The number of visitors to the Helsinki Uiva boat show up by more than 14%


Last weekend's Helsinki Boat-Afloat show attracted a top audience in hot weather to the marina. More than 12,100 visitors interested in boats, boating equipment and services visited the show during four days. More than 250 boats were on display at the event, and all the accessories and services of the boating industry were comprehensively presented on the sold-out land area of about two hectares.

The event was also fueled by the active boat trade. Although new boat registrations in Finland are 13% behind last year's peak, the registrations are still 17% ahead of 2019's level. Photo: Petri Järvinen / Kompass Lehdet.
The event was also fueled by the active boat trade. Although new boat registrations in Finland are 13% behind last year's peak, the registrations are still 17% ahead of 2019's level. Photo: Petri Järvinen / Kompass Lehdet.

"The interest in boating seems to continue at a high level. The event received positive feedback from the audience and from the exhibitors. Uiva has always been a good-spirited summer event, but this year people had an even better time at the event," says Jarkko Pajusalo, CEO of Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat.

The event was also fueled by the active boat trade. Although new boat registrations in Finland are 13% behind last year's peak, the registrations are still 17% ahead of 2019's level.

"The figures for the boat trade are still exceptionally strong. Manufacturers and importers have also had difficulties this year in delivering the quantities of boats that consumers would have wanted. Difficulties in the supply of components have limited boat production, and the supply chain challenges have even become more pronounced during the current year," says Pajusalo.

On the other hand, the number of visitors to the Helsinki in-water boat show was more than 14% higher than during the previous edition two years ago. In 2021, the event could not be organized due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Introducing the new Aquador and the flying electric boat Candela

One of the most significant launches at the exhibition was the premiere of the new Aquador 300 HT. Bella-Veneet Oy's sales and marketing manager Janne Mäkelä was satisfied after the show.

"The show left a positive image: the world has by no means stopped. The atmosphere was good and there were people waiting in line to get to know the new boat. An entire model series is built around the new Aquador, so we also listened to the comments with a sensitive ear," says Mäkelä.

According to Mäkelä, the Uiva boat show is especially important to Bella as a place to showcase large boats. The sales season for medium-sized and small boats starts at the Vene Båt show each February but deals for large models are done in the fall and they are manufactured during the winter, equipped according to customer orders.

"Uiva is the right time to buy big boats. They also clearly interested the public: the pontoon was blocked at times, when on one side there was the new Aquador and on the other side the large 900 series Flippers", says Mäkelä.

Another significant premiere was the foiling electric boat Candela. The brand new Candela C-8 daycruiser able to travel a good 90 kilometers on a single charge at a speed of 20 knots, had its world premiere in Uiva.

"There were a lot of people interested in the electric boat: people had read about the boat in advance and especially the younger visitors asked very detailed questions about the boat. Foiling in particular was something people were well aware of," says Tapani Hollmén, CEO of Telva, the importer of Candela.

The interest continued with the test runs organized at the end of Uiva's Friday day, during which there was a queue for the boat for four hours after the show.150 Candela C-8s have already been ordered, of which, according to Hollmén's estimate, five will arrive in Finland in the next few years.

"Momentum is right now for such a boat, both due to fuel consumption and environmental aspects. In Finland, the interest is very high considering the size of the market," says Hollmén.

Also children appreciated the program

In recent years, Uiva has developed a program designed for the whole family. Nina from Vantaa visited the show with her family: in addition to her husband and little boy, a dog also toured the boat show.

"There was plenty of room in the parking lot and the area had a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, something for the whole family. Special thanks for the amazing program number offered by a jetski and a man on top a water jet. A great show, said the six-year-old boy. We will definitely come again", says Nina.

Fishing guide Jani Ollikainen was in Uiva talking about the equipment for fishing boats and presenting his own Buster XXL aluminum boat equipped as a special boat for casting. About ten different fishing boats were on display at the exhibition, and the new fishing pier placed in the middle of the show area garnered praise from both the public and the exhibitors.

"People were really interested in fishing boat accessories and bow electric motors, and especially fish echo display installations," says Ollikainen. 

Clothes and accessories did their business

Arja Kunnasluoto-Gustafsson, the entrepreneur of Ocean Spirit, a specialist shop for sea-themed clothing, interior decoration and gift products, was very satisfied with the event.

"Absolutely great event, nicely organized, lovely customers and great weather. Uiva was the best fair we have ever participated in - it was easy to notice that people wanted to be among people after a long time," reflects Kunnasluoto-Gustafsson.

Dishes, clothes and accessories were sold at the fair.

"Uiva's hit products were summer dresses for women. Country of origin, ecology and ethics interested customers," says Kunnasluoto-Gustafsson.

Storm Marin's Manne Stenros says that their staff noticed that boating outfits had had time to wear out during the COVID-19 years.

"Boaters clearly had a pent-up demand, and especially a lot of new shoes, boating gloves and jackets were purchased to replace worn out ones. People clearly wanted to come and chat, experiment, and try out. Shoes in particular are products that you don't want to buy online," Stenroos mentions.

Mika Vanhala, the entrepreneur of Oy Esco Ab, or, which sells boating electronics, electrical accessories, and heaters, set up a booth at the Uiva boat show in the midst of the rush of moving to a new boat accessories store in Espoo.

"From the retailer's point of view, the situation is positive: despite the overshadowing of the financial situation, the event left a good impression. The atmosphere in the beautiful weather and after a good boating summer was visible in the customers with whom we planned purchases for the coming season," says Vanhala.

According to Vanhala, there were customers from morning to evening throughout the event at the exhibition booth that he hosted together with the Finnish heater manufacturer Safire.

"We are the fastest growing company in the industry, so our way of operating, being present at several trade fairs and highly visible, cannot be wrong," Vanhala estimates.

The next major event in the boat industry in Finland will be the Helsinki International Boat Show Vene 23 Båt, arranged at Messukeskus, Helsinki’s expo and convention centre, between 11 and 20 February 2023. The Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show will again take place in August 2023.




The event was also fueled by the active boat trade. Although new boat registrations in Finland are 13% behind last year's peak, the registrations are still 17% ahead of 2019's level. Photo: Petri Järvinen / Kompass Lehdet.
The event was also fueled by the active boat trade. Although new boat registrations in Finland are 13% behind last year's peak, the registrations are still 17% ahead of 2019's level. Photo: Petri Järvinen / Kompass Lehdet.


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