Youth and Marina Forum

Join the “Youth and Marina Forum” taking place during the Nieuwpoort International Boat Show in October, 2017.


Is the marina industry facing a big problem? The boat owner population is getting older and it seems that less youngsters get involved. Efforts are being made by international and local federations to make boating popular with a number of very engaged teenagers. Many of these young people thoroughly enjoy the time they spend on the water, yet between the ages of 18-35, a huge number are lost from the sport! So why is this? To answer that question we need to take a look at the reasons behind people leaving the sport at that age. Little or no money to pay for the sport? A lack of clear pathways into bigger boating? Dividing time over different activities at that age? Are activities offered by clubs not appealing to youngsters?

It shouldn’t be difficult for marinas to address the first two issues, particularly as many boat owners find it difficult to find crew to sail. Yet this latent demand for youngsters is not always apparent to young people. A lot of marinas are becoming less accessible for non-member visitors, which means a lot of young people don’t feel confident (or are not able to enter) to walk down the pontoons to approach boat owners to ask if they are looking for crew.

When youngsters become more interested in boating, we will automatically increase their interest in the marine industry and also make them consider working in it. An industry where work skills and lifestyle intermingle. It is up to the industry to make some changes. It’s needed right now!

VVW-Nieuwpoort, hosting partner for the Nieuwpoort International Boat Show (, Belgium’s largest in water boat show on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of October in Nieuwpoort, invites the TransEurope Marinas members to be part of a platform where marinas can present and exchange their ideas and efforts to each other.

Let’s talk about how we can work closer together to secure our business for the future. How can we as marinas make a change? What can we do as marinas? What is being done at the moment? Let’s make a change!

Join us on the afternoon of the 20th of October 2017! More info coming soon

(Image supplied by VVW-Nieuwpoort)