The Barcelona International Boat Show adapts to the crisis

The Barcelona International Boat Show begun last weekend and will run until the 14th of November. This year’s exhibit features ecological and sustainable boats.

CNA / Josep Molina

November 9, 2010 10:41 PM

Barcelona (ACN).-  The Barcelona International Boat Show opened last weekend. This year’s edition features ecological, second-hand and discounted boats. The economic crisis has hit the sector hard. As boat importer Antoni Caparrós says, “the anchor is dragging at the bottom and only needs to be picked up”. The Boat Show will showcase products ranging from 400 euros to the most expensive model, the Yosh II. A second-hand Yosh II will be on the market for 6.8 million euros. Several 5 to 6 metre boats may be purchased for around 15,000 euros. The organisation says that now is the time to buy.

The Barcelona International Boat Show is taking place on Avenue Gran Via in L’Hospitalet del Llobregat and at Barcelona’s old harbour. The exhibit runs until the 14th of November.

Boat lovers on a budget can purchase inflatable boats starting at 500 euros and inflatable boats with engines up to 8 meters long for 15,000 to 60,000 euros. Fishers can find fishing boats from 18,000 to 400,000 euros. The largest boats, cruising vessels from 9 to 16 metres in length, go from 200,000 to 300,000 euros. Sailboats will be up for sale starting at 3,000 euros and reaching 500,000 euros.

The Boat Show is focusing on innovation and sustainability this year. Innovative products from companies such as the British EzyBoat will be up for sale for a little over 6,000 euros. The director of the British company, Sascha Geist, said that they were looking for a solution for consumers who are interested in buying a boat but do not have the budget to buy one and keep it in a dock. EzyBoat has released a folding boat that can be parked anywhere. 

The Boat Show consists of 5 thematic zones. In the Innovation Zone, visitors can find biodegradable boats, among others. The Fun Beach Zone centres on nautical sports. In the Traditional Sailing Zone, children’s beginner sailing classes will be held in a 15 x 15 metre pool. The Fishing Zone is dedicated to promoting responsible fishing. Visitors will be able to practice fishing in a simulated high sea environment. The last zone is the Espai del Mar, which will be used for discussions and debates throughout the exhibit.

Innovations being made in the automobile sector are also being applied to the nautical sector. This is the case for electric motors. Carlos Martínez, marketing director of Motores Elèctricos, affirmed that the technology is not one of the future but rather part of the present. His company is presenting an electric motor for small boats that can be recharged.

Martínez also said that they are developing a motor for larger boats, such as sailboats that can generate and store energy in batteries through a rotational system. It is about creating an autonomous boat that does not need gasoline, says Martínez. He also mentioned that the electric motor would be around 3% more expensive than the conventional motor.

The crisis has affected the sector

Antoni Caparrós told CNA that the sector is suffering because of the decrease in consumption. Despite this, he says that “it cannot continue to fall”. Using a nautical comparison, he said, “the anchor is dragging at the bottom and only needs to be picked up”.

For Caparrós, in addition to the decrease in consumption, credit restrictions from financial entities are also affecting the sector. With the tap closed, manufacturers and importers cannot acquire the necessary models, says Caparrós.