This week in the U.S. and Europe is the start of the fall boat show season. In the U.S., the Newport International Boat Show kicks off today, Thursday, and offers sailors, cruisers, yacht owners and all boaters a full panoply of the marine experience. Those who enjoy the Newport show come every year, in part, to enjoy soaking up the sailing and boating vibe of America’s sailing capital.
I am in Cannes, France, for the big boat show that opened on Tuesday in a torrential rain storm. Wet feet and all, there were still hundreds of intrepid souls braving the docks to see boats and seeking refuge in the huge inside display areas. Also this week, the huge Southampton show opened in England. In the next months, big boat shows will get underway in Annapolis, MD, (power and sail) in the first two weeks of October and in both Monaco and Genoa, Italy in the last two weeks of September.
On the new boat scene, in monohulls, Beneteau is launching their new First 53, Catalina has a new 52 coming out, Tartan has a new 39 footer, Island Packet has a new motorsailer in the works, Hylas has two all new designs, Outbound is launching the 565 and the other big builders like Hanse, Dufour, Dehler and Oyster all have interesting new designs either launching or in the works.
In multihulls, Beneteau is launching their new brand Excess Catamarans with the 12 and 15. Fountaine Pajot has the all new Elba 45. NEEL trimarans is introducing their new 47 that doesn’t look like anything else in the show. Gunboat has their new 68 and HH will be showing their new 66, plus their new Ocean Class of cruising cats.
The vibe around the Cannes show is that there is a lot of new energy in the boat building scene. Sure, a lot of it is focused on larger, more expensive, cruising boats but as you wander the docks in Newport, Cannes, Annapolis or Genoa, you will certainly see many boats in the 30-to-40 foot range that are more accessible to most of us. And, just as importantly, hanging out for a day or two with your friends at a big boat show, soaking up the boating scene, dreaming of boats and sailing plans ahead, all of it is part of the magic of living the sailing, cruising and boat-owning lifestyle. See you around the shows.