Home Business The boat show with a smile: the boat made in Italy at + 31%

The boat show with a smile: the boat made in Italy at + 31%

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The boat show with a smile: the boat made in Italy at + 31%

For the made in Italy yachting, the moment is historic. The sector is experiencing a cycle, which began after the lockdown, when the boat was seen as a happy island (hence the boom in sales, both new and used, and rental), in full rebound. The final figures for 2021 released by the Research Department of Confindustria nautica confirm this: + 31% in turnover, for a value of 6.1 billion euros. The sector returns to the peaks already reached in the 2007/08 two-year period. Exports flies with 3.37 billion at the end of last March, the all-time record, with global leadership in superyachts, that is to say boats over 24 meters in length (1,024 those under construction in 2022, more than half are tricolor) , in components and inflatable boats; the domestic market is also recovering and the nautical shows are restarting. And the direct employees of the sector increased, to 26,350 units, with a + 9.7% on the previous year. The contribution to GDP is 5.1 billion, + 31.4% on 2020.

The Salone and politics

In this positive climate, the Genoa International Boat Show is reconfirmed, the largest sector exhibition in the Mediterranean and the “first showcase” of the made in Italy of the sea, which it has supported and promoted for sixty years. Its 62nd edition (two encores in as many years), inaugurated yesterday and until 27 September, sees over a thousand boats on display (over half motorized with the 37.7-meter Sanlorenzo SD 118 flagship; 15% sailing with the Milyus 80 of 23.43 meters to drive; 34% inflatable boats), 998 brands, 168 novelties and with a layout projected towards the water – waiting for the new waterfront to come. Saverio Cecchi, the president of Confindustria nautica, the trade association that organizes the event, in the presence of three ministers and the No. 1 of Confindustria Carlo Bonomi (“If all the other industrial sectors had the pace of boating I would be calm”) , expressed his pride in the progress of the sector and also sent a clear message to the Parliament to come: “We ask for visions and steps. We don’t care who the cat is, we just want him to catch the mouse. We want results ”. The mayor of Genoa then announced the intention in 2024 to renew the agreement of the city with Confindustria nautica for the organization of the Boat Show for another decade.

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The positive moment

A salon with a smile. “The moment is exceptional. We have reached a billion in turnover, with + 20% on last year and with an order book of 2.8 billion euros »says Giovanna Vitelli, vice president of Azimut-Benetti, the leading global superyacht manufacturer. “We have an order book of 1.4 billion euros, which ensures 2022 results exceeding forecasts, covers 70% of 2023 turnover and at least 30% of 2024” anticipates Massimo Perotti, the president of Sanlorenzo. “We will probably close the year with a record turnover”, reveals Giovanni Pomari, CEO of Nautor’s Swan, the Leonardo Ferragamo shipyard that launches Swan sailboats.

It is not just a question of turnover, but also of continuity of production. “We have orders for three years,” says Vitelli. “We deliver the new one in summer 2023, winter 2024,” says Francesco Pirro, co-founder of Sno Yachts in Olbia, which controls the Novamarine brand of inflatable boats. “We have already sold about 75% of the 2022/23 production”.

A flourishing moment that is driven by the excellence achieved by the sector. Italian boats are beautiful, of quality, innovative. And they intercept the needs of the market. «The boat is ever more open, allowing a return to nature, to direct contact with the sea», explains Giovanna Vitelli. A trend, the latter, which is realized with windows, open spaces, bulwarks at the stern that open like “wings” and that mixes with the desire to have a boat that is increasingly more homely and sober. This also applies to the sail, which becomes more comfortable, easier to carry and “faster – says Pomati – even with less wind”. As for dinghies, increasingly larger models arrive (Novamarine brings the flagship Black Shiver of 16 meters to the Show, but produces up to 25 meters), with fiberglass hulls, full tubulars (but also return to air) and outboard motors increasingly powerful.

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And then, there is the challenge of the green boat. It means lighter hulls, sustainable and recyclable materials, more efficient hulls, reduced consumption; now hybrid diesel / electric and electric engines on short lengths, tomorrow on methanol and hydrogen. The race for zero emissions has also begun on the sea. And from Genoa: the Salone will measure its C02 emissions, to reduce them.

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