The leisure marine sector is getting ready for business as the METSTRADE trade fair returns to Amsterdam for its 35th edition.

Photography by METSTRADE

09 November 2023


There is under a week to METSTRADE 2023, as many thousands of leading marine professionals prepare for the world’s largest gathering of leisure marine industry businesses.

The METSTRADE fair, which takes place from Wednesday 15 to Friday 17 November in Amsterdam, is one of the biggest events of the year for many in the industry.

“It’s a special edition for us in so many ways,” says METSTRADE director Niels Klarenbeek. “We’re celebrating our 35th anniversary by launching two new pavilions to stimulate interest in foiling and start-up businesses, reflecting the industry’s need to innovate.

“We’re stimulating accessibility and inclusion by placing a new Career Zone right in the heart of our Young Professionals Club and holding our second Women in the Marine Industry International Event.

“Plus, as you have come to expect of METSTRADE, we have an array of features and events to share best practices and stimulate debate on the passion we share to create a sustainable marine sector. This includes a Next Generation Propulsion Zone for the first time.


Klarenbeek reveals that more than 1,500 exhibitors from 53 countries will be present in 11 halls, 240 of them new to METSTRADE this year.

He continues: “Visitors will also be able to explore the collective endeavours of 29 national pavilions representing 19 countries, including newcomer Croatia, and engage with marine industry associations to be signposted to local expertise.”

Uniquely for this year, METSTRADE is starting on a Wednesday and running through to a Friday, providing opportunities for visitors and exhibitors to take a weekend break in Amsterdam before heading home.


Awards and announcements

METSTRADE will be prefaced by its traditional Breakfast Briefing on Wednesday 15 November 2023. Headlining the event is the chairman and CEO of Italian shipyard Sanlorenzo, Massimo Perotti. His keynote will outline how the leisure marine sector can transition to carbon neutrality.

Perotti’s presentation will be followed by the unveiling of the winners of the DAME Design 2023 Awards. This year organisers say they have seen a very high ratio of entries nominated across eight new categories – winning products represent the pinnacle of holistic design effort, with one judged to be the overall DAME Award winner. All winners will be available to view at the DAME Design Awards showcase in hall 13.

Alongside this display, the METSTRADE Theatre will host interviews with Perotti and DAME winners, as part of an extensive series of discussion panels and presentations covering key technology, innovation, diversity and sustainability topics.


New technologies and innovators

METSTRADE is introducing two brand new pavilions for this year, in hall 7.

The Foiling Technology Pavilion, developed in partnership with the Foiling Organization, brings many key players involved in this technology to the show as exhibitors for the first time. Visitors will learn how to implement foils into mainstream yacht design and construction from leading experts and try their hand at an AC40 simulator — the same one used by the race series’ crews.

The Start-Up Pavilion, launched in collaboration with Yachting Ventures, features 15 businesses and their products. The exhibitors in this area are focused on two key areas – digitisation and sustainability. Within those categories, there is a range of activity, from underwater robotics, 3D printed inflatable complex structures and electrification enablers to management systems and battery health prediction software.

The Next Generation Propulsion Zone in Hall 13 combines the latest electric and hybrid engines, alternative fuels, and zero-emission products from 19 international companies in one display.

Visitors can also walk the Superyacht Sustainability Route to explore the products from marine businesses that have successfully achieved the Water Revolution Foundation’s rigorous life cycle assessments.

METSTRADE will also display the results of its collaboration with World Sailing and World Sailing Trust at the Construction Material Pavilion in hall 12, including common but difficult-to-recycle sailing equipment that was collected this year at the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships’ new Equipment Recycling Hub.

METSTRADE 2023 also hosts the 14th edition of the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award, which brings together the 20 top images of professional photographers worldwide. The overall winner is announced on Thursday 16 November. The photo competition is a precursor to the annual Yacht Racing Forum’s arrival within the METSTRADE programme from 2024 onwards.

Employability and diversity

METSTRADE’s Young Professionals Club (YPC), which has been nurturing marine professionals under the age of 35 for many years, offers a free-to-access lounge and networking opportunities and tours. New for this year’s YPC is the METSTRADE Career Zone, run in partnership with international recruitment specialist Marine Resources.

Students and up-and-coming professionals will enjoy complimentary access to career coaching sessions with the Marine Resources team, lots of informal advice and opportunities to meet industry leaders, and hear about the latest job vacancies.

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, a breakfast-time Women in the Marine Industry International meeting at the METSTRADE Theatre on Thursday 16 November will be supported by British Marine, Soundings Trade Only and Marine Industry News.

Six female leaders will discuss how to take advantage of the opportunities open to women in the marine industry today and answer audience questions.

Later that day, the METSTRADE Theatre will host a panel of female founders who will share their challenges and success strategies, providing valuable insights into how to support and promote entrepreneurship.


Celebrating excellence in boatbuilding

The Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement, in association with Raymarine, raises the profile of companies and industry professionals collectively driving the boat and superyacht manufacturing sector forward.

A celebratory gala dinner under the star-studded glass canopy of the Amsterdam National Maritime Museum on Thursday 16 November.


Key focal points around METSTRADE for 2023

The Superyacht Pavilion (SYP) features more than 350 sector specialist suppliers in halls 9 to 11. Hall 9 will also feature the SYP Bar, hosted by Holland Yachting Group.

The Construction Material Pavilion (CMP) is the place to head for in hall 12 to check out the latest developments in materials and construction techniques, while the Marina & Yard Pavilion (MYP) has its own dedicated space for marina and harbour professionals to meet in hall 5 again this year.


Conference program

Alongside METSTRADE is a particularly busy program of conferences this year.

These include the HISWA Marina Symposium on Friday 17 November and the Superyacht Forum: Connect (14 to 16 November) with a theme of fostering connections, sharing knowledge and cultivating innovation in the superyacht industry.



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