The ball is over, the candles are out.

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The 43rd Düsseldorf Boat Show is over. It was neither the biggest in terms of exhibitors, nor the biggest in terms of the number of yachts on display, nor the most visited in terms of the number of visitors. It became nothing. And even journalists (especially during the last half of the exhibition) were much fewer than usual.

The number of visitors dropped again compared to the previous year. Not by much, only by 3300 people (or 1.3%), nevertheless, the trend of constant falling number of viewers was confirmed. Their qualitative composition slightly changed following the trend of recent years - interest in sailing increased again, interest in motor boats, especially with outboard engines decreased again. «Now sailing visitors - exactly half, and the number» motorists decreased to 30%: these figures give the Germans themselves, and in the ability to count large numbers of people they have a good hand, so you can believe it. And outwardly it was obvious that there was a buoyancy in the sailing pavilions and a calmness in the motor pavilions.

Germany once again confirmed that sailing is number 1 by popularity in it (and football, by the way, is not even on the second place).

«Number of exponents decreased too, but not to a great extent, though due to the departure of some of them» there were some holes in the exposition which had to be urgently closed. Aisles between stands became a bit wider, a part of stands (when was it like that?!) were given to «non-profile expositions» (for example, to ship-modelists, historical reconstructors and repairers).

«Almost a third of one of» pavilions was occupied by an artificial river where one could try his or her hand at paddling (a very fashionable hobby nowadays).

And some people offered «to cram» at least some exhibit into the empty space at a discounted price.

Northshore Yachts Ltd put their premiere (for Continental Europe) model Southerly 57RS designed by Ed Dubois into one of the holes. As a result the boat was far away from its counterparts on the main NM stand and John Hiltunen, one of the yard's directors, was literally torn apart running from one part of the exposition to another.

The Southerly 57 was an interesting boat, but frankly speaking, the owner's desire to have black leather (!) around the upholstered furniture really puzzled me. The interior of the boat looked very mournful (it was trimmed by teak of a very dark tint) and made quite a gloomy impression. Another «Britishism»?

I don't know. But the boat itself is certainly more than original. I've been on Southerly as well as in their yard, so I can personally attest to the extremely (I emphasize - extremely) high workmanship and excellent seaworthiness, but I have serious questions about the interior.

Elevated keel and massive internal ballast - it is certainly good, and even fine, as one Cat Boy said, but was it really so that the floor in the cabin could not be performed at the same level? Here a step, there a step - trip or slip a foot on swinging - and you will rattle on these steps until they are over. And if an impartial person will compare so nice-looking Southerly 57 with the equally beloved Jeanneau 57 (oh, what a beauty! what a shape!), it will be impossible not to notice how spacious interior and cockpit are in Jeanneau vs. Southerly.

At the same length, again, both yachts. And at the same time Southerly is almost twice more expensive. It is clear that «different concepts». And that different seaworthiness and durability: after all the difference in six tons of displacement is not a ram, and did not arise from nothing. « But still, still, still...»
However, John Hiltunen was not discouraged: «The last two years were quite successful for the yard, we have seriously renewed the model range and even slightly increased the production volume.

People do not have money for cheap yachts, but for expensive ones they always have».

Russian yacht dealer Moody willingly confirmed this point of view. According to him the new 62 model aroused great interest among Russian customers (in fact the boat on display belonged to one of his compatriots), who chose a yacht for themselves on the principle of «home that always comes with me». In this respect the big Moody is a pretty good solution. Really, practically a home. And children and dogs will not fall overboard if they want to, which is also very valuable. Interestingly, (according to the dealer) some «our» considered the Moody as a kind of «emigration investment» in case of possible post-election unrest in our country. A sort of personal "philosophical steamer"...

Hanse - the younger (by positioning) brother of Moody - showed a series of new products, including a rather interesting 415 model. What's its interest? In the even greater liberation of the cockpit from gear. The halyards are now closer to the stern through the cockpit coamings, with their winches mounted on the coamings, not on the deckhouse. The bow of the cockpit gets «clean». Perhaps this will catch on.

The boat was nicely finished, but when I (taking advantage of some «special» status in this booth) started to take it apart a bit, I found that the hull kit had undergone a major change from the previous model. It has clearly become more technologically advanced, but no less evident is the fact that the case will now be more «soft» - its set has been noticeably simplified and shortened. Taking into account that the range of epoxy versions was reduced as well, one can make an obvious conclusion - the yard under the new owner made serious cuts in costs for the sake of cost reduction. And don't care if they lose the very features for which Hanse was so loved and forgiven many other shortcomings - high speed and high rigidity of the hull. I'm not sure if this is the right trend, but the giraffe is big...
However, Bavaria already went down that road, they didn't like it there, they decided to go back and dramatically improved the quality of their new boats. Some other shipbuilders, it seems, have not yet played with cost reduction and continue to dig a deeper hole .
What other trends can be noted? In general, perhaps, the main ones have already been mentioned, but I shall summarize, so to speak, some intermediate results (as the exhibition materials do not end here):

  • Clients are demanding more and more lavishly equipped boats (and preferably for the same money).
  • Particular attention is paid to increasing the size of the cockpit
  • Manufacturers strive to make boats faster and cheaper
  • A clear trend to simplified interiors - flat panels, minimal details
  • There is an increasing tendency to lure specialists from the automotive industry into yacht construction (Bavaria Yachtbau is a trailblazer, but no longer an icon)
  • There is a very serious demand for boats with purely classical look or obviously modern yachts, but stylized like the boats of «golden age».
  • Actively developing «hot daycruisers» in a variety of size categories
  • The trend to reduce mainsail area and to increase jib is back
  • Our compatriots finally shook off «» and this year they in large numbers «poured» to buy sailing boats, not only in traditional Russian size 50+, but even 90+. There are already signed contracts (though nobody has seen the real money yet)...
    Let's stop here for now

P.S. By the way, I got the sensor of that winged trimaran figured out. It's not a laser, it's just a swivel bar with a rotation angle meter. The incoming stream of water unfolds the bar under the certain angle, this parameter is enough for the computer to make conclusions on necessity of setting this or that angle of attack of wings...

P. P. S. The moving walkway in the main "tube" and the booth hostesses in torn stockings at stands with million yachts - what is it? Signs of rottenness of the exhibition or just an accident?

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