The Mediterranean season is officially underway with the season-opening Palma International Boat Show (PIBS) all wrapped up in Mallorca. Set at the foot of the Santa Maria cathedral in the protected Marina Moll Vell, the exhibition takes over the waterfront for four days on the last weekend of April each year, welcoming hundreds of yachts and many hundreds more crew to the city.
Palma has long been a honeypot for captains and crew, thanks to its vibrant nightlife, choice of marinas, and refit infrastructure — a number of crewmembers attending started their yachting careers dockwalking the marinas that line the Paseo Marítimo — and the show represents a coming together of the industry from shipyards and suppliers to brokers and crew.
The 2023 edition of PIBS, organized by IDI and BYBA, returned to the city following a successful rebrand that saw PIBS and Palma Superyacht Village join forces to become a super event, welcoming 250 yachts.
Over the years, the event has established itself as one of the finest sailing yacht showcases on the calendar, and this year was no exception with a line-up of regatta royalty, modern classics, and world cruisers on display. Plenty of motor yachts also brought power purists to the show. The 49.9-meter M/Y AAA was the largest vessel this year, while M/Y Flying Manta and its gleaming Airbus H130 helicopter stole the spotlight.
The sun was shining throughout the four-day exhibition — apart from a brief moment of unexpected rain that sent deckhands scrambling for the chamois minutes before the show opened on day three.
On the Friday, Dockwalk hosted a Happy Hour at the Tast Out Bar on-site, offering captains and crew drinks and canapés, while some attending yachts such as M/Y Moonraker and S/Y Miss Silver welcomed guests aboard for sundowners of their own that continued long into the evening.
Another event highlight was the seminar breakfast series hosted by Estela Shipping, which was open to all crew and discussed everything from recruitment and career development to retention, remuneration, well-being on board, and employment contracts.
New for this year was the Innovation Corner, organized by Yachting Ventures with support from BYBA. Twelve yachting startups showcased their new products and services, including Crewdentials, a software platform to streamline credential management, LJ eLogbooks, specializing in paperless digital logbooks, and Seazone, all-in-one software that manages expenses, maintenance, charter, and recruitment under a single dashboard.
Also within the dock-side exhibition was a separate area dedicated to refit and repair, which celebrated the Balearic Islands as a key Mediterranean refit hub.
The show concluded with a ceremonial blast of the horns, and the floating bridge was opened with boats leaving to begin their summer seasons. Next year the show is expected to be bigger than ever as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.