Exclusive look inside the world’s biggest boat show

The air is crisp and clear, the sky perpetually gray. Traffic ebbs and flows as commuters hustle on their way to and from work. Street-side shops dish out plates of hot currywurst and brats, pretzels and schnitzel. This comfort food takes the edge off the sub-30-degree temperature. 

While most of the city combats the cold and trudges to work, boaters and industry insiders the world over have a certain pep in their step as they make their way to the Düsseldorf fair ground where 1,900 exhibitors from more than 60 countries fill 16 convention halls to capacity. 

This year is the 50th annual Düsseldorf boat show and record crowds are expected. Part of the success of this show is first and foremost its diversity. From super yachts and sailboats to motoryachts and aluminum tenders, if you’re looking to find your next boat from a global builder, you’ll find it here. And it’s not just boats; if your pockets aren’t as deep, you’ll find everything from bilge cleaner to fishing tackle and foul weather gear. 

I make the annual pilgrimage to get a sneak peek and report back on the new models bound for our shores. I’ll let you in on a secret though, what I like best about this show, besides the beer and pretzel vendors, is that if you look carefully you can spot a new trend in design or technology. 

Electric and hybrid propulsion was all the buzz. Greenline has been riding this wave for a while now, and is introducing solar power for systems aboard its new NEO line of outboard powered boats. Sunseeker and MTU announced a partnership for a hybrid-powered boat to launch next year. Then there were other smaller outfits building all-electric boats similar to what we saw in the Hinckley Dasher. 

Greenline NEO. Now THIS is a cool feature we haven't seen before. An Opacmare hi-lo platform allows for easy swimming behind an outboard-powered Greenline Neo. As an added bonus, lowering the platform into the water when on the hook gives the boat extra stability.

Greenline NEO. Now THIS is a cool feature we haven't seen before. An Opacmare hi-lo platform allows for easy swimming behind an outboard-powered Greenline Neo. As an added bonus, lowering the platform into the water when on the hook gives the boat extra stability.

Ferretti Yachts kicked the show off by announcing that they are acquiring and partnering with Wally Yachts and teased showgoers with renderings of the new 48 Wallytender. It looks to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 

48 Wallytender

48 Wallytender

Then there were countless new boats that you’ll be finding in upcoming issues of Power & Motoryacht like the Absolute 62 Fly, Brabus 500 Shadow, the Fountaine Pajot 40, the Sealine c390, MCY 70, Pershing 8X, Princess 45 Fly and many, many others. 

When I think of the last three Düsseldorf shows I’ve been lucky enough to attend, I’m amazed at how much innovation I’ve seen and how much yachts today are changing. Then I think about how much they’ve changed in the 50 short years the show has been in existence. The amount of change is incredible. But one thing that remains constant is the passion the people who come here have for boating and the water. It’s a passion that will keep people coming back for at least another 50 years. That and the pretzels and beer.

 Videos from boot Düsseldorf 2019

What's behind curtain number one at boot Düsseldorf!? It's the limited edition Brabus 500 Shadow. Powered by twin 250-hp Mercury racing outboards, this highly custom center console was born to perform. Look for her to come stateside this summer.

At a show filled with new boats from around the world, it’s Hull No. 1 from Princess Yachts that stole our heart. What a difference 50 years can make!

Editor-in-Chief Dan Harding reflects on the 50 year legacy of the Dusseldorf boat show and offers insight into this year’s emerging trends.

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