The Finnish boating industry’s joint Suomiveneilee.fi test drive event will bring together over 40 different motorboats for test drives in Lauttasaari, Helsinki, on May 17–18. The event offers a variety of boat types, from traditional rowing boats to jet skis, and from work boats with aluminum catamaran hulls to large recreational boats.

“The largest part of the selection, however, consists of helm console boats with outboard motors, which are popular as commuter and excursion boats in Finland. AMT, Falcon, Faster, Silacraft, Silver, and Suvi will be offering test drives with boats of various sizes”, says Jarkko Pajusalo, CEO of the Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat, which is organizing the event.

The test drives will run non-stop on Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Test drives depart every thirty minutes, with the last departure at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“The event has free admission and is aimed at anyone considering buying a boat or upgrading to a new one. Nowhere else in Finland can you test drive such a wide range of boats in a single day”, says Pajusalo.

While the test drive event is ongoing, the summer season’s opening event is also taking place at nearby Veneentekijäntie, where various companies in the boating industry are hosting their own activities. Veneentekijäntie is Finland’s largest boating industry center, offering a wide range of services from boat repair yards to shops selling boat equipment.

Large cruising boats from Galeon and Quarken

The largest boat at this year’s test drive event is the Galeon 470 Skydeck, an almost 15-meter-long luxury-class boat. The boat is equipped with unique features, including sides that can be folded out to create terraces. Quarken 35 Cabin and Marex 310 are examples of family boats with cruising capabilities in the ten-meter class.

There are a total of four electric boats at the event, including traditional Päijän rowing boats equipped with Mercury’s electric Avator outboard motors. One of these rowing boats is also equipped with a front-mounted Motorguide Xi3 electric motor, which is popular among anglers. The larger electric boats at the exhibition include Candela C-8 HT, which features a hull that rises on hydrofoils and a cabin in the bow, and the sleek electric day cruiser Rand Mana 23, which can accommodate up to 10 people.

In addition to helm console boats of various sizes, the test drive event offers a particularly wide range of center cabin boats, which are popular both as transport boats and for fishing. These boats come in various sizes and include models like Alukin C650, Arronet 245, Silver SeaHawk Cabin, Terhi 480, and TG 6.1. Among the larger boats with a similar design, but which also serve as liveaboard cruisers for longer journeys, there are the Targa 27.2 GT, Finnmaster P7, and Jeanneau Merry Fisher.

The test drive event offers a total of six inflatable RIB boats with rigid hulls from Highfield, Zodiac, and 3D Tender. This type of boat is known for its durability and versatility. For those seeking a boating experience that differs from the typically practical Nordic style, Sea Ray offers its high-speed models Sea Ray 230 SunSportand Sea Ray 19 SPOE.

The most robust boats at the test drive event are the MAX aluminum catamarans, designed to meet a variety of transport needs in the archipelago.

All boats are available for test drives, with a professional skipper on board

Each boat at the event is available for test drives and has a knowledgeable operator on board. The event is free for visitors.

“Lauttasaari is an excellent place for test driving boats. The larger boats are tested on the open sea, while the smaller outboard motorboats can be tested in the sheltered waters of Seurasaarenselkä. All boats have a professional skipper who provides guidance on the safe use of the boat”, says Pajusalo.

The Suomiveneilee.fi test drive event is in Lauttasaari, Helsinki, at the docks on Veneentekijäntie (Veneentekijäntie 1–7, 00210 Helsinki).
Test drives are scheduled to run non-stop on Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The departures for the test drives are scheduled every 30 minutes: the last departure on Friday is at 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
The event is free, and life jackets are available for everyone who test drives the boats.
Prepare to go out on the water with weather-appropriate clothing—the sea is still cold in mid-May, regardless of the weather conditions.
More detailed information about the event and a list of boats available for test drives can be found at suomiveneilee.fi.

The boating season reaches its peak in Lauttasaari in August, when the The Boat-Afloat Show in Helsinki, Uiva Flytande, showcases the best products of the season and launches the new models for the next season. The fair runs from Thursday to Sunday, August 15–18, 2024.

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