BOOT Düsseldorf, the largest and most important boat and watersports trade fair, was packed full of hot news, fantastic entertainment and environmental projects. Adrenaline junkies, water sports enthusiasts and fans of all types of gear and accessories had easily enough to keep them entertained.
More than 1,900 exhibitors showcased themselves throughout 17 halls. The most famous manufacturers of boats, motor and luxury yachts, clothing, electronics and accessories, charter companies, diving equipment and many other water sports were all represented.
In short, 9 days packed to the brim with amazing experiences, including almost our entire team from yachting°com. Come with us and take a look at what’s new! We'll get to see some brand new boat models, numerous attractions, and even a few mermaids.
Compared to previous years, one theme that was ubiquitous this year - environmental protection. Various solutions were presented across all stands. Solar panels are already commonplace, but the use of recycled materials in shipbuilding and in components is becoming increasingly common. Companies also boasted active participation in various ocean protection projects.
Most manufacturers introduced their own models of recreational yachts to attract those wishing to holiday in comfort. Current trends include expanding spaces, new relaxation zones, spacious saloons, sun decks, all-electric controls and luxuriously equipped galleys. But don’t worry, sportier boats and amazing racing yachts for the most demanding of sailors still shone through.
New boats and premieres at BOOT Düsseldorf 2020
Saturday evening at the fair was dedicated to awarding the prestigious European Yacht of the Year 2020, so let’s take a look at the fresh holders of the title.
Dehler 30 OD – European Yacht of the Year 2020 Award, Regatta Yacht category
The smaller offshore racing boat, the Dehler 30 OD won the title in the racing yacht category. It is designed mainly for regattas, but will no doubt be available for charter. So if you are sailing enthusiast, be sure to keep an eye out for it. The interior of the boat is superbly and purposefully designed, offering a surprising amount of space and comfort compared to the competition. In development for 2 years, it's a slim and fast boat that the company has really big plans for. A fully-optimized hull (all streamlined, including the propeller shaft) and generous sails on a carbon mast allow for maximum speed and safe navigation at wind speeds of 4 to 40 knots.
The Dehler 30 OD in action
Add to this the clean design by the world-renowned Judel/Vrolijk & Co studio and you have the perfect racing boat. Hiding 4 to 6 beds, it is suitable not only for racing, but also for “normal” sports use. It definitely grabbed our attention!
By the way, sailboats of this class will be participating in the new and much anticipated non-stop race: Aegean 600
There is an unequivocal rule for this boat: strip everything down to the bare necessities. Each detail has been optimized throughout its development so that the interaction of the crew would be as efficient as possible. But no matter what, it is a finely-tuned beauty, as confirmed by the recent “Innovation Award” in Düsseldorf.
This three-cabin yacht prioritizes comfort and the spirit of recreation above all else. Formerly the sports line, it now takes the place of the original 41 series. The bow is relatively narrow at the waterline and extends significantly towards the deck as well as being wide at the stern. As a result, there is more volume, providing an amazingly spacious saloon and generous stern cabins. An electric flusher and numerous other little details will delight those of you who love holidaying in comfort.
Design innovations also focused on high performance and greater stability - the expanded hull ensures less trim when heeling. The sail was created with an emphasis on ease of handling and above-average performance, providing 54 m² of mainsail and 47 m² of genoa.
Sun Odyssey 410 Swing keel
The main goal in developing the Sun Odyssey was to offer the safest boat possible for families. Control of the sails, including the genoa winch, is therefore centred in the cockpit to make operating the boat as simple as possible for the captain. This arrangement may not suit everyone and, to be honest, we were less than impressed. The side walls and coaming on both sides facilitate passage around the boat, but at the expense of cockpit space. The advantage is a relatively robust hull, retractable keel and relatively good accessibility, which will be appreciated not only by families but also by those with disabilities.
Oceanis 30.1, Beneteau – European Yacht of the Year 2020, Family Cruiser category
Despite its diminutive size, this yacht still offers unrivalled comfort in its category and beat the toughest of competitors. Good proportions, easy operation of sails and manoeuvrability mean it is built especially for small crews. It is also an ideal choice to own - low weight, retractable keel and collapsible mast allow easy handling and transport. Although it is only 9.5 metres tall, it provides plenty of space - perhaps thanks to the significant extension of the hull above the waterline, which ensures both agility in the water and space below deck.
Beneteau also showcased other models and larger ones, such as the Oceanis 51.1, with a saloon big enough to dance in. And as we have already mentioned, the emphasis was firmly placed on the concept of holidaying on a yacht in comfort and with plenty of space, as seen throughout the exhibition.
Dufour 530 (Ultimate merger)
What happens when the legendary Dufour Performance is combined with the Grand Large? A comfortable sailboat that still manages to retain a sporty spirit. Innovations include a proper aft deck for relaxation and a spacious cockpit. It is produced in three versions, “Easy”, “Ocean” and “Performance” with a lead keel and a racing look.
A new model and upgrade to the classic "45". The cockpit is equipped with a folding table which is not quite as practical as it looks. The kitchen is shifted forwards, increasing the navigational space for the captain (located opposite the rear cabins) and for the seating area in the saloon, which can also be rearranged. The relaxed party atmosphere of this Elan is complemented by the grill, which comes as standard.
It comes in two versions - the customer can choose a sportier look with a closed back or a holiday version with a large bathing platform.
Large and comfortable sailboat, but in a sportier design that is easy to operate even with a smaller crew. Beautiful workmanship on the deck and technical details reveal its Nordic origins and is one to really capture the heart.
Lagoon 46 - Freedom and independence
Modern luxury catamaran with six cabins, a huge amount of space and everything a sailor-holidaymaker could possibly need. That basically says it all.
In the new Lagoon 46, there is no shortage of places to lie
In the luxury catamaran class, Bali also showcased its luxury version. In addition to the giant cockpit, the upper deck offers plenty of relaxation space. We were most interested in the version that came with a retractable screen between the saloon and the stern.
The screen between the saloon and the deck can be folded down in bad weather
New innovations and improved models from all the leading manufacturers were showcased, including Beneteau's First Yacht 53, the Grand Soleil 42 LC or the racing SunFast 3300 Jeanneau or the More, that is winning the Jabuka. We took a look at some other interesting premieres - the Django 8s developed for offshore races like the Fastnet Race, ArMen Race or Transquadra, the Dragonfly 40 trimaran, the Saffier SE 27 with an electric motor and much much more.
Attention at the fair was also drawn by aluminium luxury and expedition vessels as well as some all-wood retro sailboats. A large part of the space was dedicated to small racing yachts, small yachts and ones especially for the disabled.
Much of the space at the fair was dedicated to small racing yachts and yachts for the disabled
Protecting the environment was the central theme of the fair
One of the most interesting boats at the fair was the eco-ship FLAX 27 from green-boats
composed of around 80% renewable or recyclable sources.
The FLAX 27 is made from renewable and recyclable sources
So what materials are used? Flax fibres, which replace glass fibres, are tear-resistant and fully comparable in stress and pressure resistance. The core of the sandwich construction is made of Portuguese and Spanish cork, with the cork being harvested without damaging the trees. The cork is flexible, lightweight and completely water repellent. Another component is ecological epoxy resins based on linseed oil, which fully replace the oil component.
The well-known German actor and filmmaker Hannes Jaenicke also spoke at Greenboats. He is a great advocate of shark protection sharks and an important face of the Shark project, which amongst other things, actively fights against the brutal hunting of sharks for fins for the Asian market.
Actor, filmmaker and shark protector Hannes Jaenicke was the face of Greenboats
SGreenpeace and Sea Shepherd, the best-known environmental organizations, as well as a number of local projects and initiatives, highlighted the most pressing issues at the fair. It is not just about plastic pollution, "ghost nets" and other consequences of fishing, chemical pollution, and ocean warming all cause major problems for many different reasons.
The Sea Shepherd booth has traditionally attracted a lot of interest
It is local assistance and support for regional projects that are now proving to be the best way ahead. There were a number of workshops prepared for the younger of the sea lovers who even got to hear the sounds of a whale.
Paddleboards, surfboards, kayaks, jet skis and remote-controlled model boats, this is just a glimpse at what was on offer to entertain those water lovers who wanted even more after a long day at the fair. In several swimming pools there were also workshops in freediving, scuba diving, surfing and demonstrations by experienced divers.
The hit of last year, however, was apparently mermaiding (diving with a mermaid’s tail) and the sale of all related accessories.
The hit of last year was apparently swimming courses in mermaiding
The youngest generation of sailors got to enjoy themselves on the Optimist class of yachts in the pool with some bravely facing the fan-generated winds with the skills of old sea dogs. It’s not only those who got a quick license in Croatia that were envious!
The youngest generation of yachtsmen had fun on the Optimist class yachts
Gear and accessories
Several areas were dedicated to trying out radios, navigation equipment, and highly-sophisticated control panels that display almost everything you could think of. Powerful propellers and engines were also in action.
Manufacturers also showcased their products interactively. At the Ultramarine booth, for example, everyone at the practice mooring could experience how the most common models of anchors behave in the sand, how they hold and for how long. We’d love to have a similar training ground at our courses.
Virtual reality is a matter of course nowadays, so we had to try our hand at the VR training simulator. There were several marinas and sailing-skill levels to choose from. Despite not being able to actually feel the waves and wind, the illusion was easily realistic enough!
Anchor training simulator
So ahoy° til next year!
Do you want to try out a brand new boat this year on your vacation? They’re already anchored in some marinas, all shiny and new. Here's our selection!