AMSTERDAM _ For those who worry about the graying of European boaters, the news from the 2018 HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show was a something of a tonic. The 63rd annual indoor show recorded 37.461 visitors, up 7% from 2017, healthy sales and lots of eager buyers, organizers said.

They credited new-style exhibits and workshops for the upswing.  “Our aim was to offer visitors … above all inspiration,” said show manager Gertjan Roos.

A show jury named Finsulate the show’s Product of the Year. The self-adhesive film is an antifouling solution (above) courtesy of tiny, ‘swaying’ fibers that prevent marine organisms from settling on the hull. The film sits on a 2-component water-based adhesive. Finsulate is an environmentally-friendly film that will ast at least 5 years on a yacht, says Finsulate owner Rik Breur. “All it needs is a simple pressure-cleaning every now and then. No fouling means no loss of speed which saves fuel. At about €30 per sq. m. (323 sq. ft.), the film costs about the same as toxic anti-fouling paint, but lasts at least 5, if not 10 years.”

In 2017, Breur’s environmental-friendly film appeared on 25 recreational boats _ RIBs, tenders, motor yachts and sailing craft of up to 33 meters (108 ft.).

The show jury also issued a ‘must-have’ award to the Bluetooth-enabled, Swiss-made Skywatch BL500 which records wind speed, temperature, humidity, air pressure, UV index and more. It has a 26mm screen, weighs only 66 grams and can be charged through a USB port.

The public’s ‘Must-have’ award went to Stoov® One, a Dutch-made, rechargeable heating cushion (right) to keep boaters’ behinds warm. It is a “meaningful product that makes you happy in daily use” says the manufacturer. The Stoov One was launched in 2016. Its battery lasts 8 hours. / /