A bare-bones boat show for lean times
LELYSTAD _ The Netherlands boasts half a dozen boat shows and lies 2 highway exits from Boat Dusseldorf and the Belgian Boat Show. But there’s room for more. And more often, even in lean times, says Sjors Westdorp, the director of the Bataviahaven in Lelystad.
His outdoor “National Boats Show” is a radical departure from the well-worn halls-and-long-lines formula. “It’s really bare bones,” says Westdorp. “Without the bells and confetti that make boat shows so pricey for exhibitors. An event for these lean times.” The National Boats Show will be held several times a year, starting April 27-28. It lets private and commercial owners of boats _ new and used _ flaunt their stuff at “exceptionally low” costs, says Westdorp. Showing an 8m-boat will cost only about €50. Boat yards, manufacturers or importers can spruce up their pontoon with banners or tents. Boats can also be shown on trailers.
The aim is to spur the sales of used and new boats. To keep costs down there is a lot of do-it-yourself. Exhibitors must register and pay online. They must also post their yachts on the show site. “If you want to organize a boat show like this you need to keep costs down as much as possible,” says Westdorp. “We bring buyers and sellers together. Making money on the show is not our priority. Our core business remains renting out berths. Lelystad lies in the heart of the Netherlands, on reclaimed land. Founded in 1967, it faces the IJsselmeer and Markermeer, 2 large lakes wrested from a North Sea inlet, and boasts several marinas, including Bataviahaven (above) and thousands of berths.