Venice Boat Show, electric boat regatta set for May 29

The Salone Nautico Venezia and the accompanying ę-Regatta electric boat regatta, both postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, are scheduled to proceed May 29 to June 5 in the historic ‘La Serenissima’ canal city.

Even as the organizers announced the postponement last March 29, they had already started planning for a 2021 event, keen to capitalize on the unrivalled maritime status of the city, the historic Arsenale site of the show and the momentum of the 2019 edition, which attracted more than 27,000 visitors.

The Venice Boat Show is presented by the City of Venice in conjunction with Vela, the region’s main public transport provider, with support from the Italian Navy. Coordinating these and other local partners with the international organizers and presenters is the Venti di Cultura (Winds of Culture) association, which promotes the value of culture in demonstrating how land and water routes help communities find unity and purpose.

aerial view of the Arsenale where electric boat regatta will be held held in The venue is again the Arsenale of Venice, a magnificent complex of former shipyards and armouries that was at the heart of Venice’s naval power when the city-state literally ruled the seas. In its 15th century heyday the complex could turn out a ship a day through the world’s first assembly line operation and there was even a dedicated Arsenale forest to provide wood for the boats.

It is the perfect setting for the boat show and e-Regatta, with a 50,000 square metre water basin (that’s 5 hectares – 12 acres!),  30,000 sqm of outdoor exhibition area and another 10,000 sqm of indoor pavilions.

One of the highlights of the 2019 show was the eager acceptance and promotion of its electric and hybrid boats elements. The show opened with Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro and Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, President of the Italian Senate, declaring that in the future the only type of boat in Venice would be electric. “We can say that surely all the boats will become hybrids and in our Grand Canal they will go electric.”

Electric boat regatta shows viability for canal use

The e-Regatta is a great showcase for the viability of electric marine propulsion for recreational and commercial boats on Venice’s 26 miles of canals. The electric boat regatta is being organized by VeniceAgenda 2028 (VA2028), Triumph Group International and the Assonautica Venezia under the banner of Inland Waterways International (IWI).

See the full e-Regatta schedule and program on the Venti di Cultura website

Over the course of the e-Regatta competitors will race in a speed event, slalom event and endurance event. A highlight will be the ‘e-ballerina’ judged event – a combination of ice-skating and water ski tricks – that requires deft manoeuvring of the boats, all accompanied by music.

Electric boat regatta competitor

For last year’s inaugural e-Regatta there were 32 electric boats entered by manufacturers and private owners in 18 countries and the organizers are hoping they will all return, along with some newcomers that have appeared in the electric boat scene over the past 12 months. Those interested in competing should contact e-Regatta Co-Founder Kevin Desmond at

Another presentation at the Show will be the second edition of an international exposition of studies and projects focussing on sustainable sailing. It is similar to other research and design presentation like the Tech Talks segment at each year’s Monaco Solar and Energy Boat Challenge.

Presented in conjunction with the foundation that manages the Venice’s collection of 11 famed museums– Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia – the project is inviting submissions from professionals and students, single or associated individuals or companies that have created and/or simply designed projects and studies for sustainability in sailing.  They can relate to the overall design for a vessel and/or interiors and/or detailed components, propulsion system, the structure, etc.

International expo of sustainable boating concepts

The submissions should fall under one or both of two criteria of vessels for transporting people: sailing and motor yachts belonging to classes up to 24 metres and/or boats for inland waterways. The proposals and ideas can be conceptual or already proven in production and can be for boats of any type of construction.

The exhibition of winning submissions will be held in the Arsenale during the show and perhaps in some of the other Venice museums afterward. The selection committee is a panel of experts appointed by the Mayor of Venice.

For this competition, interested parties should contact: or visit the project information page on the Fondazione’s website.


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