Technical Seminars at IBEX and the Professional BoatBuilder Stories They Spawned
Since the first IBEX (International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition) was created as an offshoot of Professional BoatBuilder magazine in 1990, technical seminars, organized by the magazine’s editorial team, have been a perennial mainstay of the show. Over the years IBEX seminars have become a trusted source of industry know-how and practical information about emerging technologies, new materials, and evolving techniques for boat designers, builders, and repairers. Experienced practitioners have delivered the latest relevant information on subjects as diverse and important as the advent and evolution of design software, vacuum infusion, distributed power, hybrid propulsion, advances in powerboat performance predictions, and pod-drives, to name just a few.
To compose a new seminar program each year we sort through hundreds of subject suggestions, current editorial story lists, and the most pressing or intriguing questions from designers and builders. Just as we do in every issue of the magazine, we’re looking for things you want to know, things you need to know, and things you never imagined before that will change the way you work. Then we hunt down professionals working in the field—experts on each subject—and convince them to share their experience and knowledge with the rest of us.
While the magazine and IBEX organize the sessions and host the seminars, the consistently high quality of our offerings reflects the generosity of those leading industry players who see IBEX as a venue for straight talk about their experiences and professions. These presenters create content-rich sessions where practical information and shop-floor applications trump glitz, self-interest, and promotional rhetoric. For example, some of the strongest advocates of resin infusion have openly described the specific applications their chosen FRP manufacturing technology isn’t suitable for, and noted sportfisherman designers leading IBEX seminars have despaired at the inefficiency of the entire class of boats they design.
The best way to explain the caliber and content of a typical IBEX seminar would be to present one to you. Not possible. In an effort to encourage frank discussion, we prohibit recording of the sessions. However, in recent years we have successfully converted a handful of IBEX presentations into print in Professional BoatBuilder magazine and a couple of stories from the magazine into instructive IBEX sessions. Below is a selection of those printed stories for your enjoyment and a taste of what IBEX has to offer.
—Aaron Porter, Editor