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The organiser of the world's largest indoor boat show says the successful staging of this month's CARAVAN SALON 2020 at the same venue has demonstrated the success of Düsseldorf trade fairs with September's exhibitors reporting amazing results. 

Wolfram Diener, CEO of “boot Düsseldorf,  says it means the the show is on course for a year of watersports success.” “boot Düsseldorf is well aware of its responsibility to the industry as the world’s biggest platform for watersports. boot, held from 23 to 31 of January 2021, sets the course for a year of success and a positive future. We are sure that we can come out on top if we work together and are delighted to be able to offer you this location in Düsseldorf for this. We have organised a boot that looks a little different, but is no less exciting, across 17 trade fair halls and in accordance with the valid hygiene and infection protection regulations. CARAVAN SALON 2020, which has just drawn to a close, paved the way for this. CARAVAN SALON proved beyond a doubt that trade fairs in Düsseldorf are successful and that exhibitors can produce impressive economic results, even under the new rules. We’re delighted by this outcome, as it has demonstrated that trade fairs continue to be an essential marketing tool for both the caravanning industry and the watersports sector, even in today’s climate.” This is how Wolfram Diener, CEO Messe Düsseldorf, describes the situation in the regional capital of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Registration levels in total equal to those of 2019

The planning for boot 2021 is on course and the current registration numbers are, overall, the same as they were in 2019. Almost all of the boat and yacht manufacturers that were on board in 2020 are back for 2021. Apart from a few exceptions, most suppliers have also confirmed that they will be participating in boot. Petros Michelidakis, Project Director for boot: “All in all, booking numbers for boot are excellent and we have even got halls in which almost every square metre has been booked up, such as the luxury yacht halls 5 and 6. Industries that have been hit hard by the crisis, such as the tourism industry, haven’t yet returned to their previous levels. However, we are discussing matters actively with these regions and travel agents in order to make participating in the trade fair possible for them.” The boot team has received a good level of registrations for providers of houseboat holidays as well as in the charter sector for sailing and motor boats. Both of these types of holiday are very safe and are enjoying growth in their popularity.

A hygiene and infection protection plan in Düsseldorf that has been cleared with the authorities

Messe Düsseldorf had already developed for CARAVAN SALON a comprehensive hygiene and protection concept in close cooperation with the authorities and in coordination with the state government. This is constantly adapted to meet the latest demands. “The visitors to the CARAVAN SALON approved of these measures highly. They felt safe with us, knew that they were in good hands and could enjoy visiting the vehicles in a relaxed atmosphere,” explains Wolfram Diener. The PROTaction campaign by Messe Düsseldorf provides clear and detailed information for the exhibitors at

Stage programme and participatory activities will take place

“The most important thing for us all is that, at the moment: boot Düsseldorf 2021 will take place from 23 to 31 January.” Exhibitors, employees, stand builders, visitors and media representatives can currently find responses to queries on the hygiene measures on the boot website. All those who are on the premises of the trade fair centre during the set-up, run and wind-up of the trade fair will be registered. The popular stage programmes and participatory activities such as surfing, diving, SUP and canoeing will take place, under compliance with the hygiene and distancing regulations. Scanners will log the data on the online tickets to track any potential infection chains.

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
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“Many of the hotspots of the water sports community in Europe are coming to life again”, boot Director Petros Michelidakis is delighted to report. He is Greek by birth and a keen sailor – and will soon be paying another visit to his home country too. Before this, however, he has also been able to enjoy water sports at their best around Düsseldorf, where he has chosen to live for many years now. “After surfing, sailing, diving or SUP became possible again here, I have visited a number of the destinations in the region in recent weeks and have been really impressed by the tremendous commitment displayed by the athletes as they have taken to the water again”, he adds.

In the coming year, boot will once again be the international business platform for motor and sailing yachts, recreational surfing and diving – under the new campaign motto “reboot your business”. At the visual level, the blue boot logo will be bracketed by the prefix “re” and the words “your business”. Michelidakis explains: “Our intention with the ‘reboot’ slogan is to demonstrate to the manufacturers that we are by their side. They will find that boot Düsseldorf 2021 is the ideal place for networking successfully and doing good business”.

Such prominent players as Princess, Azimut or San Lorenzo from the luxury yacht field have already booked space for their presentations at boot 2021. Others who have for example also confirmed their participation are the German market leaders Hanse and Bavaria or Greenline – the well-known innovative pioneer of alternative drive concepts from Slovenia – as well as Starboard, one of the major board producers.

“This means that boot is right on track. The industry is experiencing strong demand, driven by the trade fair this year”, says Michelidakis. While the German Marine Federation is positive in its assessment of the market too. Federation President Robert Marx outlines the situation: “We made an extremely motivated start to this year following a very good trade fair in January. It goes without saying that the corona crisis has proved to be a setback to the industry, but the prospects are good that water sports will experience a successful summer. I think that people will come to appreciate this type of sport in particular and am looking forward to boot 2021 as a stimulant for the entire international industry. It is indispensable for us as manufacturers.”

Werner M. Dornscheidt is being succeeded by Wolfram N. Diener in the executive management of Messe Düsseldorf. The CEO will continue to be directly responsible for the boating and water sports events – and thus boot – in future as well.

Messe Düsseldorf is already starting the new trade fair season on 4. September. CARAVAN SALON Düsseldorf 2020 will be taking place in line with the requirements of the corona protection regulations issued by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In this context, Messe Düsseldorf has developed a hygiene concept with specific measures in close liaison with the authorities. Petros Michelidakis: “This will ensure that our exhibitors enjoy the professional environment they are accustomed to for their business.”

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
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Messe Düsseldorf, organisers of Boot, the giant European Boat Show, have begun online registration for the forthcoming boot from 23 to 31 January 2021 under the motto “restart your business @ boot Düsseldorf”.

The show is popular with Irish visitors since the demise of the London Show with Boot now the world's largest indoor boat show.

Messe Düsseldorf CEO Werner Matthias Dornscheidt says “We are aware that the water sports industry is in a difficult position at the moment. I am, however, very confident that this situation can be overcome just as positively as the crisis in the years 2008/2009, with the help of the boot Düsseldorf business platform. Manufacturers managed to make an economic success of their business operations again back then too. They have continued to develop positively in recent years, thanks in part to boot, which has opened up new sales markets for its exhibitors. It is our conviction that the chartering segment has particularly strong growth potential in the coming years, as it represents an extremely individual, low-contact form of holidaymaking that promises maximum fun into the bargain” is how boot Director Petros Michelidakis describes the situation in the water sports sector.

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boot Düsseldorf has made a brilliant start to the new decade with a hugely successful event. Visitors, including an increasing number of Irish boating fans, were enthusiastic about the wide-ranging programme and the enormous selection of products and services provided by the more than 1,900 exhibitors in the 17 halls on the exhibition site. The international water sports community was delighted by nine unique days in Düsseldorf with a mix of stimulating networking, successful business and memorable experiences.

Read reports of Irish participation at 2020 Boot in Afloat's dedicated Boot section here

Boot has an amazing appeal all over the world

Messe Düsseldorf CEO Werner M. Dornscheidt’s summary of the eventful days at boot 2020: “boot has developed into something far more than just a trade fair. It is an event with huge innovative and economic significance while representing a passion for water sports to a unique extent as well. In the past few days, the trade fair has demonstrated the amazing appeal boot has all over the world.”

Focus on alternative drive systems

More than 250.000 water sports fans (2019: 247,700) from 106 countries made their way to Düsseldorf for boot 2020. Around a quarter of these were international visitors. Their home countries were mainly the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy, France and, from overseas, the USA and Canada. “This large proportion of international visitors shows that we are very well-prepared for the future with the boot concept”, explains boot Director Petros Michelidakis, who adds: “Here in Düsseldorf – in the heart of landlocked North Rhine-Westphalia, we really have succeeded in creating the most important international platform for water sports. boot demonstrated convincingly this year just how impressive the industry’s innovative skills are. The focus was on alternative drive systems, boat construction from renewable raw materials and international ocean protection projects.”

A milestone for the water sports industry

For the water sports industry, boot Düsseldorf 2020 represents a milestone on the road to success. Jürgen Tracht, Director of the German Marine Federation: “New decisions need to be taken at the beginning of the year in both private and professional water sports fields. The wide range of different options available at boot offers not only trade representatives but also water sports fans the biggest possible choice. Nowhere else in the world exist such a large selection of sailing yachts and motorboats. There are plenty of exhibits for newcomers at boot too, with “start boating” and “start sailing”, so he concludes: “A good boot has traditionally been an auspicious omen for the subsequent water sports season.”

High satisfaction rate among visitors

boot 2020 achieved a satisfaction rate of 96 per cent among the visitors. Petros Michelidakis is pleased to report, that “the new, very clear hall layout with special walks for the different target groups was a major success. boot fans were able to plan their own individual tour of the trade fair perfectly with the ‘Power Walk’ through Halls 1 to 9 for motorboat enthusiasts, the ‘Sailors’ Walk’ in Halls 15 to 17, the ‘Holiday Walk’ in Halls 13 and 14, the ‘Divers Walk’ in Halls 11 and 12 and the ‘Surfers’ Hotspot’ in Hall 8a.

Diving Halls attracted large number of visitors

The suppliers of diving equipment, trips and destinations benefitted from the new boot layout too. The conditions in Halls 11 and 12 were excellent for diving enthusiasts. More than 400 exhibitors represented almost the entire international community. The diving pool for beginners and the diving tower for experienced divers attracted a large number of people. New trends like “mermaiding” were just as popular with visitors as the enthralling stage programme with such international stars as Pierre-Yves Cousteau and ocean activists like Emily Penn or Hannes Jaenicke.

 "The best boot in years!"

For the surfing industry, boot Düsseldorf 2020 ended with overwhelming success after nine days. In the heavily attended surf sports hall 8a, 93 exhibitors from 17 countries inspired around 100,000 surf-interested visitors with useful infotainment and inspiring join-in events. Following the call of the world’s largest water sports exhibition and it’s surfing motto "Make your Move", around 4,500 newcomers and advanced surfers have been active on the spectacular THE WAVE by citywave ®, in the large flatwater pool or on the skimboard track. Both beginners and experts have experienced surfing, SUP action and SUP yoga, skimboarding and waveboarding, futuristic foiling („flying over water") disciplines and the comeback of the booming windsurfing. Thrilling international competitions with the stars of the scene and celebrated awards fascinated the audience. Florian Brunner, CEO and partner of APM Marketing and member of the boot Düsseldorf’s advisory board, emphasizes: “That was the best boot in many years! I am very optimistic about the future. The comeback of windsurfing can be seen as a trend." The verdict of windsurfing world champion Francisco Goya from Maui, Hawaii, who advertised board sports at the TPE distribution booth: “The quantity and the quality of visitors is great. They are very passionate and competent at the same time.“ Karsten Krey, Brand Manager at Liquid Force Germany, is pleased with the course of this year’s edition: "I have been at the boot Düsseldorf for 40 years and can say: There was buzzing at the fair this year! What used to be Florida for wakeboarding is now the region around Düsseldorf. For the scene, the boot Düsseldorf is winter’s highlight!"

boot 2021 is being held in Düsseldorf from 23. to 31. January. The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
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Hot on the heels of the European Yacht of the Year award win for the X4⁰, X-Yachts have revealed at boot Düsseldorf that their new X5⁶ is planned launch in November this year ahead of the 2021 show.

Chief designer Niels Jeppesen said: “Having developed the X4⁰ in 2019, it was an easy decision for X-Yachts to decide to meet the market’s request to fill the gap between the X4⁹ and the X6⁵.”

The 56ft performance cruiser and latest addition to the Pure X range is designed with serious cruising in mind — whether exploring the Mediterranean or crossing the Atlantic.

‘Light, strip and stuff’ is the maxim behind the X5⁶ design philosophy: weight saved via epoxy infusion constriction is used to increase stability for supreme comfort on board.

And the Danish brand’s clean, timeless style is expectedly reflected in its luxury, high-quality interior.

The X5⁶ will be available in a variety of configurations and the first boats are expected to hit the water this year. For more details contact X-Yachts Ireland.

Published in Boot Düsseldorf

UK Sailmakers Ireland are looking forward to seeing current and prospective customers at boot Düsseldorf this week.

If you want to see what the latest sail technology in Ireland, be sure to drop by UK Sailmakers on stand D 10 in Hall 10.

Barry Hayes from UK Sailmakers Ireland will be on hand from this Thursday (23 January) but Stefan, Dirk, Renze and others are manning the stand throughout this week at one of the world’s biggest water sports trade fairs and boat shows.

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Simply being nominated as the “European Yacht of the Year” or “European Powerboat of the Year” is a special recognition of a boatbuilder’s achievements. At Flagship Night, the maritime industry event organised by publishing house Delius Klasing Verlag and the “Boot” trade show in Düsseldorf on Saturday evening, the winners of the two renowned awards “European Yacht of the Year 2020” and “European Powerboat of the Year 2020” were announced. As well as the award ceremony for the “boat building Oscars”, the maritime industry event also honoured an industry personality for outstanding services in watersport with the Seamster Award 2020.

Bielefeld/Düsseldorf, 19th January 2020. Centre stage for Europe’s best powerboats and sailing yachts. The “boat building Oscars” were awarded in ten categories on yesterday’s Saturday evening. At Flagship Night attended by 450 guests, the international award “European Yacht of the Year” was presented for the seventeenth time, and the “European Powerboat of the Year” award for the fourteenth time. The winners of the renowned awards were chosen by an expert jury consisting of testing organisations and the editors-in-chief of Europe’s leading twelve sailing and eight powerboating magazines.

Around 50 new sailing boats are launched in Europe every year. However, only five boatbuilders can claim the title “European Yacht of the Year 2020”. The comprehensive testing phase conducted by the jury members from the twelve sailing magazines from Norway (Seilmagasinet), Sweden (Båtägande), Great Britain (Yachting World), the Netherlands, (Zeilen), Switzerland (, France (Voiles et Voiliers), Spain (Nautica y Yates), Denmark (Bådmagasinet), Austria (Yachtrevue), Italy (Vela e Motore), Finland (Vene) and Germany (YACHT) took place in Port Ginesta, south of Barcelona, in October.

All of the sixteen candidates were thoroughly tested and rated. All in all, the trade journalists sailed almost 2,500 sea miles, or more than 4,500 kilometres, with the nominated yachts in the course of a week. All decisions are made on a jury majority basis; a nationality clause ensures that the jury members cannot favour candidates from their own country. The respective yacht of the year reflects what’s happening on the market in general. On the one hand, the latest trend is going towards increasingly larger yachts with customised interiors and numerous extras, and on the other, sport yachts are enjoying a surge not seen in a long time. Quite remarkable is the overwhelming dominance of French candidates. Since 2004, French boatbuilders have earned the title of “European Yacht of the Year” 31 times. For comparison: Germany and Italy, the second and third most successful countries, won only 16 titles between them in the same time.

This year’s winner in the Family Cruiser category was the Beneteau Oceanis 30.1. The touring yacht built by subsidiary Delphia Yachts in Poland offers a remarkable degree of luxury and comfort, despite its compact dimensions, the jury determined. Its sailing properties and quality of manufacture were praised too. A handy and affordable starter model for four crew members.

Performance Cruiser X Yachts X4.0 Copyright R.TomlinsonPerformance Cruiser winner - X Yachts X4.0 Photo: Rick Tomlinson

In the Performance Cruiser category, the winner was the X 4.0. The Danish boat combines all the virtues that brought the renowned boatbuilder X-Yachts to fame. It offers plenty of readily available power – alongside very tasteful and comfortable furnishings.

In the Luxury Cruiser category, the Amel 60 triumphed. Its spacious cockpit, almost completely covered by a deckhouse, provides maximum protection against the elements while functioning as a relaxing chill-out zone. Below deck, the high-quality and stylish interior offers three spacious double cabins and a bright, well-laid-out lounge to rival that of a five-star hotel.

During the nomination of the current candidates, it was evident that the number of fast, easily manoeuvrable racing yachts is greater than ever. To do them justice, the jury created a new, separate category (Regatta Yachts). In this group, the Dehler 30 OD from Greifswald claimed the title. The brand has a long-standing tradition of racers and has built on its success with the boat optimised for small crews. The Dehler 30 OD has a lightweight build, consistent design and is currently the most attractive model of its kind.

The Innovation-Award was awarded to the ClubSwan 36, the latest model of the luxury brand, Nautor. The radical, modern racing machine from the Finnish company is currently the most exciting serially produced boat. It has all the ingredients of a high-tech yacht – from the extreme hull shape to a carbon hydrofoil in the centre of the boat, which can be positioned at the tug of a rope and generates lift under the water. The faster it goes, the greater the hydrodynamic effect. That is to say, the ClubSwan36 gets “lighter” as it gains speed – making it even faster. “It feels like being on a flying carpet,” says Jochen Rieker, editor-in-chief of YACHT magazine and chairman of the expert jury.

“The most amazing thing about it is that the ClubSwan delivers its impressive performance values without so much as a snag or a stutter.”

The presentation of the “European Powerboat of the Year 2020” awards was just as exciting. This expert jury consists of editors-in-chief and testers from the eight leading European powerboat media from Norway (Båtliv), Italy (BoatMag), France (Neptune), the Netherlands (Motorboot), Spain (Nautica y Yates), Switzerland (, Austria (Yachtrevue) and Germany (BOOTE).

Every year, more than 200 new boat designs are launched on the powerboat market. At the Cannes yachting festival in September, the powerboat experts nominated their 23 top contenders from this multitude of new models with the aid of a clever points-based system. Besides the usual characteristics that indicate the quality of a boat, such as the solidness of the construction or its performance properties, for example, the overall concept and the value for money aspect also played a decisive role for the jury members when it came to their choice and the rating system. Often, a boatbuilder’s innovative and unusual ideas also ultimately lead to award-winning success in one of the four length classes or the length-independent displacement hull class.

In the small class, powerboats up to 8 metres, the Silver Tiger DCz ultimately won the race. The Silver Tiger DCz is characterised by its excellent, safe driving properties and favourable price-performance ratio. In addition, its offers maximum safety for the entire crew, thanks to its fully sealed cockpit.

Above all, the boats in the powerboats up to 10 metres class must offer practical solutions, a solid finish and safe handling on all waters. In this category, the Beneteau Flyer 10 won the award. On the Flyer 10, various concepts from larger yachts have been successfully transferred to the 10-metre class. It is a skilful mix between a day boat and a cruiser.

3 EPOTY Motorboote bis 14 Meter Pardo 38 Copyright WerftThe Pardo 38 Photo: Werft

The winning entry in the powerboats up to 14 metres class was the impressive Pardo 38. The Pardo 38 has outstanding driving properties, paired with exceedingly high-quality craftsmanship. In the eyes of the jury, it is the perfect large-format day cruiser.

In the powerboats up to 20 metres class, the jury selected the Solaris Power 48 Open. With its second model, the boatbuilder Solaris has finally arrived in the world of powerboats. Just like the design, the manufacturing quality sets new standards in its class. This is accompanied by balanced driving properties. The foldable “cockpit terraces” are a further highlight of the Solaris Power 48 Open.

In the length-independent displacement hull class, the “European Powerboat of the Year” award 2020 went to the Vedette Navigator 35. The jury stated: The Vedette Navigator is the modern version of the classic steel yacht concept. The quality of the materials and manufacture is excellent throughout.

This year’s Innovation-Award 2020, presented within the scope of the “Powerboat of the Year” awards, went to the Volvo Penta DPI drive. “Once again, Volvo Penta has set new benchmarks in drive technology. The hydraulic clutch of the DPI drive enables silent, low-wear shifting, extending the lifespan of the Z-transmission. In addition, the electric steering unit provides greater convenience and safety in practice,” explains BOOTE’s editor-in-chief Torsten Moench, summarising the jury’s winning choice in this category.

The SEAMASTER-Award was awarded for the eighth time at the FLAGSHIP NIGHT 2020 event. The “Boot” Düsseldorf trade show and the Delius Klasing Verlag publishing house honour an outstanding watersports personality with this award. The 2020 award was presented to German sailing professional Boris Herrmann.

Last summer, he made headlines worldwide with a trans-Atlantic sailing trip, on which he transported Greta Thunberg to the UN Climate Summit in New York without emissions. 800 million people followed the party’s arrival on television and on live streams online – more than any other sailing event in history. This makes Boris Herrmann the most important ambassador for watersport in the past year.

In 2020, the successful yachtsman wants to continue to generate a buzz. On 8th November, Boris Herrmann will be the first German to participate in the prestigious Vendé Globe, a non-stop regatta for single-handed sailors, with the yacht “Malizia II”.

The presenter of the SEAMASTER Award, Dee Caffari, is also among the top professional on the high seas. In 2006, she was the first woman to sail non-stop around the world on a solo trip against the prevailing wind direction, i.e. east to west, around all the storm-swept capes of the southern hemisphere. Since then, she has successfully completed three more projects: once single-handedly at the Vendée Globe, and twice with a crew in the Volvo Ocean Race.

The SEAMASTER jury included the editors-in-chief of the industry magazines BOOTE, BOOTE EXCLUSIV, YACHT and SURF. It was chaired by publisher Konrad Delius from the Delius Klasing Verlag publishing house and Petros Michelidakis, the director of “Boot” Düsseldorf.

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
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A game-changing experience for everyone on board, built on the world’s best marine guidance platform is the promise of ‘BoatingOS’, an initiative by an Irish marine technology company led by County Waterford powerboater Aidan Foley that has signed Beneteau as its global development partner.

BoatingOS is an entirely new operating system which will power the next generation of chart-plotters - much like how Android works for smartphones. It’s an always-connected platform, delivering data to the helm in a usable, understandable and contextually-aware way, while also unlocking millions of completely new data points which will enrich the boating experience on board. Those behind the initiative believe that current solutions can be difficult to understand, may contain information that is often out of date, and do little to encourage and support fresh marine adventures.

“The current fundamentals are at the heart of the problem” according to Stuart Walker, COO of Raceix. “All of the mapping being used in pleasure boats is based entirely on a system designed for commercial shipping which has evolved very slowly over 200 years. What we do, where we go, what we know, and how we operate in the marine-leisure sector is entirely different to large ships. In addition, it’s usually presented in a way that’s entirely counter-intuitive. Our sector has incredibly talented companies delivering amazing innovation in on-board hardware, but it all still rests on the same flawed system. BoatingOS is designed to
inform and enhance boating adventures in ways never previously imagined.”

Vicki O’Donnell, head of marine data, explains further “Current marine-mapping is often based on very old data, in fact only 15% of the Earth’s oceans are mapped and some of this data is over 50 years old. Mapping the ocean is expensive and the data that we all use on our chart-plotters can actually represent less than 20% of the actual global data collected. during surveys from governmental bodies right across the world. The additional data, which we can now unlock through BoatingOS, will be a gamechanger for pleasure boaters. For example, crowd-sourced bathymetry has been the ‘Holy Grail’ in hydrographic offices across the world for over a decade. Those that have looked at what we’re doing believe that we will finally unlock the enormous potential of leisure craft fleets around the world by delivering the most up-to-data mapping, to ensure safety at sea.”

While the levels of complexity within BoatingOS may be significant, how it’s presented and used in our boats will not be. Raceix’s Chief Technology Officer, Sam Santi, says. “The platform uses AI and Machine-Learning to improve data from multiple sources, including user-generated data. All of this is displayed in one intuitive interface built on key features such as next-generation charts, routing, dynamic POI’s, weather, etc. The dynamic system is designed to continuously evolve and improve, and this is done without any input needed from the boater. Our over-the-air updates keep users constantly up to date, much like how Tesla keeps improving its in-car systems. The value in the system continues to increase over time.”

For Beneteau, the opportunity to support BoatingOS was an ideal partnership for both sides as Luca Brancaleon, their Director-General, explains: “Since 1884 BENETEAU has placed real innovation at the heart of everything we do. For us it’s not just about getting people into boats, it’s also about how we then support and encourage what they do on the water. This platform will deliver better experiences for boaters - sail and motor - which, in turn, will naturally encourage them to go boating more often. We see this as a game-changer, something which has been needed for some time, but is only possible now with modern,
smart technology.” Beneteau has been central to the rapid progress of this platform, providing Raceix with their Barracuda 8 test boat, and unlocking key insights into the sector.

Interested boaters are encouraged to visit to discover more, sign up for updates, and even become part of the beta testing program.

Published in Marine Trade
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When the first Boot Dusseldorf of the forthcoming decade starts on Saturday it will witness a big following from Ireland with both marine industry and an increasingly engaged boating community recognising the value and convenience of Europe's largest boat show on its doorstep.

As previously reported, the Irish marine industry is decamping to Dusseldorf for the nine days of the Expo following a lead set by long-time West Cork-based 3D chart exhibitor Bobby Nash of Latitude Kinsale. Nash set off for his annual 30-hour trip to the North Rhine-Westphalia earlier this week by car, undeterred by Storm Brendan.

But despite the pioneering efforts of individual industry members, any promotion of maritime Ireland is unfortunately not backed up by any dedicated state support of the emerging aquatic tourism market.

Anything is possible at the trade fair that guarantees a 360° water sports experience – from sailing, motorboating, surfing, diving and fishing to simply relaxing by the water or arranging the holiday you have always wanted to enjoy. In Central Europe and in January, when it is wet and cold outside. Boot offers maximum maritime flair for everyone who loves the water.

Among the Irish in Boot from tomorrow are: 

MGM Boats

Exhibiting an array of brokerage boat details at the largest indoor boat show in the world is no mean feat for an Irish company and the Dun Laoghaire Headquartered MGM Boat team lead by Gerry Salmon will be repeating last year's stand but will also have a sales presence on the Lagoon Catamarans: Hall 15, Jeanneau Sail: Hall 16, Jeanneau Power: Hall 1, Aquador Boats: Hall 5 and Prestige Motor Yachts: Hall 6. Among the line up is a  sneak peek at the First Sunfast 3300. MGM Boats have the first Sun Fast 3300 order arriving into Ireland next month and it will be competing in the upcoming Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow this June. An MGM Boat Show Special offer includes a full refund on flights and accommodation if you order a new boat from them at the show. The deal is capped at €1,200 but it's an innovative incentive.

J Boats and Grand Soleil

Mark Mansfield's new J Boat and Grand Soleil agency for Ireland hits the ground running in 2020 with the four-time Olympian manning the stand in Dusseldorf where there will be some significant launches. One of the three boats that J Boats will be showing will be the J/99, a new design which is already sailing on Dublin Bay. The official presentation of the new Grand Soleil 44 Performance to the press will take place on Tuesday, 21st January on the Grand Soleil stand. And from Nautitech Catamarans, Mansfield is keen to show the 46 Flybridge. This is the smallest cat on the market to display a full flybridge, making it unique in the marketplace.

BJ Marine

James Kirwan of BJ Marine will have both versions of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41, Fly and Sedan, on display. Greystones Harbour and Irish Sea dealer BJ Marine is showcasing an extensive range of sailing yachts too. Potential owners will be able to explore the award-winning Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 as well as the award-nominated Beneteau Oceanis 30.1. Making her show debut the Beneteau First 53 is a must for anyone wanting to experience high-performance cruising.  The County Wicklow firm that is based at Greystones Harbour Marina will also be launching the Fountaine Pajot 59 Sailing Catamaran. 

Crosshaven Boatyard

Hugh Mockler of Crosshaven Boatyard will be working both the Dufour and Rodman stands (for three days from the 24th). As Afloat previously reported, the new Dufour 530 will be unveiled tomorrow at the opening of the show. Designed by the Italian architect Umberto Felci, the Dufour 530 is available in three versions and three new models. For the first time in some years, motorboat manufacturer Rodman returns to Boot Dusseldorf, in anticipation of the bigger than ever show. Afloat reviewed the Rodman models on show here.

X Yachts

Conor Fanning's X-Yachts GB and Ireland will showcase six models when boot Düsseldorf opens its doors. Debbie Weldon and Stuart Abernethy from X-Yachts GB & IRL will be in attendance for the week-long show in Hall 16, Stand 16D21. Among the range on show will be European Yacht of the Year nominee, the new X4⁰ — alongside the new X4⁶ that had its UK premiere at the Southampton International Boat Show.

boot Düsseldorf 2020 in figures

1,900 exhibitors from 71 different countries cover the entire water sports world: Palau, Papua New Guinea or Micronesia – boot is highlighting an unusual range of water sports destinations all round the world. It is the biggest water sports trade fair in the world, with 230,000 square metres of stand space spread over 17 halls on the exhibition site. Visitors are coming to Düsseldorf to more than 100 countries.

An insight into everything that water sports have to offer

The bright, well-lit new Hall 1 is a popular new home for motor yachts from 30 to 60 feet (10 to 20 metres) long. Much-loved, cosy family models like the Dutch steel yachts – from the Linssen shipyard, for example – are on show here. It is also where such large-scale manufacturers as Jeanneau, Bénéteau, Bavaria, Sealine or Greenline are exhibiting.

Hall 3: focus on “start boating"

Many people are keen to have a boat of their own, even if it only a little one. But even the smallest of outboard motors can cause trouble, while shipping traffic can be scary or finding suitable berths for one’s new boat can be problematic. Every motorboating newcomer faces issues like these. Answers can be found in Hall 3. Professional assistance and tips from experts are available to all recreational boating beginners – no matter what particular questions they may have – on the stand of the “start boating” project initiated by boot Düsseldorf. Media support for “start boating” is being provided by the experts from the magazine “boote” published by Delius-Klasing Verlag.

Boat tours with the family – popular in e-boats too

Boat tours with the family in a e-boat are already established in Scandinavia and they are becoming increasingly popular in the other European countries too. The X-Shore boats produced by the multitalented Swedish entrepreneur Konrad Bergström are on display in Hall 4, for example. The practical Finnish boats designed for fishing and relaxing are an attractive form of leisure mobility for the entire family too. The new drive systems for boats can be found in almost all the halls at boot Düsseldorf 2020.

NEW: superboats in Hall 5

boot is devoting Hall 5 to the growing segment of luxury tenders, chase boats and shadow boats. The term “superboats” covers everything that is luxurious, fast, innovative and elegant. Such exclusive brands as Sacs, Wally, Frauscher, DeAntonio, Boesch, Fjord, Windy and Anvera will be presenting their latest developments in this segment. A chase or shadow boat can be far larger and far more luxurious than a normal tender and accompanies the superyacht on its voyage or is used for exclusive cruising purposes. The luxurious equipment of such a boat can be designed in full accordance with the owner’s requirements. As a result, it is possible to enjoy individually configured surroundings on excursions with friends for a fishing expedition or to an enchanting, remote bay too.

What is the biggest and most beautiful yacht in Hall 6?

The big and beautiful yachts in Hall 6 have travelled a long way to get there. Never before have so many large yachts between 80 and 96 feet in length been exhibited at boot. They came to Düsseldorf from the Caribbean or Turkey, for instance, on such transport ships as the Dutch Molengraat operated by the yacht transport company Seven Stars based in Rotterdam. They were then moved on flatbed trucks to Hall 6, where they can now be admired in all their glory. Hall 6 continues to be the home of the luxury segment at boot. Everyone who is anyone in the superyacht community is here to display his or her stunningly beautiful developments. Appropriately exquisite moorings for representative yachts are available at one of the exclusive superyacht marinas in, for example, Venice. Which can be found directly on the exhibition site too, on the gallery in Hall 6. Hall 7a rounds off the luxury segment at boot with the superyacht show.

Maritime art for enthusiasts in Hall 7

Following their tour of the luxury worlds, visitors can take it down a notch in Hall 7 and relax while contemplating maritime art. Large portrayals of ocean scenes, photographs of maritime motifs or creative sculptures invite visitors to linger and enjoy the works of art. One of the exhibitors is, for example, Heinke Boehnert with her artistic depiction of the Malizia Team skippered by Boris Herrmann from Hamburg, who will be on the artist’s stand to sign autographs at 16:00 on 19. January.

Hall 8a: board sport as its best in the surfing hall

Anyone who thought that board sport peaked a long time ago should take a look at Hall 8a at boot 2020. Everyone who is anyone in the boarding community is exhibiting here. Nowhere else in the world will so many boards and the athletes who use them be at one place at the same time as at the forthcoming board sports summit to kick off the twenty-twenties at the boot Düsseldorf home port.

The fascinating exhibits in the surfing hall range from windsurfing, kitesurfing and SUP to high-speed action on the indoor wave: THE WAVE made by citywave® enjoyed an acclaimed premiere in Düsseldorf in 2017 and has been one thing more than anything else since then: extremely popular and thus always very busy. boot also has skimboarding facilities and a flat water pool with wakeboarding facilities. This is where relaxed stand-up paddlers demonstrate yoga exercises on their boards or kite- and windsurfers use simulators to get their exercise. Trainers, equipment and changing rooms can be found at the point of action. Board sports are being served à la carte for both experts and beginners. In addition to information about new trends and developments in, for example, foiling and the future prospects for professional boarders at the Olympic Games. It goes without saying that there will always be opportunities to meet and greet stars and other members of the international boarding community when visiting Hall 8a

Halls 9, 10 and 11: huge selection of RIBs, dinghies, accessories, inboard motors and equipment

The exhibitors in Hall 9 will be showcasing the latest developments with rigid inflatable boats (better known in the community as RIBs) and smaller dinghies. Halls 9 and 10 as well as part of Hall 11 concentrate mainly on accessories, inboard motors and equipment. One particular area that is less conspicuous is extremely popular at boot Düsseldorf. It is where the experts and specialists meet to talk shop and share their interest in even the smallest of technical details. The Refit Centre is popular with DIY enthusiasts. Professional advice, daily workshops and product information about boat repair and restoration can be found here in Hall 11 too.

boot 2020 is presenting the biggest diving trade fair in the world in Halls 11, 12 and 13

When boot Düsseldorf opens on 18. January 2020, this will at the same time mark the start of the biggest diving trade fair in the world in Halls 11, 12 and an adjacent section of Hall 13 too. The short walk from hall 12 to Hall 13 takes the form of an underwater diving tunnel. Gentle music and illuminations remind divers of fascinating diving expeditions they have experienced. With more than 400 exhibitors, it represents a unique cross-section of the industry. Because, in a nutshell: everything that divers could possibly desire will be on display. The global players in the diving field, like Aqua Lung, Mares and Cressi, will be presenting their complete product range. The “Dive Center” in Hall 12 is a popular attraction for all diving enthusiasts. Every day at boot 2020, beginners and experienced recreational divers will have an opportunity here to watch exciting films about exotic diving destinations, listen to interviews with internationally renowned stars and obtain valuable tips for beginners as they try out diving for the first time. Some of the highlights are visits by the most successful freediver in Germany and holder of 34 records – Anna von Boetticher – the filmmaker Florian Fischer, who has won numerous awards, with his creative network “Behind the Mask”, the adventurer, filmmaker and freediver Fred Buyle, who succeeded in diving to the 100 metre mark while holding his breath, the freediver and filmmaker Guillaume Néry and the Portuguese BBC wildlife videograph Nuno Sá, who is one of the best underwater videographs in the world.

Every year, many thousand divers enjoy a unique festival here which is not matched anywhere in the world. Leading international diving destinations whet the visitors’ appetite by presenting everything they have to offer too. The programme at boot is complemented at the technical level by the “Water Pixel World”, which is again located directly in the diving segment in Hall 11. Apart from the latest developments and innovations in filming and photography in the water and underwater, workshops with community insiders are playing a central role here from boot 2020 onwards. The professionals will give tips and demonstrate tricks relating to spectacular underwater photography and how to handle video cameras and drones.

“love your ocean” campaign is featured in the diving halls

All water sports enthusiasts in general and divers in particular love their element and protection of the oceans is important to them. The “love your ocean” campaign stand in Hall 11 reflects this and is therefore the centrepiece of the diving halls. Together with the German Ocean Foundation and the boot ocean advocate Emily Penn, this campaign is having tremendous worldwide impact in the meantime. “love your ocean” attracts numerous visitors at boot Düsseldorf and will be presenting almost 50 different ocean protection activities and research projects this year.

Halls 13 and 14: “Travel World“ highlights the most beautiful holiday destinations by lakes and oceans

Appropriately enough, the water tourism halls 13 and 14 with “Travel World” are right next to the diving halls. Chartering agencies, marinas, houseboat providers as well as hotels, cruise companies and water sports locations are there to help visitors decide where to spend their next holiday in, by and on the water. A varied programme including tips about holiday destinations, charter and houseboat holidays or exciting canoeing and kayaking tours will be presented on the “Travel World” stage. These halls are the holiday and tourism centre at boot. The wide range of different destinations is supplemented by hotels that offer water sports activities in all their possible forms. There can be no doubt that even people who have not been actively involved in sports up to now will be inspired and encouraged here to enjoy their holiday by the water. Travel has developed into a particular highlight at boot and takes up a large proportion of the space in Halls 11 to 14 in the meantime. Insiders will be reporting about their experiences and will be giving direct tips about regions, locations or hotels. Anyone who then decides how and where he or she wants to spend the next holidays can, for example, make a reservation in the popular and well-known Baltic and North Sea regions or opt for an adventure in more exotic regions, depending on his or her personal preferences.

Popular houseboat holidays can be booked directly with the providers here too. During the “Day of the Canals” in the Inland Waterways Pavilion in Hall 13 on 20. January, experts will be giving interesting tips about houseboat holidays and will be presenting the attractive waterways in Europe.

Recreational sailing in Halls 15 to 17: sailing is the original water sport

Sailing is the original water sport! The first known picture of a ship with sails is on an Egyptian drawing from Luxor that goes back to the period around 5000 BC! Christopher Columbus would not have discovered the “New World” without sails. There is no doubt about it: sailing was the first way that people travelled along rivers and across oceans. A popular water sport that has something to offer everyone developed out of people’s passion for sailing.

From 2020 onwards, three halls in Düsseldorf are being devoted to sailing. It goes without saying that the major players in this sector will be there too: Hanse, Bavaria, Hallberg Rassy or tall ship suppliers like Oyster, CNB and Nautors Swan are coming back. Together with the manufacturers of innovative new boats, they will paint a diverse picture of a progressive sailing community with plenty of international flair. Spiced by the appearances of globally renowned sailing figures like Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, such up-and-coming young sailors as Laura Dekker with her new sailing project for young people and experts or blue water sailing experts like Sönke Roever in the “Sailing Center”, the sailing halls reflect a lively and very emotional community. In co-operation with its media partner, the German publisher SVG Verlag, boot is launching the “start sailing” campaign (Hall 15). Newcomers and anyone else who is interested can benefit from the know-how provided by the experts here. In a casual atmosphere, young people and those who have stayed young at heart can make tremendous progress in fulfilling their dream of becoming a sailor.

For the first time, the original cup – that dates back to 1851 – from the America’s Cup presented by Prada is coming to Düsseldorf. This means that the trophy presented in the oldest sailing regatta that is still held today is travelling 18,538 kilometres from New Zealand to the city on the Rhine and will be publicising the impressive contest it represents.

“ocean tribute” award with public voting for the first time

The “ocean tribute” award, which is sponsored by the Prince Albert II Foundation, the German Ocean Foundation and boot Düsseldorf, is being presented in January 2020. Together with the foundation from Monaco, boot and the sponsors Seabob and Jaguar Land Rover, the prize money has been increased to EUR 20,000. All institutions, associations, research facilities and projects that aim to protect oceans, lakes and waterways were able to apply. The jury of experts has selected a short list of five from all the entries and their projects are being presented on the Award website For the first time, the public was also invited to participate in choosing the winner. The results of this are being taken into account in the final vote too. The Malizia Team skipper Boris Herrmann will be paying tribute to the winner.

Online ticket prices start at € 10.00

Düsseldorf residents and their neighbours can take advantage of a special offer. They can visit boot 2020 from Monday afternoon to Thursday afternoon, starting at 14:00, for a reduced price of only € 10.00. Members of can even visit the trade fair on two different days for € 17.00. The standard online price is € 19.00. Anyone who would like to visit boot together with his or her water sports friends, can buy tickets at a price of € 17.00 too. This price applies to groups of five or more people

Travel on the public transport system free of charge

A particularly relaxed way to travel to boot is by the Rhine/Ruhr public transport system – which is free of charge too with the online ticket. It can be used to travel to and from the exhibition site in Düsseldorf on the Rheinbahn in the area covered by the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR, 2nd class, on trains in price category D for which no extra charge is made).

Published in Boot Düsseldorf
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X-Yachts will showcase six models when boot Düsseldorf opens its doors on Saturday 18 January 2020.

Debbie Weldon and Stuart Abernethy from X-Yachts GB & IRL will be in attendance for the week-long show in Hall 16, Stand 16D21.

Among the range on show will be European Yacht of the Year nominee, the new X4⁰ — alongside the new X4⁶ that had its UK premiere at the Southampton International Boat Show.

The Pure X range will also be represented by the X4³ and X4⁹, the latter of which had its world premiere at last year’s boot Düsseldorf.

And the Danish firm’s new Xperformance and Xcruising lines will be represented by the Xp 44 and Xc 45, respectively.

Find all the details of how to get there on the official boot Düsseldorf website — and save time on the day for the X-Yachts stand by pre-registering HERE.

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About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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