I just came back from the Dusseldorf Boote yesterday where I spent 11 days with NAHEMA's team and had a great time. This was the best boat show I attended in the last 12 years.
Special thanks to Nicolas Daher, NAHEMA's the executive director for trusting me, Malouréne Corbeille, sales assitant for her energy and patience, and Sonja-Dana Roelen, our clever hostess for laughting at my fith degree French jokes.
From left to right Nicolas Daher, Malouréne Corbeille, Sonja-Dana Roelen, and your blogmaster Sébastien Barthez
NAHEMA was the only one mega-catamaran builder and displayed two models the NAHEMA 120 and PHENOMEN by Nahema an amazing 150 footer. The largest catamarans exhibited at the boat show was the CATANA 50.
Boat shows are the occasions to meet very interesting people you exchanged only mails with. Amongst many others I was very happy to meet with :
- Ewa Stachurska, SUNREEF's PR manager. She is a very very energetic, efficient young lady. We talked for a few minutes about the show and how we worked. It is always interesting to exchange point of view with a profesionnal doing the same job. I hope next time we will have more time. Ewa was in Dusseldorf to see if it was worth it for SUNREEF to be there next year. Since she came at the beginning I had a hard time answering her questions but now I can. Yes Ewa it is worth it and for many reasons. First, you have more than 280 000 visitors coming for all around Europe and even farther. So in terms of brand image being there is a great thing, you get your brand noticed. Second, I noticed the visitors really loved watersports and are very curious. Third, when you come in Dusseldorf in January you don't come for the weather, you come for the show. Fourth, all the people in the superyacht hall 7 I talked to told me this was their best show as far as potential buyers, press and networking. Fifth, this is a long show and tiring, however people have more time. You get to talk with partners, press who are not in a rush and conversation have a lot more value. Sixth, average purchasing power is endeed pretty high. Finally, the public in this show litteraly love multihulls.
- Olivier Racoupeau, a successfull naval architect based in La Rochelle, who designed many monohulls for Beneteau, catamarans for Fountaine Pajot, Yacht Industries (Yapluka), and has actually three mega-catamarans in built, a record. I have the chance to go to Olivier Racoupeau offices in a couple of weeks so I will let you know more about his mega catamarans concepts. Check Olivier's amazing monohull project of the EVOE in collaboration with Isabelle Ramirez and Couedel Hugon Design.
- Merijn de Waard, Superyachtimes' (click on the link you will see pictures from the show) website founder and editor, who took the great picture of our team. Merijn has done things the right way, creating a website about the industry easy to surf and with interesting and well written content. Keep up the good work and you will get good results.
- Philippe Touet, Incidence Sail maker, the best sails maker in the world for multihulls. I have known Philippe for ten years now and he is always a great guy with such an amazing knowledge about sail making and multihulls. He has designed and made the sails for Francis Joyon's IDEC and so many other multihulls and mega-yachts. Philippe, who is an experienced sailor, a member of the Banque Populaire team since 2007, teamed up with Groupama from 1999 to 2007 and took part to the America's Cup in 87-92-95. Check his records,amazing. He is a also a fun guy to be around for partying with his collegue and friend Huges Destremau another experienced sailor. If you need sails for your catamaran call Incidence.
- Others, Frédéric Jaouen from JFA, Laurent Charlier from H2X builder of the Bradley and of the NAHEMA 120, Olivier Lafourcade from 20 years old CNB a reference in sailing yacht building, Nicolas Claris from the Claris agency, Shipman's team, builders of the most performant carbon cruising monohulls on the market...
Getting around Dusseldorf : a few advice if you plan to visit or exhibit at the show next year.
- Book a hotel close to the city center and Königs allee, this way you will not be far away from the altstadt where most of the fun goes on at night, from the harbour with its Frank Gehry architecture (one of my favorite architect) and trendy night life, from shopping, and most important from the subway line U78 which takes you in 20 minutes right inside the show.
- Book your restaurants ahead of times, most of the brewery are booked during the complete duration of the show. Some great tables : Café Madrid - real spanish Tapas, Okra - cheap and very good Ethipian food, Lido - quite expensive but an amazing restaurant made of glass and wood above the Rhine in the Franck Gehry district with a view on the water and modern buildings, Rosie modern german and international food with good music, Bandido-the best mexican restaurant I have ever been too, Sila - Thai a real treat book and ask to be in the backroom, seated on the ground if you don't mind taking you shoes of and order a Mai Tai and a degustation menu, Schlüssel a real brewery with traditional alt beer and good food.