The 55th Barcelona International Boat Show opens in Port Vell next week with over 260 exhibitors expected to attend.

Around 670 boats will occupy the Moll d'Espanya and Moll de la Fusta quays from October 12-16, including 165 boats of at least 8m in length displayed on water. All kinds of boating products and services, in addition to small boats, will be exhibited on land.

New exhibits being presented for the first time in Spain include the Lagoon Seventy 7, a 23m catamaran with a sail area of 337sq m, and the smaller 6.6m Jeanneau Cap Camarat 6.5 BR – the first in this range with an open bow to increase the space on deck. It has been nominated for a 2017 European Motor Boat of the Year award.

Rodman will also be releasing its new Rodman Spirit 31 outboard series as well as the Rodman 890 Ventura in two different versions – one for fishing and another for leisure cruising. The Rodman Muse 44 and Rodman Muse 54 will also be on display.

Also for the first time, a special area will be set aside on October 13 and 14 for technological entrepreneurs and start-ups, featuring around 20 innovations ranging from new apps to facilitate navigation to a project for an ecological self-inflating craft. This area complements the first edition of the seminars on entrepreneurship, organised in collaboration with Spanish marine industry association ANEN, which will also be hosting an investment forum.

“Promoting innovation is crucial for the growth of a sector of great importance and with a long history in Spain,” says Luis Conde, president of the show. “Start-ups can contribute new ideas, solutions and benefits to many of the exhibiting firms and vice versa, if the collaboration between them is enhanced.”

According to ANEN, recreational boat registration grew by 3.15% in the first eight months of this year. “The boat market has maintained its dynamic so far this year, with a slight increase in registrations compared to 2015,” says secretary general Carlos Sanlorenzo.

“Apart from the numbers, the new types of consumption in boating are continuing to develop, as reflected in the growth of the rental market which is gaining ground on the purchase of boats for private use."

Sanlorenzo says that a new boating promotion campaign, #embárcate (www.embarcate.com), will have a very high profile at the exhibition.

The show's director, Jordi Freixas, adds: “The potential growth of the Spanish market can be seen by the fact that this event attracts interest from international organisations such as CACEL, the Argentinian Boatbuilders Guild, which is participating for the first time with an institutional stand representing half a dozen shipyards, as well as the USA, which is attending once again thanks to an agreement with The National Marine Manufacturers Association.”

The Barcelona Boat Show was a founding member of the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers (IFBSO) and continues to serve as an international benchmark. Organised by Fira de Barcelona and held every year, the show enjoys the backing and collaboration of ANEN.