2018 Moscow Boat Show


MOSCOW--This year, the Moscow Boat Show looks sad. It uses only one hall in Crocus Expo fair center here, down from two or three halls few years ago.

The show runs March 8-11, and show organizers say more than 20 000 visitors are expected to attend and more than 250 companies from around the world will take part, but those estimates may be high.

There is only one flybridge yacht (Polish Galeon 460) and one Italian Azimut Atlantis 43 on display. It’s all that can be considered as luxury boats. Less than a dozen boats above 10 meters in length are here. All leading boat builders, like Princess, Sunseeker, Bavaria, etc., are gone. The ones remaining are mostly small sailing and motor boats, most with outboard motors.

There are a few French (Jeanneay) and US boats shown here, but most are Polish and locally-made. Outboard motors are presented by Mercury, Yamaha and Korean Mikatsy. A Volvo Penta dealer is showing a 5.7 liter inboard engine. Perkins and Yanmar marine gen-sets also are being shown.

Fair participants say sales of big boats in Russia have virtually stopped. So, the focus is on smaller and cheaper stuff now. One of the most famous local boat builders, Velvette, has not brought its flagship Evolution 41’ here, choosing to show only smaller boats.

In conclusion, I could say that the Russian market for luxury boats continues in a deep coma. This is one factor for the downsizing of Moscow Boat Show. Another factor is the competing fair in St Petersburg (SPIBS), which started five years ago and is growing in popularity. Apparently, it’s much easier to deliver large boats to St Petersburg by sea in September, than to Moscow in March with the related complicated logistics.

Still, the fact remains that the purchase of a yacht is not a priority in Russia, and this situation is not going to improve over the next several years.  PSR