#londonboatshow – Strong opening weekend visitor numbers are a positive feature of the London Boat Show that has already produced some early sales results for two Irish yacht brokers at the Xcel–based event in East London.
Last year's event pulled in around 90,000 visitors. This year – the 61st show – organisers are hoping numbers will top 100,000.
'There is a definite sense of confidence around the place and the public are very upbeat about the year ahead', Irish broker Martin Salmon of MGM Boats told Afloat.ie from the firm's dedicated brokerage stand in Xcel.
For the Irish marine trade London has traditonally been a calendar highlight. 2015 is no exception with at least three Irish based deals done on the opening weekend.
Along with Boot Dussledorf, where attendance is expected to top 250,000 later this month, the London boat show is a key player in the global leisure boating industry, generating annual revenue of £3bn, and the show is the home base for a number of world-renowned UK brands, including Fairline Boats and Sunseeker.
Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger (pictured below) drew the biggest crowd of the opening day by far last Friday when she sang on the Sunseeker International stand. Sunseeker's Predator 57 (starting price £815,000) is launching at the show.
'The overall attendance is up 7% on last year and on our stand we are up 20% in enquiries and boats to list', Salmon told Afloat.ie
Salmon says the second hand market is still thriving in Europe. 'Boat shoppers are putting value for money at the top of the list and the demand for quality used boats is still growing' he said.
This year MGM has installed interactive screens on their purpose built stand located next to the Guinness stand so visitors can help themselves and browse through boat technical specs and photo/video galleries and it is proving to be a big hit.
A new attraction to the MGM Boats stand at London boat show 2015 are our interactive screens. Stand FO51 pic.twitter.com/X4Ju2vlEoS— John McDonald (@John_MGMBoats) January 10, 2015
BJ Marine's Group Sales Manager James Kirwan (left) and Mike Caplan of BJ Marine Pwllheli on the Beneteau stand, with an Oceanis 35 bound for Ireland in the background
James Kirwan of County Wicklow firm BJ Marine of Greystones is reporting 'massive' interest at the French Beneteau stand, a brand his company represents in Ireland. 'Both the new Beneteau Oceanis 35 and 55 have been of particular interest given their 'unique layout and the finish quality' says Kirwan.
Kirwan is reporting two deals done in just the first few days of the ten day show.
On the motorboat side, BJ Marine has excellent Antares Outboard model deals and the MC5 is making its London debut and is 'turning heads in a big way', according to Kirwan.
'Our new BJ Marine Welsh office in Pwllheli is giving us an increased brokerage offering too for those talking to us about second hand boats'.
Likewise for MGM with their French brand, Jeanneau. The new Sun Odyssey 349 is attracting a lot of interest (at €122,000.00 Inc Vat on the water).
The new Velacso 37 is the star of the motorboat stand and is now the new entry level flybridge in the range.
MGM also handle Aquador in Ireland and this stand is always busy at this show due to the popularity of the brand in the UK and the 22C and 28C has gone down very well again, according to Salmon. 'The 28C was sold yesterday and we are working on some very strong leads and we should see some further orders throughout the week' he said.
77 debut boats confirmed
The Show will host world firsts from across the marine industry. The Ribeye PRIME, Bavaria Sport 400, Williams Sportjet 520 and Haines 360 will dazzle power enthusiasts whilst the sailing industry will witness the launch of the Dauntless Oyster 500.
For those looking for the latest in luxury yachts aswell as the world launch of the Sunseeker Predator 57 there will be Fairline's unveiling of the Shadow S, the first of its eight new models to be launched over the next three years.