New crafts debut at Düsseldorf

Manufacturers have been unveiling large and small boats alike at the world's largest boat show, which runs through January 31.

The show, down but not out from the recession, has seen a surprising amount of luxury unveilings alongside the hundreds of smaller, more affordable craft promised by organizers. In the final billed press unveiling of the show, Princess Yachts Tuesday launched the V85-S Sports yacht, a 25-meter, 58-ton superyacht with a top speed of 40 knots.

In total 1,568 exhibitors are present from 55 countries, with Dutch manufacturers and boatyards the most prolific, followed by Italy, France, Austria and the UK. This is 73 fewer manufacturers than last year, equating to around nine percent less floor space.

Despite that, Boot Dusseldorf officials claim the market has improved significantly in the past few months. Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, CEO of event organizer Messe Düsseldorf commented on the first day of the show that "since the end of last year business has picked up again significantly."

Although demand for luxury yachts has ebbed, there are still 50 large yachts showcased. Drettmann has introduced its Elegance 122, which is 37 meters long and weighs in at 200,000 kilograms. The triple-deck yacht has five guest rooms and three crew rooms, dining room, kitchen and lounge on board, but won't be available to buy anytime soon - it was built for a private customer in Taiwan. British luxury brand Sunseeker has also unveiled its Predator 60‘ (19.37 m) for the first time in mainland Europe, a yacht capable of 42 knots that is available in an open or hardtop version.

The 17 halls of the show cater for every taste though, with equal attention being paid to more affordable boats. Swedish brand Holmen Marine has staged the world unveiling of its new "Nordic Line" RIB dinghy collection, consisting of four dinghies for the whole family, including two models designed for small children or teenagers. German brand Hellwig has also unveiled the new Milos V 580 Bowrider, a 5.8 meter sports boat capable of 36 knots.