Every year at this time Barcelona becomes the center of attention of the recreational and sport boating industry thanks to the International Boat Show, the most important trade fair of the sector in Spain. And once again its organizers, Fira de Barcelona and the Spanish Association of Boating Companies, chose the docks of Marina Port Vell for the event. It could not have gone any better: More than 55,000 people attended the show to get a closer look at the new developments in the industry, discuss the sustainability of boating and promote innovation.
His Majesty King Felipe VI presided over the opening ceremonies of the event on October 13 in The Sea Garden, the most well-known of Marina Port Vel’s event venues. The event was also attended by Spain’s Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda Raquel Sánchez, Catalan Government Delegate María Eugènia Gay, the president of the Barcelona International Boat Show Luis Conde and, of course, Marina Port Vell Barcelona General Director Ignacio Erroz. Before lunch, the official entourage toured through the show and along the docks of Marina Port Vell.
New developments at the 60th show
It was no ordinary show this year. After 60 years of the International Boat Show, two exhibition docks have been added: Sotamuralla and Dipòsit, joining the traditional España dock, all three of which are owned by Marina Port Vell. This resulted in 40% more space than in 2021: this means there were 21,000 square meters on which to show off some of the most impressive boats from around the country.
Moreover, there were other changes this year: the Boat Show’s VIP area was located in the Blue Wave cocktail bar, from which visitors with preferential access were able to enjoy a privileged view of the boats moored at the docks, as well as some beautiful views of the city. The Sea Garden, in addition to hosting the lunch to commemorate the show’s 60th anniversary, also housed the BCN MAR OBERT exhibition of Basque artist Pablo Ugartetxea, with a cocktail reception organized by the Spanish Association of Boating Companies. As our event manager Laura García put it: “The holding of the Boat Show at Marina Port Vell Barcelona confirms our position as a unique venue for hosting the main fairs associated with the sector.”
Where Boating and Culture Meet
The presence of Ugartetxea’s work at the fair is a testimony to the organization’s commitment to combining culture with the boating world. But there was even more evidence of this: Boating Night brought together artists such as pianist Miriam Aparicio, blues artists David Giorcelli and Alberto Escudero, the musical duo BigStone&Sweet Marta, saxophonist Pol Prates and the jazz band Rappot, among many others. All this in addition to other exhibitions such as Léxico Marinero, Patrimonio Inmaterial, Sirenas en Tránsito and the naval model workshop by l’Associacio d’Amics del Museu Maritim de Barcelona (Association of Friends of the Maritime Museum of Barcelona).
Visitors were also able to enjoy other activities such as boat christening workshops, exhibitions such as the Calafell lifeboat, traditional sailboat meetings, a meeting of lateen sailing instructors, cork boat courses, and the full range of activities of the Fun Beach program: dynamic and interactive demonstrations of the latest products in the boating industry. Many of them inside the Marina Port Vell docks.