As the summer season gets into full swing, with boaters and sailors enjoying their vessels on sun-dappled seas, the boating industry begins to look ahead to the autumn boat show season. Boat shows are one of the most important networking events for the entire yachting industry, where new developments are unveiled, new models launched and new concepts revealed. From paddleboards to superyachts, boat shows are a one-stop-shop of all things boating and a fantastic place to get up to speed, meet fellow enthusiasts, discover new technologies and products and enjoy the buzz that comes along with them. While the industry as a whole has surged in the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic meant many of these large events weren’t able to happen. This year, it’s full steam ahead as the industry gathers to mingle once again.
There are boat shows the world over, from Australia to North America, the Middle East to the Mediterranean and Europe. The off-season marks the start of the season, when industry professionals can gather after a successful season to share their expertise and show off their new products. With a packed calendar of events scattered across the globe, it’s hard to know which ones to choose. Local or regional shows make for a great day out for the whole family, while some of the more prestigious international events will require forward planning as accommodation can get booked up well in advance and tickets harder to come by. Here we take a look at some of our favourite autumn boat shows.
Best for Families: Southampton Boat Show, UK
Dates: 16-25 September 2022
The Southampton Boat Show is a true family-friendly event, with children entering for free with paying adults. The 53rd edition of the event promises to be bigger and better than ever, with a focus on the boating lifestyle and the joys it can bring families. Spend the day wandering the different zones, from the watersports zone to the dinghy zone and the classic and day boat zone, or get out on the water for some family fun. There are free try-a-boat opportunities, where you can zip across the sea on a high-speed RIB or float across the Solent under sail, or watersports such as paddleboarding and dinghy sailing to try out.
Best for Superyachts: Monaco Yacht Show
Dates: 28 September – 01 October 2022
The glitziest of all the word’s boat shows, the Monaco Yacht Show is renowned for its huge array of the latest and largest superyachts. Splash out for tickets and you’ll be rewarded with four days of luxury, glamour and jaw-dropping products, with everything from personal submersibles to amphibious tenders, quays lined with newly launched superyachts and sea trials and demonstrations. The Monaco Yacht Show is the premier event for the superyacht industry, with awards ceremonies, networking events and brokers showing off the market’s hottest new and used superyachts for sale.
Best for Watersports and Yacht Toys: Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Florida, USA
Dates: 26-30 October 2022
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) is one of the largest shows in North America, with hundreds of in-water boats on display. Alongside the Superyacht Village and Culinary Experience (complete with the annual Chef’s Competition) FLIBS s renowned for its displays of the very latest watersports gear and yacht toys. The 40,000 gallon pool is at the heart of the Aquazone, where innovative products are on display throughout the entire show. Watch demonstrations of everything from HydroFlyer Electric Foil Boards to Seabob Jet Powered Water Sleds and Sipa Electric Paddle Boards and be amazed at what is on offer for watersports enthusiasts.
Best for Sailboats: Cannes Yachting Festival
Dates: 6-11 September 2022
Spread across Vieux Port and Port Canto, this huge show is the epitome of the French Riviera boating lifestyle. The 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival saw 620 boats on display from three to 50 metres in length, and while the majority are in the motoryacht category, Cannes is well-known for its big selection of exquisite sailing yachts. In the newly designed Sailing Area, hundreds of monohull and multihull yachts ranging from 10 to 35 metres in length are on display, giving sailing enthusiasts a delightful space in which to admire the latest models, meet representatives of the top sailing-related businesses, discover new products and hear the wind flapping through the masts and flags.
Best for Small Powerboats and Inflatables: Newport International Boat Show, Rhode Island
Dates: 15-18 September 2022
Head down to historic Newport in Rhode Island for one of North America’s largest international boat shows. Spread over a whopping 13 acres the Newport International Boat Show (NIBS) are a spectacular display of newly launched boats across all categories. While the sailboats, superyachts and multihulls are impressive, it’s the huge offering of small powerboats and inflatables which is where NIBS really excels. See sports boats, RIBS, centre consoles, fishing boats, skiffs and Jon boats making their North American and global debuts, and discover hundreds of marine products, services and accessories. It makes for a fun family day out, with demonstrations and lots of sea trials on offer, and is a great place to decide which is the right kind of boat for you.
Best for Marine Lifestyle: Sydney International Boat Show, Australia
Dates: 28 July to 01 August 2022
The Sydney International Boat Show is the biggest boating bonanza in the Pacific region. Spread across five days and held in the picturesque Darling Harbour it is a celebration of the boating lifestyle for all to enjoy. Bring the family and make a day of it as you discover everything from paddleboards to superyachts (with a lot in between) as well as all the products and marine tech that go along with them. If you love the boating lifestyle and enjoy finding out about the latest developments, experiencing new products for yourself and want to share a day of boating entertainment with likeminded folk, then this is the show for you.
Best for Wooden Boat Enthusiasts: Wooden Boat Festival, Port Townsend, WA, USA
Dates: 9-11 September 2022
The largest wooden boat festival in North America is held in Port Townsend, WA, where a joyous celebration of these classic yachts takes place over three days. With a festival-like vibe it is the perfect family day out, and there are lots of opportunities to get out on the water, from setting sail on beautiful wooden schooners to rowing a historic replica longboat. Wooden boat enthusiasts will meet like-minded experts, exchange stories, discover new techniques and products and wander the docks to admire some of the most impressive wooden boats in North America.
To keep up to date with all the latest boating news and events check out Rightboat.com’s weekly blog, where we discuss everything from superyachts to Jon boats, as well as industry news, how-to guides and offer plenty of advice to help you on your boat buying and owning journey.
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