Boot, the international pleasure marine show, turned 50 this year and it celebrated the event in great style in Dusseldorf, Germany.  Almost 2000 exhibitors are filling 16 halls, with more than 1500 boats on stage.  Boot has never been so big, and the organizers expect to set records for participation.

All this enthusiasm is a direct consequence of the good state of the yachting industry and the positive results of 2018.  Most of the boat builders had strong results, increasing revenues and deliveries. 

The trend is set to continue in 2019, with expectations to match or exceed 2018 results.  In fact, producers already are taking orders for 2020, as their 2019 slots are filled.  Average boat size is increasing, 40 to 60 feet boats are thriving, making the fortune of the major European Brands like Beneteau group, and Ferretti. 

Catamarans are continuing to shine and now are starting to pop in the motorboat segment.  However, the tide is starting to change.  With rising concerns around the global economy, 2020 might turn out to be a less bright for the industry. 

Boat Builders Overview
With 1500 boats on display, the big fishes in the European industry and many of the more niche producers were presenting products and signing deals at the show.    

Greenline is a Slovenian producer of motorboat, which makes it already special.  But what is even more peculiar about the company is the fact that 70% of their boats have hybrids powertrain, 100% if we consider boats sold to the US.  In the hybrid configuration, Greenline uses Volvo Penta D3 engines, coupled with lithium-ion batteries and solar panels on the boat roof.

At Boot, the company went a step further and introduced the updated version of a small boat, the Neo Electric boat.  It is powered by twin 80 hp Torqeedo Deep Blue electric outboards and dual 30,5 kWh (totalling 61 kWh) high performance lithium batteries allowing maximum range of 40 NMat 6 kts economic speed. At full throttle NEO eDrive will reach a top speed of 16 kts with the range of 20 NM.


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Greenline Neo CoupeGreenline Neo Coupe

Greenline expects to build around 10 electric Neo boats in 2019, while demand for their hybrids models keep expanding, due to increased environmental awareness by customers.

Torqeedo, the company powering Greenline's Neo electric, is at the forefront of this new technology; it's the market leader in electric drives.  To strengthen their position and meet growing demand in the US and Asia, they have displayed the new Deep Blue 100kW motors. 

Together with the new motors, the company introduced their new 40kW battery, developed in collaboration with BMW.  

The new products open more possibilities for Torqeedo, but also for boat manufacturers.  Greenline has already one boat in production with the new powertrain, and other companies are also producing new models with these systems. 

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Torqeedo deep Blue 100i 900-2400Torqeedo Blue 100i 900-2400

X-Yachts celebrated its 40th anniversary with full wind in their sails.  2018 was a record year with 100 sailboats produced, and expectation for 2019 is to increase their record performance by 10%.  To help on that they have introduced during the show the new Xc45 40th anniversary edition.  It is powered by Volvo Penta or Yanmar engines with 5kW output.

The Ferretti group displayed many new boats at the Show, as you would expect from one of the most important producers of Motor yachts and the leader in the superyachts class, according to our database MarineLink™.  The Italian group produced more than 100 yachts in 2018, a very positive result. 

The company looks at 2019 with high hopes.  One of the reasons is the renewed luxury Riva range, including the brand new flybridge Riva 90’ Argo. 

But the star of the stand was the new Pershing 8X.   This all new sport-fly is made with a carbon fiber hull, making it very light, agile and durable.  The power is delivered by Twin MTU 16V2000 M96 engines capable of 2435 HP each.  Auxiliaries are served by Cummins Onan generators.    

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Pershing 8XPershing 8X

Another important reason for Ferretti optimistic mood for 2019, is the continuous trends towards larger boats, territory where Ferretti is even stronger. 

Many boat builders told us that more and more clients are asking for larger, and more comfortable yachts. 

Sirena Marine, a prominent Turkish manufacturer, brought to the show one of their largest boats, near super-yacht territory the Sirena 64.  It has been redesigned, with a focus on refining a very good starting base. 

In fact, the company has been very successful in a country like Italy, the reign of luxury yachts.  The company is preparing for the Cannes boat show in September with a world premiere, the Sirena 88, answering the growing demand from customers. 

While in 2018 the company produced 20 motor yachts, they still offer Sailboats, although the focus for 2019 will be on the new superyacht. 

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Sirena Marine Sirena 64Sirena Marine Sirena 64

VanDutch also confirmed the trend towards larger boats, and the company is expanding its range from 30 feet to 55 and above.  Not only that, but in order to address demand in the US and avoid issues with trade wars, the Dutch company is investing in shipyards in North America.

Bluegame, is coming back to the scenes after some difficulties in the past.  The Italian luxury sport Utility Yacht is now part of the San Lorenzo group and will be ramping up production during 2019, aiming to produce between 10 and 20 boats. 

Zee Marine has already a strong order book for 2019.  The company specializes in motorboat with high customization possibilities.  While the boats are built in Lebanon, design and engineering is done in Germany, by very passionate people. 

The company is working on a new project for Cannes that will give them a more spacious sport yacht.  Vetus and Yanmar are the reference engines for their boats. 

Fairline was at the Boot in full force, thanks to good sales results in 2018.  The Targa 43 OPEN was the company’s flagship at the show.  It was launched in Cannes in 2018 and thus it is the novelty for this season. 

However, the British manufacturer launched (only virtually) the Targa 63 GTO and squadron 64 (yes, bigger) and introduced the F/Line 33 for 2020.  The company has been consistently expanding their business, 50 boats were built in 2018 and a little more than that will be built in 2019.  Results could even be better, if only there was no Brexit hanging on the head of UK clients.

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Fairline Squadron 64 rendering for Cannes 2019Fairline Squadron 64 rendering for Cannes 2019

And to cast a few more clouds on the future, TANKOA, the Italian mega yacht manufacturer explained how the combination of different factors all together are posing serious threats for the economy of boat builders in 2020 and 2021.

Conclusions. Boot 2019, with is record display reflected how well the industry has done in the last two years.  It also offer an opportunity to understand that this trend will continue in 2019, with many shipyards working hard to deliver boats before the start of the season, and beyond that too. 

But at the same time this was an opportunity to discuss how yacht owners and potential clients are becoming nervous about political situations that are clouding the industry. 

The trade wars between the US and China (and more), the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit, and sanctions on critical markets such as Russia, are popping up on boat builders radars. 

When you combine that to a slowing global economy that is reaching the pinnacle of the current economical cycle, it produces an uncertain environment where many are waiting to see what happens, postponing orders, and thus slowing down the industry. 

Now that Boot has concluded, the PSR team is engaged in reflecting all the new trends we found at the show in our Boat Builder database MarineLink™ to offer the opportunity to understand the evolution of the industry in coming years.  PSR