Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show
Boating season still in full swing – More than 11,000 visit Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show
The late summer’s warm spell is boosting the Finnish boat market, and domestic sales are showing signs of growth after a period of stagnation. This was also indicated by the attendance of the Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show last weekend. In total, 11,272 boating enthusiasts visited the event, up by more than six per cent on the previous year.
“Based on the success of Boat-Afloat, the boating industry’s late-season performance is going to be strong. There was plenty of buzz at the stands in the event, and the ultimate impact on boat sales will be seen during the next couple of weeks, as the numerous offers made and test rides taken at Boat-Afloat will begin to materialise as closed deals,” says Jarkko Pajusalo, Managing Director of the Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat.
Almost 280 boats were exhibited at the show, and altogether 166 exhibitors were there to showcase the motor boats and the sail boats along with different boating-related products and services. Pajusalo says that the revamped and enlarged exhibition area, the increasingly diverse event programme and restaurant selection and the all-new fishing section were greeted with acclaim.
“The crowd was particularly attracted by the water sports pier situated in the middle of the exhibition area,” Pajusalo adds.
This year, the Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show celebrated its 40th anniversary. The inaugural event was arranged on the Sirpalesaari island in September 1978 in co-operation between the Finnish Boat and Motor Association (known today as Finnboat), the Finnish Fair Corporation and the Finnish Yacht Club. In 1980, the NJK yacht club’s home harbour on Valkosaari was adopted as the new venue. Since 1998, the Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show has taken place in its current surroundings, at the HSK yacht club’s marina in Lauttasaari.
In Finland, the boat industry is a significant employer: The companies in the field directly employ 3,500 people, while the total employment effect lies between 4,000 and 6,000 people. Unlike in the other Nordic countries, boat building is going strong in Finland. In the previous year, as much as 73 per cent of Finnish production was exported elsewhere.
The next major event in the boat industry will be the 2018 Helsinki International Boat Show, arranged at Messukeskus, Helsinki’s expo and convention centre, between 9 and 18 February 2018. The Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show will again take place in the summer of 2018, between 16 and 19 August.