At the tip of Africa, the weather is wonderful, the sun is mostly shining, the temperatures are warm and everyone is still in post-holiday mood. The northern hemisphere, on the other hand is in the grip of winter, with freezing temperatures, snow and heavy rain. It hardly seems like the time of year when buying a new yacht or boat is on anyone’s mind.
Yet every January thousands of visitors descend on an exhibition centre in Germany for the annual Boot Düsseldorf, one of the largest boat shows in the world where dozens of manufacturers showcase their new models, accessories and water toys. Unlike the big yacht shows of Monaco or Fort Lauderdale, Boot is about less opulent vessels, the kind you’ll find on lakes and waterways, as well as a few suitable for a bit of luxury in island coves.
There’s no real theme; instead it’s a chance for those who love spending time on the water — inland or at sea — to take a look at what’s new and interesting. This year Boot Düsseldorf will feature plenty of environmentally friendly options, including the latest innovations in electric boating.
Dutch company GreenPower will show its GreenPower 33 electric boat, which features a hydrofoil-supported hull for greater efficiency and is capable of covering of up 50 nautical miles at 18 knots. French company Ruban Blue will show its Scoop 2, ideal for those who want to spend their day bobbing around on Theewaterskloof Dam with six friends. And if you enjoy a picnic, what better than the Valkama Picnic Cruiser? Its 28kWh battery means you can spend up to 48 hours on the water while enjoying a cold one from the fridge, a steak cooked on the ceramic grille and music from the integrated audio system. Electric isn’t all about gentle sailing though, and for those with a passion for performance the Frauscher x Porsche eFantom will be on show. It uses the electric motor from the coming new Porsche Macan to deliver a speed of up to 45 knots when in Sport Plus mode, though we suspect the Macan will be a bit quicker.
Performance will also be on display is also on display in the form of speedboats, powerboats and agile ribs, including a few new models. Norwegian manufacturer Cormate is renowned for its powerboats and will show its new T28 with a top speed of 72 knots as well as its speedy day cruiser, the Chase 35 which is capable of 82 knots.
German manufacturer Sterk launched its first powerboat in 2023 and this year it follows that up with the 31 Wetbar, a version that not surprisingly features a wet bar, a galley kitchen, dining area, sun pad and even a bathroom cabin with pull-out shower. It’s possibly all the day boat you could ever need — and it can reach 55 knots.
Thrills don’t just come from performance though; the latest Super Air Nautique G23 Paragon is for the wakeboarders. There’s integrated storage for the wakeboards, the seats rotate so occupants can watch the action and it comes with all the accessories for a day of action on the water.
Those seeking more luxurious yachts will find a few premieres too. Absolute will show its beautiful 52 Fly, which measures 16.76m and features three decks. There’s a master cabin that spans the full beam in the bow, VIP and regular guest cabins as well as crew quarters. Azimut will show its new Magellano 60, another three-deck vessel with chic Italian styling and wraparound windows that provide an unbroken view of the landscape around the yacht. Fairline will premiere its Squadron 58 with Beach Club balconies that can be folded out on either side to make the most of the water when at anchor.
Most of the above focus on style and luxury, but what if you just want to enjoy cooking gourmet meals? Fear not, because Norwegian shipyard Marex is debuting its appropriately named 440 Gourmet Cruiser. It does just what it says on the box, with a vast U-shaped kitchen, induction hob, fridge and freezer and even a dishwasher. Definitely a chef’s kiss for this one.
Our favourite of the premieres in Düsseldorf isn’t a luxury yacht, a powerboat or even something to indulge a passion for cooking. It’s the Seven Seas — not the eponymous superyacht of Steven Spielberg, but the Venus Speedster X from the UK boat builder of the same name.
It’s impossible not to love the nostalgic quality and design of craft like those from Riva, but Seven Seas has been taking the formula and dramatically modernising it for more than a decade. The X is the latest in the Venus Speedster range, with styling inspired by the 1959 Porsche 356 Speedster and it’s available with traditional engines or fully electric. Transcending luxury and practicality as work of modern art, the vessel provides as much joy just looking at it as it does as by enjoying it on the water. Definitely one of our most Wanted.