Boot Düsseldorf - 51° 12' 49" N 06° 47' 34" E
We have arrived in Düsseldorf and just spent three days at the boat show. We are exhausted! The boat show is HUGE. It is the world's largest yacht and watersports show, 220,000 m2 of exhibition space housed in 16 exhibition halls. Over 50 acres of boats, boat bits and all things boating entirely indoors. That's a lot of lovely boat thingies to spend our money on! No wonder we are exhausted!
We did go with an agenda and a shopping list but were completely unprepared for the sheer scale of the event. One hall devoted to surf sports, two to diving, two packed to the gills with sailing boats, four jammed with power boats, Destination Seaside dedicated to diving holidays, another for marinas, chartering and canoeing, one for art and another great hall exclusively fishing. But it was Halls 10 and 11 - Equipment and Accessories - in which we did the most damage!
|Maybe a themed paddle boat will work as a dinghy. Gotta love a slide!
We walked the great halls clocking up double and triple step goals on our watches looking and comparing. Naturally we toured the Garcia Exploration 52 on display but also clamoured over a Dragonfly 40 trimaran (no change given back if you hand over €1,000,000!), a Halberg Rassey 69 (base price €4.9m ... and that doesn't even include sails!), a Beneteau First 44 and an Oceanis 46. Lovely boats, but we are still very happy with our choice.
We chatted to the Swedes manning the Sail The Baltic stand and had a crash course in mooring against a rock. We now feel the urge to spend a few months exploring Estonia, Latvia and Poland and that's after a season or two in Sweden, Norway and Finland. So many things to do and see, we may never leave Europe!
We watched the shenanigans in the indoor pools set up to try out wake boarding, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving and mermaiding. Is there such a verb? There seriously was a tank of mermaids and several exhibits selling mermaid outfits from tails, to hair to bikini tops. All sparkling and glamorous. There was even an inflatable clam shell to pose in.
|Weighing up our dinghy options...
We don't think the iMatJet will quite cut it but the drink holders would be handy!
We found our dinghy in Hall 9. There were many to choose from, hundreds in fact. From Zodiac to Highfield, even good old Lodestar, the brand of Popeye's faithful yellow dinghy. Our criteria was light, fully inflatable, under 3.2m and a capacity of at least 4 adults. We want to be able to roll it up on long passages and easily carry it up the beach. If we have got it wrong, we'll roll it up and shove it in the sail locker as a spare! We poked and probed and lifted and hum'd and hah'd and finally landed on a 3D Twin Air 270 in white. This little beauty weights in at just 15.8kg and rolls up to the size of a large backpack.
Next on the agenda was an outboard. We rather fancied electric but have not been enamoured by Toqeedo and ePropolsion with their batteries atop the drive shaft like a traditional outboard. Then we found the Remigo One. Sleek, simple and sexy. It even comes with retroreflective lettering to aid night visibility that Garcia was unable to do on Chinook! We were very impressed. It was only later we started reading reviews and Yachting Monthly gives it the 'Best Electric Outboard Motor' and Fox Morgan gives it an overall 98%. Read Morgan's review here!
We have always rather fancied inflatable fenders and loved the FenderTex fenders on Emma as they are so lightweight. We had a lovely chat to the folk at FenderTex, love the product but felt the $3,500 CAD price tag was a little too much for fenders when we have so much to buy. We liked the Certec fenders and they gave us a smoking boat show deal. So our boat will sport fancy orange Certec fenders!
|Certec fenders - we chose the orange with a custom logo!
And we bought some cool saucepans. We had our eye on some in France but came across these and decided they were perfect. They have a detachable handle so they all nest for compact storage. To make one of the pots a pressure cooker, we just had to buy an additional lid rather than a whole extra pan. We will have to find something else to put in the saucepan drawer as they will take up just one corner!
|Cook Vision pots and pans
We also looked at things we will buy at a later date. We chatted to several water maker suppliers and now have a good idea about what we want. We looked at Parasailors - we will need a downwind sail and think this is the one. We looked at safety gear, boom preventers, magnetic tableware, kayaks and SUPs. We made some smaller purchases - a hot knife, some whipping twine and a splicing needle.
A boat show is always fun but Boot Düsseldorf takes it to a whole new level. We had a great time exploring the vast halls, checking out the boats and all the boat related bits and pieces. But three days was enough and we now look forward to exploring Düsseldorf!