We took a whirlwind tour through the world’s most important boat show in Amsterdam last week, and our only regret is that we didn’t stay longer at the Marine Equipment Trade Show. In the three years we’ve taken off from November’s marquee industry event, it’s exploded in size and scope – and for the sport we all love, that’s a very good thing, because METS may be the most accurate barometer in the world for the health of sailing globally. And if that’s the case, we’re in for a hell of a decade – in just three years, the number of attendees has nearly doubled, and you may remember that the METS doesn’t allow public entry – every one of those 24,000-odd people is in the boat biz or a special guest of an exhibitor.
The number of exhibitors has also mushroomed up to over 1400 from literally all over the world; instead of a couple of exhibition halls, there were about 12 massive spaces filled to overflowing with products and service providers touting everything from infrared engine-room monitoring cameras to new fender systems for marina walls.
We were mostly unimpressed with the number of truly innovative new products, but that’s not a bad thing; rather than a lot of dreamy new toys, there were dreamy new companies from dreamy new lands – another positive sign that the sport’s providing new opportunities in new places.
We had enough time to pick our own ‘best in show’ as well as to grab some interviews with the sport’s movers and shakers. Here’s the video guide, and no, we don’t care if the sound isn’t up to your standards. If you want the info no one else has, this is your only option, and we can guarantee a much bigger effort for next year’s METS.
One of our Best In Show choices – Rope Eye’s “Spiderblock”
A fascinating chat with Diab Composites engineer Valerio about the new Divinycell ‘anti-slam’ core, including a chat about Hugo Boss structural issues and the future of high-speed monohull construction. Part One. Part Two.
Two products Americans might never otherwise see despite their cleverness – the Ino-Block high-load block and the “Nub”. If you want the latest and greatest as seen on the Mini/Class 40/Open 60, clicky.
With IRC and HPR proving dismal failures in the US and ORR struggling to get out of the box, it’s time for a new player in Grand Prix rating rules, with Key West 2016 ringing in the new year with ORC in America. Learn all about the rule in this 20-minute chat with Dobbs Davis and Matteo Polli.
They kept trying to kick me out for shooting the “no photography” DAME awards hall. I shot it anyway.
BONUS VIDEO: The “Sailor Girl” Nic Douglass shot VOR Boatyard boss Nick Bice giving a talk about the shared boatyard concept. Good stuff here. Check Nic’s feed for more from METS and wherever the hell she is this week.