04 June 2024

Venice Boat Show, the show of wonders

The Venice Boat Show closes its fifth edition with over 30 thousand visitors. The Mayor: "Venice is confirmed as a reference point for the international boating industry. We are already at work for the sixth edition, from 29 May to 2 June 2025"

With more than 30 thousand visitors, the fifth edition of the Venice Boat Show closes its doors. For five days it brought to the Arsenale, cradle of the Serenissima's navy, the excellence of Italian boating, the very same Made in Italy that makes us the first industry in the world for the construction of large boats, and also the major international shipyards that chose Venice in search of new markets.

The Venice Boat Show, whose numbers are growing quantitatively and qualitatively, confirms itself as one of the most eagerly awaited events in the sector. Its place in the calendar makes it unique for the possibility of presenting important novelties far from the autumn events. On display, more than 300 boats among the most innovative and technological ones, 240 of which were in the water (put in a row, they would form a long line of 2,800 metres), docked along the Darsena Grande and the dedicated piers (for a total length of 1,100 metres). The numbers are growing: 270 companies, 30 new shipyards, and 15 world premières. The event - organised by Vela Spa on behalf of the City of Venice, in cooperation with the Italian Navy, which manages the stretch of water of the Arsenale - has the support of the Italian Government and the Veneto Region, which recognised it as an international event.

"The first edition of the Venice Boat Show was a challenge and a test for the Arsenale, which is the natural location for this type of event. We are now at the fifth edition, and for sailing enthusiasts the Boat Show has become a reference point, a flagship of Made in Italy but also a showcase for the novelties of the great international shipyards," affirms the Mayor of Venice. "We have invested many resources in the recovery of the Arsenale complex and bet on its use that is compatible with its history and with what it has meant over the centuries. The constant growth in exhibitors and visitors, whom I thank, is proof that we were right and that this place can only be the home of naval craftsmanship. We now have primacy in the debate on sustainable shipping".

Venice confirms itself as a city of passion, elegance and art with the Biennale exhibitions just a few metres away. Many yachtsmen arrived with their boats moored in the marinas, and many others found their dream boat.

The Mayor continues: "The Boat Show in recent years has been an engine propelling Venice to be a place where boating is expressed even before and after the Boat Show itself with great events. It is a place of excellence and this is one of the goals we had: the city as a reference point for yachts and mega-yachts. The megayachts that we can host are and will be a way to raise the level of the visit to our city. Furthermore, with regard to this kind of boats, there is a lot of work and a high level of craftsmanship that must not be lost, and if we can keep them in the winter period too, it will be another success. My thanks go to all the people who worked for the success of this edition, to all the exhibitors who chose to come to Venice, to the public, and to the people of the sea who responded to our call. We look forward to seeing you all at the next edition, which will be held from 29 May to 2 June 2025".

Among the entrepreneurs visiting the Show was Sandro Veronesi, CEO of the Oniverse group (formerly Calzedonia), which owns Cantiere del Pardo, a manufacturer of sailing and motor boats. "Venice is an iconic place, known all over the world," he points out, "It has always been the gateway to the Orient, and this historical vocation can be recovered, also because the Orient today represents an increasingly interesting and wealthy tourism".

The Azimut Benetti group chose precisely the setting of the Venetian Tese for its world premiere of the Seadeck 6. Marco Valle, the group's CEO, declares that "The Venice Boat Show, in order to distinguish itself from others, relies heavily on sustainability. That is why we chose to exhibit the Seadeck 6 here, which sums up everything that the boating and yachting world can express in terms of sustainability, both in terms of use and consumption, and of components installed on board".
The list of world premieres is long: among the big boats, the Wider 92 arrived from the central Adriatic as did the Silent Yacht 62, a full electric catamaran with a large area dedicated to solar panels. From Poole in England came the Sunseeker 182, a boat of tradition. "I would like to compliment those who conceived and realised this boat show" states Andrea Frabetti, CEO of Sunseeker, "Like so many of you, I also visit all the boat shows. For this reason, I believe that the customer experience in Venice is fundamental. In the automotive industry, many trade fairs ended because they were just product displays. The fact that the beauty of the city surrounds our boats has the potential of making this Show the most important in the world".

The Ferretti Group presented the Navetta 38 produced by Custom Line, Infinyto 90, and Pershing GTX80. CEO Alberto Galassi claims that "A Show like the Venice one attracts not only Italians, but also Croatians, Slovenes, Austrians, Czechs, and many others, ideally all those who have a boat on the Adriatic. We chose to present the Navetta 38, which is the flagship of the new Custom Line fleet, in Venice precisely because it is a place that attracts and pleases".

Completing the catwalk of the great Italian shipyards was Sanlorenzo, which exhibited the SD92 and the Blugame under the iconic hands of artist Lorenzo Quinn. "I believe that taking part in a boat show like the Venice one is very interesting" reveals President and CEO Massimo Perotti, "first of all, because it is in spring, which is the beginning of the boats' use: if the shipyards have some boats still to sell, here they have a wonderful opportunity to meet clients. Moreover, it is a boat show on the Adriatic side, so it overlooks a very important market, which is Eastern Europe".

Not only big yachts in Venice: for the event, an entire pier was set up with about fifty electric boats with sustainable propulsion like hydrogen, and another was dedicated to sailing boats, among which the flagship Jeanneau Yachts 65.

"The Boat Show sees almost 1,500 people working every day, including Vela Spa staff for the general organisation and all the services ranging from mooring management to set-up, transport, security, cleaning, catering, as well as hostesses and stewards" underlines Fabrizio D'Oria, Operations Director of Vela Spa and the Venice Boat Show "one of our main goals has been sustainability, expressed both in the presentation of new boats with full electric, hybrid, and the first hydrogen engines, and in the numerous conferences and events that have also focused on the future of the infrastructure itself. We would like to thank the exhibitors, partners, and the ICE Agency, whose presence confirms the international vocation of the city. The Boat Show is one of the fixed appointments in the city's calendar of events and, above all, in the international boating calendar worldwide".

"The fifth edition of the Venice Boat Show bears witness to the constant qualitative and quantitative growth of the exhibition offer" adds Alberto Bozzo, Sales Director of the Venice Boat Show "Over the past few days, we have maintained an ongoing dialogue with the exhibitors present and with those who, despite not being able to attend this year, wanted to visit us to observe the event. We intend to collaborate with all of them in order to realise an even richer and more interesting 2025 edition, further expanding and improving the exhibition areas".

Having now become one of the key events of the Venetian spring, the Boat Show has taken on an increasingly international dimension over time, thanks to the uniqueness of its setting in the Arsenale, but above all by its position in the Mediterranean panorama, being the only boat show in the sector that looks towards the East. It has thus become a reference point for sailing enthusiasts, renewing the deep bond between Venice and the sea, in the city that has always celebrated the marriage with its waters.

A new addition of the 2024 edition was the Wood Village, a pier where the Venetian shipyards that still make boats according to the ancient techniques and tools of traditional woodworking craftsmanship were concentrated. A total of some twenty boats, of various sizes, made by the shipyards Giovanni Da Ponte, Falegnameria Artigiana Pesce, Andrea Zane, Serenella, Crosera, Associazione culturale barche in legno Dalla Pietà, and Venmar.

Once again at this edition, the exhibition played a key role in promoting a culture of sustainability to respond to the growing interest in the environment and the adoption of green solutions. A common thread linked the five days of the Venetian fair: the focus on sustainability in terms of both the use of materials and propulsion systems, including electric, hybrid and hydrogen. Among the fifty or so appointments, of particular note was the one that saw the major Italian shipyards - Ferretti Group, Azimut Benetti, Sanlorenzo, and Cantieri del Pardo - take stock of the future of pleasure boating in the third millennium as a driver of employment and the image of Made in Italy. Assonautica discussed ecological, energy, and digital transition, while Assomarinas organised the customary event devoted to marinas, safety, and the environment. Fondazione Venezia Capitale della Sostenibilità promoted an appointment to discuss investments in infrastructure and sustainable revitalisation plans for Venice in the Mose era, and opened the Waterproof Venice exhibition in Tesa 66 at the Arsenale. Blue economy, hydrogen and circular design processes to encourage sustainability, lower emissions and waste prevention were the focus of presentations and round tables.

Sustainability is also in the approach to the organisation of the event itself, which has embarked on a path of sustainable event management system certification with reference to the ISO 20121:2012 standard, through the involvement of various stakeholders in the definition of innovative solutions, obtaining the prestigious award at each edition.

Within Tesa 99, Fondazione Musei Civici showed the results of the International Competition for the selection of Studies and Projects of Boats - Sustainable Navigation. This year's challenge was entirely university-based and featured students from the University Campus La Spezia-Promostudi, University of Trieste, and Milan Polytechnic. For each university, the five most deserving and innovative projects with high energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact were selected.

In addition to the presence of boating excellence, the Boat Show, as in previous editions, was also the venue for workshops and educational activities for children and families, water demonstrations of Venetian rowing, while the Bacino di Carenaggio Medio was the venue for water sports with a special focus on SUP, surfing, and electric foils, all rechargeable thanks to floating photovoltaic panels installed in the basin.

Many sporting occasions, enclosed in the Show's container, saw their natural declination here. Among these, Gara di Sci Voga Trofeo Bortoli Assicurazioni aboard the caorline in the Rio delle Galeazze, the Regata delle Nazioni – Cdv Class – Trofeo Salone Nautico, the presentation of the 11th edition of the Venice Hospitality Challenge - Gran Premio della Città di Venezia, the Slalom and E-Ballerina races that ended with the silent E-Regatta parade along the Grand Canal and St. Mark's Basin.