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Palma International Boatshow heralds yachting season in Europe

Credits: A. John / Marine Project

From 27 April to 30 April inclusive, Palma’s traditional boat show opens its doors once again. Almost 280 exhibitors will present the latest trends and innovations in the world of water sports at the Palma International Boatshow and the associated Palma Superyacht Village, ranging from two-euro fishing rakes to 20-million-euro megayachts.

For over 30 years, the boat show in Palma de Mallorca has marked the start of the European yacht and water sports season. But it is also unique among international boat shows for another reason: it is the only yachting industry show organised by the public sector, more precisely by the Institute for Business Innovation of the Balearic Islands (IDI), an institution of the Ministry of Energy Change. Advantage:The prices for the exhibitors are partly far below those of organisers of other boat shows such as Cannes or Monaco. Disadvantage:One looks in vain for an entertaining supporting programme with evening party sessions or other glamorous show events in Palma.

Credits: A. John / Marine Project

In terms of exhibition space, not much has changed this year compared to previous editions, the limits of growth had already been reached. This year, the almost 280 exhibitors will again have around 82,000 square metres on land and on the water to present their innovations.

After the cancellation of the 2020 fair due to Corona, the organisers of the Boatshow and the Superyacht Village integrated into it decided on a new audience concept. They want to attract mainly trade visitors with serious buying interests to the fair. Sunday strollers, who used to come to the Boatshow only to take a look at the glamorous-looking yacht scene with their children and grandma, have been deterred for two years by a hefty entrance fee. This year it has gone up again by ten percent. A day ticket now costs 11 euros, and the exhibitor pass, valid for all four days of the fair, costs 36.50 euros. You won’t find a discount for children or families.

Credits: A. John / Marine Project

What is there to see for so much admission money? As in previous years, the fair is divided into two large areas, the boat show itself and the so-called Palma Superyacht Village. The latter is located along the old pier to the left of the main entrance and consists of a display of about 70 sailing and motor yachts over 24 metres in length. The boats are there for sale or charter. However, they can only be viewed by prior appointment with the respective broker, who have literally pitched their tents opposite the floating palaces. There you will also find the exhibition stands of various companies such as accessory suppliers and companies that specialise in refitting or finishing XXL yachts. From the old pier, the Superyacht Show continues along the former shipyard area. From there, visitors can cross a 70-metre-long pontoon bridge to the other side of the trade fair harbour. Luxury yachts from various manufacturers with and without masts are also exhibited there.

But not everything at Palma’s boat show revolves around big boats. On the contrary. The trend, especially on the regional market, is towards smaller yachts, so-called day cruisers, with which one sets off for a bathing trip in the morning and returns to the harbour in the evening. The number of manufacturers of this type of yacht has grown rapidly in recent years. In many cases, the shipyards of motor boats for day trips rely on extravagant design to attract customers on board. A good example is the Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli, which for about twelve years has also dedicated itself to the construction of so-called designer ribs, i.e. semi-rigid rubber boats in a chic dress and with powerful engines for propulsion. In Palma, Pirelli is presenting, among other things, the new speed boat Pirelli 30, which can be individually equipped and motorised according to taste and budget.

Credits: A. John / Marine Project

As already noticeable in previous years, the yachting industry has also committed itself to the global trend towards climate and environmental protection with the help of sustainable building materials and drives. Examples of this are a number of exhibitors in the field of electric motors and eco-yacht construction, such as the local shipyard Nauta Morgeau whose mini boats are made of 100 percent natural materials and are powered by environmentally friendly electric motors.

In addition to boats and yachts, the Boatshow also features the latest offers from time-share providers. Their motto: you don’t need to own a sailing or motor yacht to go out to sea as often as you like. In addition to the usual providers such as the Skipper Club or the Sailing Club, this also includes yacht manufacturers such as Scorpions Yacht, which is showing its spectacular 50-foot motor yacht at the Palma Boatshow. Instead of buying them, you can purchase a monthly right of use at a price of 851 euros. All costs such as mooring fees and maintenance costs are included.

More info at palmainternationalboatshow.com and palmasuperyachtvillage.com

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