LEEUWARDEN – Traditionally, the Boat Holland Show in this northern town celebrates steel boat construction in which the Netherlands excels. And the 2023 edition (March 8-12) will satisfy visitors, including many from nearby Germany.
Still, changes are afoot this year, says show manager Gerda Brouwer. “Boat Holland was always a powerboat fair and still is, but I notice that open dayboats, tenders, and sustainable boating are making inroads. Is that because the HISWA Indoor show in Amsterdam has folded its tent? Or because the Corona pandemic closed us down in two successive years?”
The industry view in the Netherlands is that the Corona period created many new water sports enthusiasts. “Water sports got a nice boost,” says Brouwer. “And steel construction is declining somewhat. That impressive jetty with 50 boats attached to it, it’s not there anymore. So now we have more tenders and electric sailing.
The Boat Holland Show will feature a broad array of small recreational boats and motor yachts and update visitors on the latest development in fossil-free boating at a Sustainability Pavilion.
“There are yards with a full portfolio until 2025,” says Brouwer. “For them, it makes little sense to be at the show because they have to say ‘no’ to potential clients. It may well be that if the portfolio is not replenished by next year, the powerboat jetty will grow again.”
The show will have a houseboat pavilion, a stage for workshops, demonstrations, and talks on anything from breakdown assistance to buying, selling or insuring a boat. Also new: a boat rental pavilion.
And for water sports companies with vacancies, the 2023 Boot Holland opens its doors to job seekers. Brouwer: “We, too, have noticed staff shortages everywhere. We felt we had to do something about it. The kick-off was during the in-water Hiswa Show last summer. We’ll use colored flags to indicate what kind of personnel are wanted.”