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Exhibition of outrage

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In St.Petersburg in the exhibition complex LenExpo from May 31 to June 3 the traditional St.Petersburg Yacht Show took place which nowadays bears the name Baltic Marine Festival - however the overwhelming majority of people still call it: «Petersburg Boat Show» (the question why the word «show» in combination with the word «bot» suddenly became feminine is for previous management of the event - he long persuaded journalists to write it in feminine form). The present Boat Show promised one interesting moment - the united stand of polish shipbuilders, the presence of heads of leading polish companies, the presence of many «live» yachts, the parting word of polish consul and other, as it is fashionable to say nowadays, «cookies» were expected.

In fact, all the fanfare let in a big rooster. The exhibition proved once again that the course towards degradation of the exposition, taken by its management several years ago, remains firm and unchanged. Firstly, there was practically no advertising (as usual). When you fly in for hanseboot or Dusseldorf Boatshow and come straight to the airport it unobtrusively (and sometimes even obtrusively) follows you through the whole city, in our case it was out of the question. Although the organizers fought back with the usual words «so-and-so seconds of advertising on such a channel», «so-and-so shows on city screens», the fact remains a sad fact: if there was any advertising in the city, the citizens were forgotten about its existence.

The attitude to exhibitors is no less surprising than attitude to citizens. Due to titanic efforts of the management of the show the thematic part of the exposition (i.e. boats, engines and related products such as engines, tools, navigation etc.) was occupying a little more than one third of the small hall of the fifth pavilion. Another third of the hall was occupied by a magnificent exposition of ship-modelists. Some kerchiefs and rags were sold there, and it was unclear what they were doing there. At last the next third of hall consisted of empty space, fenced off with shields and stands of mass-media (fortunately, mostly specialized).

The situation in the air was slightly better, but not by much.

Stacks of «inflatables» and RIBs, rows of motors - all this has disappeared in
recent years.

Having regularly visited St. Petersburg Boat Show in the last 10 years the itBoat reporters were simply shocked: that is, they have seen everything, but such an outrage - probably not yet . Much more shocked seemed our Polish colleagues, who did not understand where they went. Their whole presentation was held in an empty space in the pavilion where there were a couple dozen chairs for those who wanted to watch. Many of Polish comrades on an old memory quite well speak Russian, therefore in the evening behind a mug of beer they very figuratively have described both the exhibition itself, and its organizers. And in a dope they saw such an exposition! «Not wishing to die of modesty, let's say that the meeting of Polish representatives with just two» yachtsmen (Zlata Bredova and Alexey Ushakov) organized by itBoat was, according to the Poles themselves, more important than their entire stay at the exhibition.

And why is it surprising - the total number of exhibitors at the Festival was just over a hundred (both thematic and non-thematic) and they were not very happy about the prices - about 6000 roubles per square metre of equipped stand, that is 150 euros per square metre. To compare: the Polish exhibition Wiatr i Woda

in Warsaw in March this year, one meter was worth 115 euros - but there were more than 300 exhibitors. The results are as follows: the organizers of the Baltic Marine Festival expected (exact figures are not available yet) about 10,000 visitors, while at the exhibition in Warsaw their number exceeded 50,000.
In other words, the return on each penny invested in the participation in the exhibition was more than six times as much for the participants of the Warsaw exhibition. As the saying goes, feel the difference!

And the spectators in Poland spent 25 zlotys (250 rubles) for a ticket, for which they could see three times more stands than St. Petersburg spectators, for which a ticket cost 200 rubles. As a consequence of all said above the exhibitors themselves (especially on the first day) were not very happy about what was going on, frankly speaking, there were not many people. However, you can see all this on the pictures. As Salona dealer Mikhail Mishchenko said «there are the same booths neighbors». And almost nobody else. In any case, in noteworthy numbers. The times when people on forums agreed, joined together and came to exhibitions in St. Petersburg from other cities as a team seem to have faded into oblivion. Exactly the same may be said about Russian (and not only) manufacturers: stories of boats being brought to St. Petersburg from Komsomolsk-on-Amur (not to mention much nearer places) seem to be pure fiction now.

The central part of the fifth pavilion was occupied by three stands: surprisingly small (three centreboard and two dummies) exposition of the company «Fordewind-Regata», stand of the famous multi-brand company «Nord Boat» (exporting boats and motor yachts to Russia) with two models of the Norwegian company Askeladden and a sailing yacht of micro class from Volgodonsk. « Electra 18». These, perhaps, were the main points of attraction of the closed part of the exposition (if we do not count modelers). The sailing yacht «Elektra 18» has a rather complicated fate - its creators positioned the boat as a very high quality product and therefore it has a very sophisticated construction. For example, the number of matrices required for its manufacture is 24, which entails a rather high production cost. The quality, of course, is superb - the boat was on display three years ago, having passed two world championships, but it looked as good as new. But we'll probably tell you more about it.
The dinghies that were displayed at«Fordwind Regatta», surprised us. We expected usual assortment of well-known «Lasers» but ... «shipments of these dinghies to Russia are suspended until autumn»- informed us the smiling woman of the stand. The reasons were named by internal organizational complexities of the manufacturer. So at least for the current season «lasers» were replaced by dinghies of RS brand - also quite dynamic, lightweight and easy to handle boats. It was surprising that in contrast to previous years the «Fordewind-Regatta» booth was quite modest and didn't show a wide range of clothes and equipment which is usually displayed at the company's booths.

» Of the «sailing booths, two more were of interest: both of our longtime acquaintances, «Interyachts» (representing Hanse and Contest sailing brands, as well as the Dutch Moonen steel motor boats), and Mikhail Mishchenko, who recently became a dealer for Croatian boats, Salona (this is probably the youngest «» our dealer). Business for Leo NeumeierInteryachts») has been excellent overall with six contracts signed since the start of the year for delivery of various models up to the flagship 630. The issue of delivery of a 50-footerto a famous Russian rock singer is still under discussion.
Mikhail Mishchenko was less optimistic - his business has just started, the brand is still little known in Russia, there are almost no visitors. Reportedly not a single contract for the supply of yachts was concluded at the show. But Mikhail's charter offer (and he is building a large and single-type charter fleet consisting of Salona yachts) aroused great interest among the competent public.

In fact, there was nothing else of interest in the enclosed pavilion.
Continuation (story about the outdoor part of the exposition) follows
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