpose tactile screens that facilitate the control of navigation charts, radar, depth finders or even watching television. As you will see at the show, there is a huge variety of iPad and Android apps that transform mobile devices into real navigation screens. One stand-out new product is an automatic pilot that can be controlled from a tactile screen.
Clouds for sharing information
Brands have also created their own information clouds which can be accessed by registered users with a device from the same company. Maps of recently-dredged sea beds can be shared by thousands of sailors all over the world, thus providing an updated bathymetry (the study of the depth of ocean floors) to complement the maps provided by commercial firms. Exhibitors such as Furuno, Navico, Raymarine and Garmin, amongst others, offer apps to supplement the handling of their equipment from a tablet. Garmin, for example, is presenting watches that are veritable navigational computers – far more technologically- advanced than fitness watches – equipped with GPS, course plotter and compass, amongst many other solutions.
Convertible and more sustainable boats
The internal and external spaces of boats are becoming more open-plan, versatile, spacious, light-filled and comfortable. Along these lines, convertible boats are a burgeoning trend. Until quite recently these were limited to smaller boats but today you can find convertible boats of up to 18 metres. Another growing trend is the possibility of personalizing the boat to the customer’s taste: from the interior layout to the choice of colour of the hull, the interior woodwork or the inclusion of all kinds of gadgets. The immediate future of sailing also includes hybrid engines that combine electrical power with fossil fuels. However, this technology has not yet caught on massively. For the time being, efforts to save energy have been limited to the installation of wind generators, solar panels and hydropower generators, all of which can be seen at the show.
54th Barcelona International Boat Show
Location: Port Vell
Dates: 14-18 October 2015
Times: From 10 am to 7 pm (Friday, from 10 am to 9 pm)
Type:Professional and open to the public Scope International
Ticket price: General: 12 euros (free for under 12)
Accessories - Brokers
Canoes and kayaks – Nautical charters
Décor - Electronics
Sailing and motor boats
Typical Minorcan boats
Fishing/recreational boats – Nautical schools Fun Beach - Institutions
Launches – Bookshops and publishing houses Llaüts - Motors – Jet skis
Inflatables - Fishing – Paints
Trade press – Marinas and port facilities Trailers - Insurance - Nautical services Shopping Area -– Sail makers
Nautical tourism - Dinghies
Nautical clothing - Windsurfing