Barcelona International Boat Show opens from 15 to 19 October, anticipated to be its most successful yet

Barcelona will be hosting the International Boat Show 2014, between the 15th and the 19th of October. The 54th Edition of the Show is expected to be the most successful yet, and organizers are confident it will show that the marine industry has left the crisis behind for the first time in 7 years. The Port of Barcelona is the perfect location for such an event, and is a significant contributor to the Catalan economy. An exhibition of both commercial and recreational marine vessels, organizers expect high levels of participation and sales. One of the highlights of the exhibition will be Lehr and Nautigas, maker of the innovative engine that runs on propane, leading the way in environmentally-friendly vessels. Among the show’s 19 facilities there will also be organic fuels on display, with explanations of both their environmental and financial benefits.  

A surf simulator, set in the Port of Barcelona for the International Boat Show (by J. Molina)
A surf simulator, set in the Port of Barcelona for the International Boat Show (by J. Molina) / ACN


October 15, 2014 09:13 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- Between the 15th and 19th of October, Barcelona will be home to the 54th Edition of the International Boat Show, at the harbour ‘Port Vell’, the city's old port. With its Mediterranean climate, 4km of beaches and one of Europe's main ports, Barcelona is an ideal location for marine activity, attracting around 2.5 million cruise-goers per year, meriting its position as Europe’s top cruise port and fourth worldwide. Organisers expect this year's show to be its most successful to date, citing that there has already been an increase of 17% in the number of registered participants. Furthermore, some boat manufacturers have seen orders increase by 70% in the last year, showing that the sector is leaving the economic crisis behind. One of the highlights of the exhibition will be the company Lehr and Nautigas, makers of the innovative and environmentally-friendly propane engine. Among the show's exhibition areas, there will also be a display of different type of fuel, including ecological options, as well as bank financing towards the purchase of vessels.

Barcelona, a great city for an international boat show

The capital of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is an enormously popular cruise destination, ranking the top port in Europe and fourth worldwide in this category. The investment it attracts makes the Port of Barcelona a crucial contributor to the Catalan economy; according to official data, tourists from the cruises spend about €3.5 million a day in the city. Furthermore, it is one of Europe's main industrial ports, being an essential gateway for continental exports and imports.

The crisis is behind us in the marine industry

This week, the International Boat Show will open in the city of Barcelona, with organizers confident in it leaving the crisis behind. According to the trade fair's Director, Jordi Freixas, for the first time in 7 years, recreational boat registrations have grown by 12.8% in Spain. He likened the crisis to a ''perfect storm'' which had ''punished the marine industry, leading to an accumulated sales drop of 70% in 7 years'', but thought the success of this year's show would be a ''turning point''. After storms, the sun comes out, and Freixas was also confident in the prospect of sunny days for the event.

His optimism was shared by the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, who applauded the efforts of the organisers and the role of the Show's President, Luís Conde, for his ''very clear commitment'' to the international event.

The 5-day trade fair will be an exhibition of both commercial and recreational vessels, as well as a display of fuels, both traditional and eco-friendly. Moreover, there will be facilities to accommodate the purchase of vessels, with financing options available.

Surge in participation and sales

According to the organisers, the number of registered participants is already 17% higher than that of last year. Trias attributed its popularity to visitors with a commercial interest in the boats on display, as well as those coming to explore the Port and enjoy the activities on offer.

As to the 70% increase in the number of orders for boats, Andrea Cragnotti, commercial Director of the French company Jeanneau Spain, a manufacturer of outboard boats, explained that increasingly the model of buying boat is like that used by auto dealers. Through collaboration with Société Generale, the financial help was being made available, with fixed interest rates of 3.95%.

Financially and environmentally friendly

One of the most anticipated events of this year's show is the participation of the companies Nautigas and Lehr. Lehr is an American manufacturer which built an engine that can run on propane instead of gasoline, and the company President, Bernardo Herzer, explained the environmental benefits, as it allows a 70% reduction in pollution to the waters.

Furthermore, the engines are not only greener, but more affordable.  According to Pablo Hurtado, the Manager of Nautigas, the Galician company which distributes the engine in Spain, a litre of diesel costs around 1.40 euros, while the equivalent of propane is just 0.70 cents.