The forthcoming Moscow Boat Show, to be held from March 7-11, will occupy approximately 20,000sq m of the extensive Crocus Exhibition Centre on the northwest outskirts of the city.
According to show manager Andrey Kovalev, the domestic market within Russia – which had seen a sharp slowdown after 2010 – has been strengthening in the past two years, helped to some extent by a government decree in 2014 that allocated over 96 billion roubles to the improvement of coastal leisure boating facilities as part of a broader initiative to encourage tourism.
With over 200 exhibitors expected this year, and upwards of 15,000 visitors, the show is the largest in Russia, followed by smaller exhibitions in St Petersburg in September and on the Volga near Samara in June.
Imported brands for use within Russia are popular – especially luxury motor cruisers in the 30ft-80ft range, as domestic production in this size range is very limited, as are sailing yachts. However, the small boat market absorbs literally tens of thousands of domestically produced trailerable or car-top motorboats for leisure and fishing. These are powered by well-known Japanese or American-built outboard motor brands which are collectively estimated to sell between 15,000 and 20,000 units a year, but it is also thought that to satisfy demand for cheaper engines well over 50,000 outboard motors are imported each year from Chinese manufacturers.
The well-established market of Russian buyers of luxury vessels who keep and maintain their boats or larger yachts in the Mediterranean, Adriatic or elsewhere in the world continues to be a strong segment of the business driven by thousands of wealthy Russian customers who enjoy the international lifestyle.