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Barcelona Boat Show 2017 is bigger than ever

Port-Vell-Barcelona

The Barcelona International Boat Show sets sail in Port Vell between 11 and 15 October with a fair wind behind it.

Now in its fifty-sixth edition, the show has grown from last year in terms of space, exhibitors and the floating exhibition, showcasing the biggest-ever offering from the sports and recreational sailing sector in Spain.

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Featuring the sector’s leading brands, the event will be presenting more than 120 national and international launches and organising around one hundred activities, most notably those related to entrepreneurship, business and the promotion of sailing.

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This year, the Barcelona Boat Show, organised by Fira de Barcelona in collaboration with ANEN (Spanish Association of Nautical Enterprises) has grown by 11% in terms of net exhibition space compared to the previous edition, with 23,000 sq. m on the wharves of Espanya and La Fusta in Port Vell, and by 7% in terms of exhibitors, with a total of 275, including the top national and international firms in the sector such as Rodman, Beneteau, Jeanneau, CNB-Lagoon, Marina Estrella, Sunseeker, Touron, Yamaha and Zodiac.

With around 700 boats on show on both land and water, plus all kinds of nautical products and services, the event has also grown by 11% in terms of its floating exhibition compared to 2016, exceeding 180 boats of more than 8 metres this year. The most notable exhibits include a fleet of 21 catamarans, one of the biggest ever on show in Europe, and around twenty models that have been nominated for Best European Boat of the Year.

According to the president of the Barcelona Boat Show, Luis Conde,

‘the event is the undisputed benchmark of the nautical industry in Spain, and has consolidated the positive trend that reflects the recovery of the sector after many years of difficulties due to the economic crisis. Thanks to the confidence and excellent response from our exhibitors, we are holding an event with more space, a bigger offering and more innovations than ever, unquestionably underlining the show’s role as an outstanding commercial platform, a forum of opportunities, a mouthpiece for the sector and a great showcase for the latest trends.’.

More technology-driven sailing 

In this respect, the exhibitors, who will occupy a gross exhibition area of more than 56,000 sq. m, will be presenting more than 120 launches (80 boats and 40 engines and electronic products) which represents an increase of 16% compared to 2016. Luis Conde believes that ‘the industry’s commitment to technology and innovation will be key to the future of the sector, which is moving towards safer, more manageable, sustainable and connected boats.’

Indeed, he highlights the commitment of boat-builders to include technological innovations in their models, especially apps for all kinds of mobile devices, which turns them into genuine navigational charts, with the ability to control the engines, manage mapping information and port services, send alerts about malfunctions, connect with other sailors, and so on. In addition to these innovations, around twenty entrepreneurs will be revealing their products for the nautical world at the second edition of the Seminars for Entrepreneurs and Start-ups, organised in conjunction with ANEN, which includes an exhibition area, networking sessions and an investment forum.

In the professional sphere, a series of around one hundred Professional Meetings have been organised between exhibitors and visitors with the aim of sharing ideas and generating new business contacts. The show has also organised a full programme of conferences and seminars under the umbrella of the Espai del Mar area to study opportunities for the nautical industry, notably the session of the Barcelona Nautical Cluster on the challenges facing the sector in the 4.0 era.

According to the event’s director, Jordi Freixas,

‘this year we are really putting an emphasis on innovation. The large number of new products on show and the activities we have organised this year point to greater optimism and will help to strengthen our positioning as the leading show for doing business, presenting new ideas and solutions, testing boats and sharing our passion for the sea.’.

The big nautical festival

Over five days, the Barcelona Boat Show will be a hotbed of fun and experiences for sailing enthusiasts and people interested in getting started. A new feature at the Fun Beach Area this year will be a swimming pool for practising paddle surf, though the more adventurous can go dinghy sailing, kayaking and paddle surfing in the waters of the port itself.

The regular areas dedicated to Traditional Sailing will also be back, with wooden sailboats and workshops for learning about time-honoured fishermen’s customs; a new edition of the Barcelona SUP Festival; a trial of open-water canoeing; the gourmet venue of the Nautic Food Plaza and the Nautic Village by TheCooluxury (VIP zone); presentations of the main regattas of the coming season; prize-giving ceremonies; and Nautical Night (Friday 13 October) which includes ‘Swim Night & Kayak’ (an exhibition of swimmers, escorted by kayaks, in the waters of the port) which will be enlivened by parties on the exhibitors’ stands, live music, fashion shows and tasting sessions.

A positive-looking season

According to ANEN figures, to date this year (January-August 2017) boat registrations have grown by 9.7% compared to the same period last year (with 4,492 new registrations). This points to a nautical season that is once again on an upward trend, having also recorded excellent results in the charter market (rental of recreational boats) which grew by 23.5% compared to 2016.

According to the secretary general of ANEN, Carlos Sanlorenzo,

‘companies in the sector are continuing to work on adapting their lines of business, products and services to the new consumer demands of sailing enthusiasts. In this respect, the digital transformation in the nautical sector and technological innovations are driving the business and industrial progress of the nautical industry, and without question this situation will be reflected in the forthcoming edition of the Barcelona Boat Show.’

The event, held every year, was a founding member of the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers (IFBSO) and continues to serve as an international benchmark.




Salon Nautico Internacional de Barcelona
Organised by Fira de Barcelona, with the collaboration of ANEN, the Barcelona Boat Show is the most important in Spain and the only one in the country recognised by the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers (IFBSO).
Location: • ES - Spain Barcelona
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About the author

norbertomoreau

Norberto Moreau is co-founder of the Allied Management Ltd Consulting Group (Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Spain). The group and his associates have activities in Yachting, Properties, Events and Online Services.
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