By David Robinson

China’s latest boat show, SO! Dalian (the SO stands for superyacht owner), has opened in north China with support from both domestic and international businesses in the yacht, private aviation, car, property and other luxury sectors.

The four-day show offers a new mix of luxury and lifestyle products and services with a series of sport attractions in parallel as part of the overall event. Around 50% of the total brands on show are yacht related.

Several leading global brands are included among the yacht companies participating in the show. Most are exhibiting directly, such as Azimut-Benetti, Ferretti, Lurssen, Mondo Marine, Marquis, Sunseeker, Silver Yachts and Sanlorenzo, or through local or regional distributors.

The latter extends to a long list and includes Beneteau and its brands such as Monte Carlo Yachts, Lagoon, Jeanneau and Prestige; Arcadia, Sealine, Bavaria, Dufour, Hanse, X-Yachts, Cranchi, Chaparral, Absolute and Pursuit.

A number of special yacht service providers also exhibited such as NDA, the French marine design and consultancy group that has been active in China for 10 years, and Rosemont, the superyacht ownership and financial specialist. Monaco as a location was also represented with the Monaco Tourism Board taking the lead.

Complementing the international companies were a group of domestic Chinese builders and distributors. These included Sea Stella, Heysea Yachts Freemdom Marine, Dalian Bluewhale, Qingdao Furi Yachts, ODC, Ruiying Yachts, Oceanlink, Mediaship and Hangseng Marine.

Delphine Lignieres, founder of show organiser China Rendezvous, told SB: “I am very pleased with the success of this first edition. The aim was to establish a lifestyle event in the north of China, which is a very seasonal market but with many wealthy people. We are planning to return next year as well as holding SO!-related receptions at both the Cannes and Monaco yacht shows, and we are also looking to return to Sanya with an event in December 2015.”

The holding of SO! Dalian by the China Rendezvous organization poses a question mark over the future of the Hainan Rendezvous event, which in its 2014 edition was half the size of the previous year in terms of exhibitor numbers due to Ligneres not sharing in the organisation. One leading exhibitor who shared in both SO! Dalian and Hainan, for example, indicated to SB that it has written to the Visun Group, the partner of Lignieres, to be assured about how they will attract luxury industry exhibitors for 2015. The company will need to be convinced by Visun that it can achieve that before it decides to exhibit.