LELYSTAD – Organizers are confident the 2021 in-Water HISWA – Northern Europe’s biggest wet boat show – will be staged as planned in the first week of September. The 2020 event was canceled due to the coronavirus. Now that the COVID-19 nastiness is waning, the Dutch watersports and boating sectors show a palpable appetite to strut their stuff.

The Sept. 1-5 in-Water HISWA will show 325 boats, from 3 to 30m (10-100ft), in the semi-circular Batavia Harbor. “Everywhere we hear that exhibitors and water sports enthusiasts have really missed the in-water HISWA. Many new water sporters have emerged. There’s a need for information from this group,” says in-Water HISWA Director

The 2021 lineup features a rich choice of craft: RIBs, tenders, dayboats, motorboats and sailing yachts. In the past year, water sports experienced an enormous boost, leading to many firsts.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a mixed impact on the Dutch sector. Charterers, sailing schools and retail outlets suffered lockdowns but sellers of new and used sail and motorboats enjoyed solid sales. The pandemic’s aftermath shows fast-growing commodity prices. “The price of steel is up by 30 to 35%,” says Michael Steenhoff, head of HISWA’s yacht building section. “Quality wood types cost 15 to 20% more.”

Against that backdrop, the 2021 in-Water HISWA is seen as an opportunity to regain lost ground.

Princess Yachts, the British luxury yacht maker, will flaunt its new Y85, the show’s biggest craft with a length of almost 30m. The VIP Boulevard will be home to 28 exclusive and special yachts from many nations.

Sailing enthusiasts can gawk at Bavaria, X-Yachts, Beneteau and Jeanneau. Those wanting to sail far and in comfort can choose from multihulls like the Vaan R4, the Excess, Lagoon, Bali, Fountaine Pajot and Nautitech. Dutch monohull makers include Contest Yachts, Bestevaer and the Gebroeders van Enkhuizen.

Also showing up in large numbers are Dutch makers of recreational tenders: Cooperyacht, Admiral,  iSloep, Makma, Antaris, Maril, Menken Interboat, SeaFury and Prins Watersport. “After a year online, it’s nice to view boats where they belong. In the water,” says Rahusen.