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Growing a winning formula

Dec 31, 2016

Now in its 17 th year, the Cape Town International Boat Show will be building on a winning
formula: keeping the event to one location at the V&A Waterfront Marina and increasing
the on-land exhibitor space due to increased demand.

‘Last year was one of the most successful events, reflected in the number of large vessels
sold during the show,’ says organiser Dana Whiting. ‘There’s no doubt that shows really
work when it comes to selling, particularly with life-style items like boats. The prospect is
able to walk on board, see, touch, smell and almost taste what it’s like to own a luxury
yacht or catamaran.’

The Boat Show has been moved out by one week to accommodate exhibitors and buyers
who may be attending the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, and will take place from 20-22
October 2017. In addition to expanded water moorings the on-land component will be
bigger, allowing for even more marine and boating-related exhibitors.

Also of interest is the fact that one of the world’s largest trade fair companies – Messe
Frankfurt – have purchased the event from the current owners effective 2018. This is great
news for the local boating industry as Messe Frankfurt is heavily committed to the sector –
they already own and stage the Johannesburg Boat & Water Show as well as
Automechanika Johannesburg. The latter is the premier automotive industry event in sub-
Saharan Africa.

The Western Cape is home to a large number of small and medium-sized craft
manufacturers. This includes Robertson and Caine – based in Woodstock Cape Town –
recognised among the top three manufacturers of luxury catamarans in the world. On the
small craft side, Gemini has established itself as a leader in the military, rescue and
recreational market for rigid inflatable boats.

‘The list of exhibitors for the 2017 iteration is growing. With limited space on land and on
the water it makes sense to get in early and secure desirable positions,’ says Whiting. ‘We
are delighted with Messe Frankfurt coming on board. Their marketing muscle and reach to
other markets on the continent will no doubt expand the exhibitor as well as visitor base
going forward.’

The Cape Town International Boat Show takes place at the V&A Waterfront Marine from
20-22 October 2017. For more information go to or email

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