【DE】Course at record level: Water sports industry takes stock at Interboot

Boatyards and dealers of the maritime industry in Germany and Switzerland will continue to benefit from the unbroken run on water sports in 2022. This was confirmed by the participants of the industry discussion of the 61st. Interboot in Friedrichshafen on Tuesday, 20. September. Despite high inflation and the threat of the energy crisis as well as a shortage of skilled workers and supply chain shortages, the utilization of companies is characterized by continued good customer demand well into the next year. Interboot is the first trade fair of the new season to offer the industry until the 25th. September a platform and presents the wide range of water sports with 348 exhibitors and represented companies.


“The exhibitors show an even stronger presence compared to the previous year in Friedrichshafen and their mood has been very positive so far,” says trade fair boss Klaus Wellmann and sees this as confirmation that “interboot is a fixed bank in the calendar of the industry and water sports fans far beyond Lake Constance. It is also gratifying that the exhibitors at the numerous stands praise the purchasing power of the audience from the D-A-CH region,” summarizes Klaus Wellmann at the economic discussion on Tuesday.


Just a few months after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was almost a corona boom in the maritime industry. Since summer 2020, international travel restrictions and strict distance requirements have attracted people in their free time and to their home areas. Sales figures also skyrocketed at Enjoy Yachting. In principle, enough wealth is still available,” concludes Managing Director Meik Lessig and states: “The climate issue coupled with rising energy costs have already triggered an alternating trend per sailing sport with us.” The company from Seelze near Hanover imports sailing yachts from Beneteau and motor boats from Cranchi and Astondoa. Lessig is currently observing: “While the buying owners of twelve-meter yachts and about them can no longer hear anything about crisis whining, the butter and bread business with smaller units has already become tougher.”


Karsten Stahlhut, Managing Director of the Federal Association of Water Sports Industry (BVWW), also reports a similar result of the economic barometer in the first half of the year. Hardly anyone in the industry talks about panic before a recession, which is expected to at least repeat the record level of the previous year. “Almost 40 percent of companies even speak of a better year than 2021. But the outlook is more restrained, the euphoria has disappeared,” Stahlhut analyzes the survey among members. In addition to the general shortage of skilled workers, the obstacles to the market situation are the ongoing loss of work due to Corona and the even more interrupted supply chains due to the Ukraine war and lockdowns in China as well as price explosions for raw materials, electricity and gas.


Daniel Kallenbrunn, CEO of the Swiss KIBAG Marina from Bäch, assumes that savings will be made on the hobby first and foremost. “Some scrape every centime for boating together and rather buy fewer everyday or other luxury goods.” His company has also pre-ordered heavily from all manufacturers such as Grandezza, Cobalt and Karel for 2023 and can still deliver almost any model next season if it is ordered at Interboot and configured by October. The acquisition of Brunnert Grimm AG by KIBAG at the beginning of the year was positive, as both the clientele and the philosophy and passion of both companies harmonized.


“People actively go on the water, use their watercraft intensively and thus need spare parts, improved accessories or want a new boat right away,” reports Sonja Meichle as Managing Director of Ultramarin Meichle+Mohr (Kressbronn) about a “super summer” that continues on the Interboot. The first days of the fair reflected the course of the season so far. Sometimes up to eight times price increases since the beginning of the year could not always be passed on 1:1 to end consumers. “This has not detracted from sales so far, but we are cautious, because there can hardly be a never-ending increase,” emphasizes Sonja Meichle.


As head of the family business of the same name for noble motor boats in Kilchberg/Switzerland, Markus Boesch can look forward with peace of mind. His shipyard always has material in stock for an entire year of production. “Good inquiries, also at Interboot, fill the workshop, which is already fully booked until the middle of next year. However, there is no unlimited inelastic demand and the price of a luxury product is not open upwards,” says the new board member of the Swiss Boat Builders Association.


At Bavaria Yachtbau in Giebelstadt, the 2021/22 financial year was closed at the end of July with a 30 percent increase in production compared to more than 600 boats year, reports Marcus Schlichting, who is responsible for marketing and PR. “Next year is already planned and only at the end of 2023 can dealers order yachts again. A price sliding clause only applies to us from a delivery time of more than 18 months. However, we can avoid this now and hopefully in the future,” says Schlichting.


Interboot presents the whole world of water sports until 25. September 2022. It is open from Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. From Thursday, 22. September, the InterDive diving fair will take place in parallel. Tickets are available online and at the ticket offices on site. The day ticket costs 13 euros online or 17 euros on site, reduced 10 euros or 12 euros. The family ticket is for 29 or 34 euros available. Children between the ages of six and fourteen pay 5 euros or 6 euros.


Further information can be found on the Internet at WWW.INTERBOOT.DE, WWW.FACEBOOK.DE/INTERBOOT, WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/INTERBOOT.FRIEDRICHSHAFEN and #interboot.



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