Days of Croatian Small Boat Builders (DHMB) Continues to Deliver in its 9th Edition

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As part of Total Croatia Sailing, the newest edition to the Total Croatia News family, we will be covering news across the Adriatic, including discovering local and unique festivals. Stepping into the summer season the 9th Edition of the Days of Croatian Small Boat Builders, sets the tone. Over the weekend of April 27th – 1st May 2017, organizers deliver, yet again, another fantastic program of events and exhibitions.

The second I walked down to Marina Lav, I was instantly impressed. After writing about the mildly disappointing Croatia Boat Show, this was a pleasant surprise. The first thing that struck me was the energy, atmosphere and life of the event. With music blazing over the speakers, people playing volleyball on the inflatable ‘field’, the smell of Čevapi in the air and the line-up of boats, exhibitions & suppliers, I knew I was in for a great afternoon.

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The Days of Croatian Small Boat Builders (DHMB) began as a small festival 8 years ago as a way to highlight traditional and local craftmanship in the world of boating; it has been growing in offering and recognition ever since. This year, there were boats represented by 25 Croatian Boat Builders, from across the Country: Istria & Kvarner, Zadar County, Šibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia and Zagreb. As well as 40 well-sailed boats in the sea, stand-outs included SEA PEARL 56 an 18-metre yacht, followed by SAMPA 6, by Brnabić – a yacht with a traditional look, yet exceptional modern technology, Monachus Yachts were also present, marking their 10th Anniversary of exhibiting at DHMB. I also need to mention my personal joy at seeing hand-built models of wooden ships, as this is something traditional to many Croatian families, including my own.

The event itself, somehow managed to pull off a community-feel, where children and families were welcome to enjoy the many activities and exhibitions along the beach, whilst walking a little further down the Marina, one stepped into a world of luxury to be expected at a boat show – the glamorous enjoying a glass of bubbly and water-front views at the many restaurants along the Marina.

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This year, special attention was paid to adrenaline and water-sports, eco-electric vehicles, outdoor gyms, playgrounds and everything for kayaking and trekking to biking, kite-surfing and the many outdoor activities people have come to discover in Croatia.The legendary Harley Davidson also presented its motors including the future of two-wheel (and four-wheeler) GRYP electric bikes from the Croatian innovator Mate Rimac. I was also happy to see Solar Projekt present, after speaking to Boris Tudor he explained that solar panels are growing increasingly popular, especially in the boating world, more are turning to alternative energy (welcome news) – like Stella Maris, a traditional gulet set to hit the water this summer fueled solely by solar power (read more here).

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There were also plenty of events to keep everyone entertained all weekend; such as the CRO SUP Tour Challenge, Remote-control sailboat races, Kite Challenge and a Kayak Family Cup, as well as the usual suspects showing off on the many water ‘toys’ from jet skis to fly-boarding!

The event particularly stood out to me as, not only highlighting the incredible talent of local companies and ship-builders, but as a festival out to prove that Croatia has so much more to offer, from the wealth of entrepreneurs to adrenaline activities. Vice President of the DHMB Tomi Božiković, had this to say;

‘By launching this offer related to tourist attractions, we have opened up the segment of tourism to show that Croatia has much more to offer than just sun and sea. Apart from the abundance of traditional craftsmanship of construction and production that are more and more sought after, we want to see it in the future as a destination that presents many interesting attractions to round-off the current tourist offer.’

Being a foreigner who visited Croatia for the first time 5 years ago and is still learning about the life and culture here, I am continually blown away by just how incredible this country is and am forever learning the ‘secrets’ and discovering new and wonderful events and traditions. Events like this add to the colour of Croatia and are exactly what this country needs more of.

Bravo to the organizers, I am already looking forward to next year!

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