The first thing that strikes me as a first timer to the Paris Boat show – or more properly the Salon Nautic de Paris – is just the scale of it. I’ve been to the NYC boat show and of course the Seattle Boat show, but frankly neither is really of the scale on the sailing side that this one. This Microsoft Photosynth 360 degree panorama of some of the aisles gives an idea.
To go along with the grand scale are some of the big cruising boats. Dufour, Beneteau and Diehler, as well as some custom brands from “chantier” in Brittany all have boats 55’ and over on the show floor. Both Lagoon and Fountain Pajot have 45’ catamarans here. But there are also boats at the lower end of the scale as well. One of the things about the Normandy and Brittany coasts are the dramatic tides. So many boats are designed to spend a significant part of their lives sitting on their keels hard and dry. This means fairly substantial fins with flat bottomed bulbs at the bottom.
One thing that sets a context for it is that Eric Tabarly’s famous Pen Duick II is dwarfed by these modern cruisers.
But lest you think the Paris Boat Show is only about big cruisers there is a whole separate building dedicated to power boating and yet another to sail, spar and navigation vendors. More on those later.