The Mediterranean season is officially underway with the season-opening Palma International Boat Show (PIBS) all wrapped up in Mallorca.
Set in Marina Moll Vell against the backdrop of the Santa Maria cathedral, the exhibition took over the waterfront for four days on the last weekend of April, welcoming more than 600 boats of all sizes, 271 exhibitors and 32,000 visitors to the city.
Organised by IDI and BYBA, The Palma International Boat Show hosted the Palma Superyacht Village as part of its showcase for the second year running, following a successful merger between the Palma International Boat Show and Palma Superyacht Show. The result was a new super event with a fairground of more than 81,000 square metres, establishing the show as a vital event in the industry calendar, bringing together brokers, buyers, shipyards and suppliers from the superyacht segment and beyond.
Arne Ploch, managing director of the Palma Superyacht Village, said that the show presented a golden opportunity for prospective owners. ''Having PIBS in the springtime is a great opportunity for buyers, they can potentially sign a contract right after the show in May and a month later be out on the water fully enjoying the Mediterranean season aboard their new vessel, that's a unique and very alluring prospect."
The city itself, with its numerous regattas, is considered one of the sailing capitals of the world and this is reflected in the show’s in-water display, with a fleet of pedigree performance vessels, classic schooners and world cruisers for sale and charter. “The show remains one of the best opportunities in the spring season to display yachts for sale and offers an excellent window for the sailing yacht market,” says sales broker Mael Fiolet of Camper & Nicholsons. “This event is the only real yacht show that we have in the Mediterranean in the spring and offers clients the opportunity to come to this vibrant island for a few days where they can study their next purchase for the season but also enjoy some quality time in the island.”
But that’s not to say that there isn’t plenty to appeal to power purists too. The 49.9-metre Mangusta 165 AAA was the largest vessel on display this year, while the newly listed NQEA explorer Flying Manta and its Airbus H130 helicopter was the star of the show.
According to the organisers, 96 per cent of participants have expressed interest in exhibiting next year and more than 20 per cent ask for more space, reconfirming the show as a staple event on the yachting calendar. Elsewhere, brokers acknowledge greater footfall, but also more qualified visitors in the 39th edition of the show.
New for this year as part of the Palma Superyacht Village was the Innovation Corner, organised by Yachting Ventures with support from BYBA. Twelve yachting startups showcased their new products and services with many specialising in digitalisation tools such as Floatist, Crewdentials, LJ eLogbooks, Mariners Log, Wolfgang Pro, SEAZONE. Others focused on promoting green technologies including HY-Plug, RAD Propulsion, EPHYRA, Swiss Ocean Tech and BatteryCheck. Also within the dock-side exhibition was a separate area dedicated to refit and repair, which celebrated the Balearic Islands as a key Mediterranean refit hub.
On the penultimate day of the show, BOAT International’s sister magazine Dockwalk hosted a Happy Hour at the Tast Out Bar on-site, offering captains and crew drinks and canapés, while some attending yachts such as M/Y Moonraker and S/Y Miss Silver welcomed guests aboard for sundowners of their own that continued long into the evening.
The show concluded with a ceremonial blast of the horns that could be heard all along the palm-lined Paseo Maritimo, and the floating bridge was opened with boats leaving to begin their summer seasons. Next year the show is expected to be bigger than ever as the show celebrates its 40th anniversary.