The year 2020 has undoubtedly been extremely eventful for the boat market. While the coronal situation in the spring caused great uncertainty, the situation quickly turned positive: The watersports market is booming and an enormously high demand has developed, especially for used boats. No wonder, considering that holidays on the water are considered particularly safe and are therefore increasingly becoming an alternative to hotel holidays. This is also reflected in the current trends for 2021.
Wellbeing below deck
Below deck, the trend continues to be clearly towards space and comfort. Wellbeing is the motto. Lots of light, more and larger windows for daylight even in the hull and light, discreet colours instead of mahogany and teak set the current standards in terms of design. Sailing yachts are increasingly becoming a place of social togetherness, as has been exemplified by motor yachts for some time now, and offer extensive space for many fellow sailors in the cockpit and below deck.
The description of the new Bavaria C38 summarizes the current customer wishes very precisely:
"Perfect sailing characteristics, easy handling, maximum use of the interior space below deck and greatest comfort." Only a few years ago, even experts would have said that this was a list of several contradictions.
Trends on deck
Less effort, but still plenty of sailing power. More and more shipyards are combining sporty sailing on the one hand with the desire for a relaxed holiday feeling on the other. Performance cruisers such as the new Dehler 38SQ are sought-after examples. "Chinese" - constructive kinks in the side of the hull, originally developed in offshore sports for more stability under sails at an angle of heel of 15 to 20 degrees - are a trend that will remain in 2021. As a rule, however, the focus here is less on sailing performance than on cleverly gaining space below deck, especially in the stern cabins.
The desire to be able to sail into old age and with a small crew is another development driver. Shipyards are responding to this with technical systems that support skipper and crew and require significantly less physical strength. The "side effects" of sailing, such as a crooked back and calloused hands, are a thing of the past thanks to hydraulics and electronics. The Hallberg-Rassy 57, for example, offers a successful all-round package: with a hydraulic furling mast, electric foresail furling system, electric sheet winches, bow thruster and retractable bathing platform, even this large yacht can be sailed with a minimum crew.
The development of joystick controls, which are already standard in the motorboat sector, is also exciting. They make manoeuvring in ports much more comfortable, but have not yet become established in the sailing sector. Bénéteau has taken an important step in this direction and developed the "Dock & Go" system, an innovative manoeuvring aid for sailing ships under engine. This allows the ship to be moved in the tightest of spaces.
Smart boating and sustainability
The current absolute trend is solutions in the areas of smart home or smart boating and mobility. The market now offers countless apps that provide sailors with practical information and real added value. The smartphone or tablet becomes a mobile on-board computer, because as a logbook it not only documents every single trip and supports navigation, but also provides weather forecasts or reserves berths. Many shipyards are now also integrating smart solutions into their yachts, with which, for example, the heating on board or the refrigerator can be remotely controlled and the location monitored.
The topic of sustainability is clearly on the rise. From filter systems for drinking water and waste water to electric drives, which have long since found their way into dinghies, for example. Light and space-saving podded drives, electric saildrives or the world's first fully integrated hybrid drive are also becoming increasingly common on the market. In the case of inboard engines, however, a comprehensive development remains to be seen. It depends on how the future develops. Reasons are the still limited battery power, weight disadvantages and acquisition costs. However, consideration for a clean environment is also playing an increasingly important role in areas such as boat building itself or the production of sails from recycled materials.
Sailing: Beginner´s topics
Newcomers to sailing will find all the information and advice they need from experienced sailing experts at boot Düsseldorf in hall 15.