Accessibility and Inclusion

Whole leisure marine sector can join in World Boating Day

Hans Buitelaar
Sunday, 24 March 2024
Like International Ocean Day, or Women’s Day, World Boating Day (WBD) is set to become an annual day to celebrate the boating lifestyle. Any yacht club, marina, yard, or supplier can organize their own event. There is no cost involved in joining WBD, it’s just nice to put all of the good things the leisure marine sector offers in the spotlight, simultaneously as an industry.

May 25th and 26th this year, the calendar is marked for the first WBD. Yards, yacht clubs or marinas that invite their clients, neighbours and other relations to open days, can do this in this last weekend of May and join in a growing worldwide day of boating events. 

The initiative to call the whole leisure boating industry together for this day comes from The Superyacht Life Foundation. “We want to show the yachting lifestyle to an audience that doesn’t know it yet,” Dilan Saraç explains. The executive director of The Superyacht Life Foundation outlines the goals for the annual day of events. “We like to invite all organisations in leisure boating to show what is going on behind the scenes: how craftsmen are working passionately on the yachts and boats or dedicate themselves to refining appliances on board. 

We want to create media value, so we can reach a lot of people through social media and mainstream media, to show the pleasures and positive aspects of leisure boating. And we want to make students aware of the opportunities of employment in the marine sector. We want to attract the next generation of boat builders, equipment manufacturers, marketing and sales professionals. 

A lot of innovations are developed in leisure boating. The sector offers employment and adds to the economy. The industry is working hard to create zero emission boating.”

SUP to Superyacht

WBD Event Consultant Laurie Foulon adds: “From the Superyacht Life foundation, we initially focussed on superyachts, now we aim to gather the whole leisure boating sector in this day of putting the spotlight on boating. 

It is a simple concept. No organisation needs to do anything that they were not already doing. It would be good for the industry to have all these hospitality activities at the same day demonstrating the good of boating life.”

Change perception

During preparations for WBD, the Foundation investigators consulted with industry professionals. Managers at yards and supplier companies as well as professionals at marinas tell the story of how people get involved in boating: the majority comes from families that had boats. 

People who didn’t get boating from their parents, tend to have a lot of misconceptions. Especially with large yachts, people think they are an excessive display of luxury and cause a lot of pollution. This may hold them back from showing interest in purchasing a yacht. “World Boating Day is definitely going to change that,” Foulon asserts.


The organisers acknowledge that the fresh initiative needs to get embraced by the leisure boating sector. “We are in close contact with a lot of companies that are interested in participating in WBD,” says Saraç. “Overall perception along a variety of organisations is quite positive. 

We need to campaign inside the industry to get the branding of the event clear. We intend to show the experiences of the participants of this first edition to promote participation in the next year. We want to make organisations in leisure boating understand the possibilities of collaboration. We reach out to industry organisations. 

World Boating Day is not intended to be our event; it should evolve to become an event for the entire leisure marine sector. WBD has the support of The Superyacht Life's newest partner, METSTRADE, as well as ICOMIA, the International Superyacht Society, the US Superyacht Association, and Superyacht Australia, among other organizations. Australia’s Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show has officially registered as a WBD participant, as have Bilgin Yachts of Turkey, who will host a student yard tour. WBD is intended to become a world wide event. 


To attract an audience that doesn’t know waterborne leisure, a campaign is being laid out. Saraç: “We want to show why it is nice to live on the waterside, and how one can enjoy the water even more on a boat. If any organisation wants to offer a free day with fun events, to show what leisure on the water is like, this may prove to be a very organic way to reach people.”

Media reports

Getting attention for WBD, the team will approach influencers to host shows from interesting places and offer them and their followers a view behind the scenes. Journalists from newspapers and television may be invited to make reports of the events. 

“We are only a small foundation but we like to be the bridge between all of the individual events that companies and clubs will organise on this day in May.”

The Superyacht Life Foundation was established in 2017 to promote a positive image of the yachting lifestyle. The Foundation is backed by 27 partners in the yachting world.