Le Grand Pavois is one of the three largest floating boat shows in the world. The oldest floating boat show in Europe, Le Grand Pavois was founded in 1973, and it welcomes on average two thousand professionals and around one hundred thousand visitors. Each year a different country or region is chosen as the special theme. This year, it started on September 16, and will end on 21. I have been out and I barely found the time to mention it before its final day.
A few numbers will give you an idea of the scale of the event: 850 exhibitors from 35 nations, over one hundred thousand square meters of exhibition space split into eight zones, a floating exhibition of three hundred boats in the over 7 meters category, an exhibition of smaller boats and all sorts of related machinery and equipment will take place at the Port des Minimes in La Rochelle.
Today the Grand Pavois is a major national event and the biggest economic event held in the Poitou-Charentes Region. A forum for the players in the nautical industry to meet sailing and boating enthusiasts – present in considerable numbers in a region with no fewer than forty two marinas (9,689 moorings) – in forty years the show has become a key partner for the Region. It represents a major contributor to the local economy as well as to the development of the nautical industry, not to mention the jobs it creates indirectly in and around the nautical industry. According to a study carried out by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of La Rochelle, the Grand Pavois has injected twenty five million Euros into the local economy.
– the show’s website
Heritage & Tradition space
The creation of the Heritage and Tradition space highlights the boats as explicitly as possible and it is laid out between the land and the water.
On land, visitors are able to discover the stands of Chasse Marée, the Maritime Museum, Poitou-Charentes Regional Cultural Affairs Agency as well as the boat, Damien, the restoration of which started after the Grand Pavois 2012, with the support of Poitou-Charentes Regional Cultural Affairs Agency and the Friends of La Rochelle Maritime Museum. It is presented partially restored this year. It is also be possible to see the Moon Boat belonging to the Watever Association from Bangladesh, the Lili 6,10, a Montauban design built by Jean-Yves Poirier, the Challenge “Naviguer Léger” boat belonging to the Chasse Marée, as well as the beautiful flotilla of Pertuis boats.
In-water, almost twenty units are presented, such as Amphitrite, Berceau from Moïse, the Chaloupe from Hermione, Clapotis, Duperré, Elad, Général Leclerc, Joshua, Lady Trix, Laisses les dire, Lola of Skagen, Ma Hill, Martroger, Notre Dame de la Clarté, P’tit drôle, Petit Salé, Talion, and more. This year, about ten listed boats are mooring at the Grand Pavois La Rochelle.
19 and 20 September are the European Heritage Days, a unique opportunity to discover part of France’s maritime history brought together on the same place!
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