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Palma International Boat Show 2024 Review

By Rebecca Whitlocke

Taking place 25 to 28 April in Palma’s Moll Vell, the 40th edition of Palma International Boat Show provided visitors an opportunity to discover 295 exhibitors and 600 boats, 260 of them on-water.

Around 27, 000 people attended this year’s show organised by the Regional Ministry of Enterprise, Employment and Energy, through the Balearic Islands Institute for Business Innovation (IDI), and the Balearic Yacht Brokers Association (BYBA).

Palma International Boat Show’s path towards certification as a sustainable event and measuring its economic impact has begun. During the show, visitors and exhibitors were surveyed to obtain the data and subsequently find out what PIBS means for the Balearic economy. Following the surveys, the carbon footprint will be measured to draw up a plan to reduce it.

With plenty to discover each day, our yachting correspondent Rebecca Whitlocke reflects on what you may have missed over the four days.

Fiart announced their Spanish debut for the Seawalker 35 and 45, Sunseeker had their Sunseeker Ocean 182 making its first Mediterranean appearance since its debut at boot Düsseldorf earlier this year, while Prestige Yachts showcased the best-sellers of its X-Line, M-Line and F-Line yacht ranges: the X60 and multihull M48 and the debut for their Prestige F4.

Malcolm Moss, CEO and Founder of Balearics-based SEA Yacht Group, shared his perspective, “It was great to participate again in the Palma International Boat Show, especially on this 40th anniversary. We had the pleasure to join the world premiere of the FJORD 39 XL and to present the latest models of our exclusive brands in Ibiza and Formentera: Sanlorenzo, Bluegame and Austin Parker. We were pleasantly surprised to know about all the efforts that the PIBS team has been doing to become a sustainable (certified) event, including the measurement and adjustment of the carbon footprint, the waste reduction and the activities held to raise awareness of responsible practices. Hopefully, all the Boat Shows that haven’t done this yet follow this wonderful initiative to continue celebrating the events in a more conscious and sustainable way.”

The maritime sector is considered strategic for the economy of the Balearic Islands.  According to a report by the Balearic Marine Cluster, the local maritime industry encompasses 879 companies, generating €1.106 billion in annual revenue and creating 5,145 jobs.  In terms of distribution, 76 per cent of nautical companies are located in Mallorca (45 per cent in Palma), particularly in the maintenance and refurbishment segment, while Ibiza holds a strong position in nautical tourism and recreational boating.

Having exhibitor zones for nautical products and services that represent the cross-section of the yachting ecosystem is one of Palma International Boat Show’s strengths. The Superyacht Village included an area dedicated to refit and repair services, the ACREW lounge hosted seminars and the Superyacht Square area showcased Yachting Ventures startups and a Sustainability Corner with exhibitors including Ethical Yacht Wear, NatureSafe Marine and Water without Waste.

Out on the quays at Marina Moll Vell, Richard Hodder from Pelion Consulting was demonstrating their interactive cyber escape game, specifically designed to challenge crew and professionals working in maritime about cyber awareness.  At the AENIB ANEN stand, visitors could learn more about Teconaut, an initiative spearheaded by Jordi Carrasco and Christian Esteva. Together with their partners, they aim to promote the use of disruptive technologies to facilitate the ecological transition of the nautical sector.

Estela Superyacht Agency hosted a trio of breakfast seminars at Restaurant Varadero during the show where 175 captains, crew, and industry colleagues heard panel discussions on some crucial topics including environmental sustainability, crew careers and the future of superyacht fuel and propulsion. Rebecca Whitlocke moderated the seminar “Sustainability On Board and In Yards” featuring panelists David Gates of Superyacht Rubbish, Lucia Mingot of Astilleros de Mallorca and Leah Tennant of Washdown where they shared their knowledge and gave practical steps that can be taken to reduce our yachting footprint, alongside credible messaging that avoids greenwashing and goes beyond compliance.

Sarah Diggle Whitlock, Founder of Seas The Day Training, attended the crew careers seminar and said PIBS was ideal for networking. “Seas The Day Training have created the only online course, for any department, aimed at entry level crew. We have received amazing feedback, bookings and are super proud to announce it will be a recommended ‘industry standard’ alongside the STCW course. The importance of attending PIBS was paramount to the success of this. Having attended many boat shows over 20 years, I absolutely adore the welcoming, relaxed atmosphere at PIBS that allows, enhances and promotes the art of ‘networking’. Crew freely walk around and the show was jam packed with industry professionals – nothing beats meeting people in person. After three days of attending seminars, meetings and networking, we came away with incredible leads, business opportunities and a chance to catch up with old friends and to make new ones.”

In the Port Centre building, the Mallorca Yachting Summit on April 26 connected local businesses, industry experts and passionate enthusiasts for panel discussions. Decarbonisation of the superyacht industry, charter licensing in Spain and sustainability were some of the seminar topics covered. Marja Kok, Founder of Water without Waste and one of the participants in the sustainability seminar, commented that good connections were made with other like-minded companies.  “I’ve experienced good interest from house owners and superyacht professionals (shipyards, owners, captains/crew, agents) interested to learn more about our drinking water solutions. The WwW solutions provide purified healthy ambient, chilled and sparkling drinking water from a tap. With this the plastic footprint of yachts (no bottled water on board) reduces substantially and a lot of convenience is created.”

Elsewhere, our journalism team were impressed by the educational elements throughout the show ranging from industry seminars to interactive workshops. The ‘Love the Mediterranean’ agenda was a series of marine workshops aimed at providing awareness-raising, scientific dissemination, education and training activities for disadvantaged people including activities on board Galaxie, the first 100% electric school sailer. It is a collaborative initiative between local conservation and environmental education organisations and associations and youth groups facing the risk of social exclusion and labour insertion difficulties.

Sailing and classic boats were highlighted as important to the Balearics nautical economy. The presentation of the Regata Iles Balears Clàssics at the Club de Mar-Mallorca stand reminded everyone that registrations are already open for the regatta that will take place in the bay of Palma between August 14 and 18 this year. It is expected that there will be more than thirty boats, many of them more than a century old.

Luxury News Online was thrilled to attend PIBS and welcome the Mediterranean yachting season in style.  For those looking for the lineup of attendees at Palma International Boat Show 2024, here is the list of the exhibitors and yachts that were present at this year’s show:

Photo credits:  Antibes Yachting / ESTELA Superyacht Agency / Cierre PIBS




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