What Is a Yacht Show?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 February 2020
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A yacht show is a showcasing event for boats. Much like a car show, new models and designs of yachts are exhibited either in an indoor or outdoor location. Exhibitors include boat builders and yacht designers, while attendees are often people interested in purchasing a luxury craft as well as charter brokers and the media. Charter brokers often sell private yacht vacations, while reporters write about the latest yachts for boating publications or lifestyle sections of newspapers. A yacht show may be held at a boating club or convention center that may hold other events associated with a yacht show.

Depending on the location and amount of space, some of the yachts on display may be on land while others serve as floating exhibits. A water shuttle may be provided to take show attendees for an on-board tour of the floating yachts. In some cases, especially where charter brokers are concerned, attendees may be invited to take a test sail of crafts displayed in the water at a yacht show. This type of trial may be called a micro-charter.


Yacht shows are held all over the world, including Asia, Europe and North America. Many shows feature both motor and sailing yachts. Since sailing yachts aren't motorized, this type of boat transportation relies mainly on good wind conditions. In addition to the boats, a yacht show also usually features exhibitors who manufacture, distribute or sell accessories such as motors or boat covers. Tents may be set up for some outdoor exhibitors at yacht shows.

Ticket prices for boat shows vary depending on their size, location and number of exhibitors. Children may be admitted free, and some families often do attend yacht shows. Most yacht shows run several days rather than only one day. In some cases, a ticket stub may allow paid attendees to return to the yacht show for several at no further charge.

Companies displaying their yachts may host cocktail parties, luncheons or dinners for invited guests. At some yacht shows, there are award ceremonies in which boats win prizes such as for the best eco-friendly design. Yacht shows are often annual events that are covered and reviewed in boating and sailing magazines as well as newspapers or lifestyle publications. Yacht show reviewers typically mention the number of boat builders or designer companies participating as well as some of their specific vessels.


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