Dusseldorf puts the spirit, size and show back into boatshow

We have harked on about Dusseldorf being THE show to attend for years, especially for those interested in the latest yachts. And the 2014 event is further cementing ‘Boot’ as the king of International indoor boatshows. On entering the exhibition it becomes immediately evident that you are attending a real ‘show’. Situated alongside the River Rhine, the 17 Messe halls (213,000m2) may contain everything from windsurfers to superyachts plus all the associated equipment, but it’s the hundreds of new boats that draw the crowds. Two and a half halls alone are dedicated to yachts, from a foiling cat to the largest monohull to ever grace the main sailing yacht hall (Hall 16).

Towering over the assembled crafts, this is the sparkly new blue Oyster 825, the first of a new line that replaces the 82 (of which 17 were built). But with yachts lying on a bed of broken blue glass to replicate the sea, sportsboats canted at acute angles, and clever lighting accentuating gleaming topsides, it is difficult not to be drawn onto most stands, as the various yards’ newest models are presented with the utmost glitz and glamour.
There was little trace of the recent economic downturn during the first few days of the show. In two days I boarded a dozen new launches and discussed at least the same number again of new projects due for launch in the year ahead. The Moody 54DS seemed to draw the most crowds at the show. There was reportedly a queue of up to 50 people on the first weekend, with up to 20 inside the cavernous new Dixon design at once. This is a clever yacht that bridges the gap between mono and multihull.


(The new Moody 54DS drew the crowds at Dusseldorf Boatshow)

As I have recently stressed, there is a real focus by production yards on big sailing boats and the push to nail the 55ft-65ft market. Croatian-based Salona Yachts launched their new Ker-designed 60 footer, while the debut of the sexy new Italian Solaris One 58 will follow this spring. X-Yachts unveiled the details of their new X6 project – a striking 63-footer that sits between their Xp and Xc lines but with a contemporary look. She will hit the water early 2015.
With larger yachts becoming easier to handle, the mass production yards are obviously keen to get in on this 60ft plus action and the potential for increased profit margins. Philippe Briand and Andrew Winch have combined their design talents to produce the Jeanneau 64, which could be the real eye-opener of 2014 when she launches this autumn. But Hanse have long enjoyed their reign in this ‘size for less’ market. In the last year alone, they have produced over 100 of their 575! And the Hanse 630e is the probably the most popular 60ft+ yacht ever with over 60 units launched in seven years. At Dusseldorf the German company announced that a Hanse 675 will launch next summer, a replacement for the 630e with a mind-boggling 30% increased volume.

The Dusseldorf Boatshow runs until Sunday 26 January. More information from the official Boot website