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Britain’s best loved boating festival, the 2016 Southampton Boat Show, drew to a close on Sunday 25 September with organisers, exhibitors, sponsors and visitors all hailing the Show a great success. A quality attendance, thrilling atmosphere, fun attractions and entertainment along with great weather all resulted in excellent enquiries and significant sales for exhibitors, instilling confidence and positivity in the industry.

UK and international marine companies from the likes of Oyster Yachts, Bavaria, Princess Yachts, Broom, Sunseeker International, Raymarine and Fischer Panda chose this world-leading stage as a platform for at least 33 global boat and product launches. Eight others made their European debuts, with 82 UK debuts and 40 new boats and products being welcomed over the duration of the Show. In total some 750 boats were on display, with over 330 of the world's leading sailboats and high-performance powerboats on the water.

New ticket initiatives for this year’s Show, aimed at driving a quality audience, resulted in an attendance of more than 109,000 visitors and importantly impressive sales reports from exhibitors and sponsors. The Show also continued its objective of growing participation, with over 10,000 visitors enjoying the chance to get out on the water. Visitors of all ages, with varying levels of experience, enjoyed options from Bumper Boats for young children right through to the unique chance of crewing a 72ft round the world ocean race yacht.

Murray Ellis, British Marine Boat Shows MD, comments: “Some serious business has been achieved across most product sectors at this year’s Show, including multi-million pound deals. Many companies have been reporting year on year increases from last year’s Show. I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to give exhibitors and visitors alike a terrific 10 day event, strengthening the Show’s exceptional business reputation within the international boating calendar.”

The Show opened to the British Sailing Team, including Olympic medallists, Giles Scott, Saskia Clark, Hannah Mills and Nick Dempsey alongside award-winning actress, Michelle Keegan. A host of activity also took place on the Show’s Festival Stage powered by Datatag & the COMPASS scheme including fashion shows, live music acts and a Guinness World Record attempt. Visitors were also treated to show-stopping displays by the Royal Navy Parachute Display team, a Hurricane and Spitfire over both weekends of the Show.

British Marine, the membership organisation for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial industry, used the Show to highlight careers in the marine industry with 58 marine apprentices celebrating their graduation. Ministerial visits, including Rt Hon John Hayes MP, Minister for Transport, gave the membership organisation the chance to show first-hand the depth and breadth of the UK marine industry and provide details on the challenges and opportunities facing our sector. British Marine also demonstrated why Britain is a global hub for marine business and trade, working with UKTI’s export hub and welcoming international delegations from South Africa and Korea.

Exhibitor quotes:

Sean Robertson, Sales Director at Sunseeker International, commented: "This year’s Southampton Boat Show has been truly excellent - we've enjoyed a really positive event with over £45m of confirmed retail orders and an expected £10m of additional orders to be agreed in the next few days. We were particularly proud to host the UK debut of three new models, the Manhattan 52, the Predator 68 MKII and the 95 Yacht, all of which have been eagerly awaited by existing customers and those new to our brand. It's also been a real pleasure to welcome so many visitors and special guests to the stand, including our graduate apprentices and the Minister of Transport the Rt Hon John Hayes MP.

“Overall, the Show has been very encouraging and it’s great to see so much confidence in the UK boating industry. We're excited about the future opportunities that lie ahead for Sunseeker, including next year’s London Boat Show and even more new model launches."

Antoine Chancelier, Area Sales Director for Jeanneau, remarked: “We moved location at this year’s Show from the land to the marina for the first time and have had a great Show. The quality of visitors has been excellent and our sales figures are up on last year’s event. We came in to the Show cautious of the market due to the recent referendum but our success at the Show has just gone to demonstrate the confidence that’s out there in our industry.”

Kiran Haslam, Marketing Director at Princess Yachts, said: “We are proud to have been part of another successful Southampton Boat Show. Yet again it has proved an important Show in our calendar that always provides fantastic opportunities to Princess Yachts. Displaying the Princess 30M as the largest yacht at the Show and attracting a wider international footfall has been extremely positive for us.”
Ric Morris, Founder of RaceGeek, stated: “As a first time exhibitor, the Show has far exceeded our expectations. The amount of trade interest has really surprised us and the quality and volume of industry contacts has been second to none. We used the Show as a soft launch for the new product and to test out the market. We have received some fantastic feedback that has opened our eyes to new markets for our product. It is true to say that we came with a product but left with a business.”

David Tydeman, CEO of Oyster Yachts, commented: "Oyster is proud to be a British yacht builder with more than 40 years of heritage and two Queens Awards for export. With the choices of international boat shows available, it was important to us to hold the World Premiere of the new Oyster 675 at the Southampton Boat Show, close to our south coast shipyard. The yacht was very well received and we look forward to the many sail trials with clients and press that have been arranged as a follow up. This is a very special yacht and it was also a pleasure for it to be the largest sailing yacht in the Show."

Nigel Stuart, Managing Director at Spirit Yachts, noted: "This year's Southampton Boat Show has been one of our best Shows to date. The atmosphere has been fantastic and we have had a strong amount of serious enquiries following the launch of the new Spirit 47CR cruising yacht.

Seb Hirst, Head of Sales for Sunsail and The Moorings, said: “We have had a fantastic Show and there seems to be a great atmosphere around the event this year. We’re delighted with the new look of Ocean Hall and the quality of visitor we have seen coming through the doors has been excellent. With a redesigned stand and an increase on last year’s bookings taken at the Show, we’re thrilled with what the Southampton Boat Show has delivered for us this year.”

Luke Smith, from Marine Teak, remarked: "Last year was absolutely fabulous for Marine Teak, but this year has been even better with an increase in sales of 43%."

Giles Weston, Managing Director at Furneaux Riddall & Co, stated: "We've made the biggest turnover ever on the stand here at the Boat Show; sales are being made on the spot with invoices written, sent and completed. Being located in Ocean Hall has been fantastic for footfall and we'll be back next year in this location."

Geoff Andrews, UK & Eire Sales Manager at Sebago, commented: “The event has been a big success for us and our sales figures are up 37% on last year. We have definitely seen a better quality of visitor at this year’s Show. That, coupled with our new stand and fantastic product range, means that we’ve had our best Show in five years.”

Martyn Dury, Senior Partner at Quayside, declared: "We have been delighted with the Show. Exhibiting at the Show gives us the opportunity to talk to our customers and we are always happy to see old friends from the past. This year has been our return to the Southampton Boat Show after a few years and our customers are delighted to see Quayside actively back in the marine market and have appreciated the value of the special Show deals we've been able to offer. The layout is fantastic, with our prime position located next to the Holiday Inn enabling us to have a fabulous Show as we catch visitors on their way in and way out. We will definitely be back next year in the same spot."

Mathew Hornsby, Sales Director at Williams Jet Tenders, said: "We always enjoy exhibiting at the Southampton Boat Show and we are really pleased with the strength of interest that we have seen at this year's Show across all our model ranges. The Minijet 280, which made its UK premiere at the Show, was very well received by visitors and was demonstrated more than 50 times over the duration of the Show. Sales of this model in particular were brisk and this added to the overall feeling that people are out buying boats. Our beautiful new waterfront location with increased marina space and demonstration area reflects our exciting plans for continued growth in the year ahead."

Sarah Wallbank, Director at August Race, commented: “This year was August Race's debut at the Southampton Boat Show and we've found that it definitely lived up to its billing as a festival as opposed to just a Show. The atmosphere has been absolutely buzzing. We've had exceptional business to business dealings and have been welcomed into the Show's community. Prior to this Show, we have exclusively supplied the professionals with our products so it was great to see us represented all around the Show by companies, such as Cobra Ribs and Selva. But also to have existing customers come up and tell us how great the products are. Sales to the public have been excellent and we're already planning which new products to get into production in order to showcase them at the 2017 Southampton Boat Show.”

Greg Houlston, General Manager for Broom, stated: “This is the sixth year exhibiting at the Southampton Boat Show and the second for Broom Marine Services. We took the biggest stand pitch this year to showcase the fantastic array of products in our range and sales done at the event are up on last year. The quality of visitor and customer feedback about our boats in particular has been excellent and we have already made enquiries about booking space for next year.”

Tim Thornhill, Head of Marine at Towergate Insurance, remarked: "Southampton Boat Show this year was about so much more than simply boats. It was about our community in which we love to belong. At Towergate Insurance, we took a plunge into a waterfront stand and have been buoyed by the results. We showcased everything that we have to offer and enjoyed conversations with existing and new potential customers. It provided a fantastic place to converse, do business and share jokes with our friends in the marine world."

Will Marrs, Sales Manager at Golden Arrow Marine, noted: “Golden Arrow Marine is delighted with the value of the cold called end user purchases we have transacted here at the Show. We have had strong sales for Volvo Penta, Evinrude G2 (the most selfie photographed engine ever!?), Torqeedo and huge interest from OEM and retrofit market in our new Humphree 24V DC Electric Stabilisation and Interceptors. Southampton Boat Show is a stand-out show for us, recapturing the successes of Southampton Boat Shows from years gone by.”

Allan Murray, General Manager at Z Spars International Ltd, stated: "We love the new layout and being within Ocean Hall. Being in this location has attracted good footfall and a large amount of genuine interest. The individuals who are approaching us are coming to buy."

Russell Currie, Managing Director at Fairline Yachts, said: “We consider this to have been a fantastic Southampton Boat Show for Fairline Yachts. We had a great range of worldwide press and VIPs at our launch event for the new Targa 53 OPEN, where attendees were able to hear first-hand of the passion from our Italian design partner, Alberto Mancini.

“Customer deposits have been taken for boats across the range, including Mancini’s first Fairline design, the Targa 63 GTO. With customer pre-orders taken and still a year to go before the boat is officially launched at Cannes Yachting Festival 2017, we’re very pleased with the response to this new design. The Show has provided a great platform for us to present our range of boats, from the new Squadron 65 Hardtop to the Targa 48 OPEN and it was pleasing to see so many customers, old and new, enjoying the Show.”

Ella Chivers, Marketing Director at Ribeye, commented: “The Southampton Boat Show had a great vibe this year and visitors really seemed to be enjoying themselves. From a Ribeye perspective the Show has been very strong. We have invested heavily over the last few years on product development and British manufacturing which is definitely coming into fruition.”

Robert McKelvey, Partner at Eagle Boat Windows, declared: "This has been the best Show for us since 2011, having exceeded our numbers of the last five years. Physically, the layout is much better this year. In previous years we have been located in the far end of the old Ocean Hall and we've found that this new layout, with staggered walkways, has been better for us and brings in more footfall. We will definitely be back next year."

John Arnold, UK Sales Manager for Torqeedo, said: “This year’s Southampton Boat Show has far surpassed our expectations! We completed more sales on the first day (Friday 16 September) than at any other UK Show, and our overall Show sales have beaten past UK records, so I’m delighted!

“We are getting the right kind of customer through the doors – who are genuinely interested in buying. We saw particular interest in our new range of Fixed Pod Cruise motors, from both the general customer as well as businesses, boatbuilders and even petrol outboard dealers! Torqeedo has been exhibiting at Southampton for around 10 years now, and this year customers and dealers alike know exactly who we are and what they want, which is great for business. We’ve had an outstanding year and look forward to 2017.”

Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “Once again the Southampton Boat Show has proved to be an excellent event, attracting many of our berth holders to the show, along with a number of new customers. We have had really positive feedback on our re-designed stand and hospitality suite, welcoming over 4,000 berth holders and their guests, and we have seen a record high number of enquiries - an increase on last year! This year it was important for us to bring our ‘marina customer experience’ to the stand, through touch screens, guest speakers and events with Ocean Youth Trust South and The Sail Training awards. Most of all the show has been fun, with our cleat challenge receiving lots of interest as well as our ‘Win a berth’ competition'.

Jane Sanders, Director at Learn2Sail, remarked: "We've enjoyed the changes to the Show this year, in particular the layout of Ocean Hall. There is a good general feel in the hall and around the stand. The Show being 10 days works really well for us and we don't do any other Shows apart from those organised by British Marine Boat Shows."

Paul Hallett, from Ship Shape World, said: “We have been absolutely delighted with this year's Southampton Boat Show. The quality of customers has been fantastic. Being situated in Ocean Hall has been great for increasing footfall to our stand as there's a lively vibe and customers have appreciated having everything under one roof. Feedback from our customers is that this has been one of the best shows. Ship Shape Bedding will definitely be returning next year!"

Joshua Flavell, PR Manager for Peters & May, stated: “The 2016 Southampton Boat Show has been an amazing show for us. Both weekends have beaten our previous records and expectations, helped no doubt by the sunshine! So far our most successful show of 2016 with many clients taking the opportunity to catch up with us face-to-face, thank you all for taking the time to come and see us and many kind words.”

Andy Eakins, from Kube, declared: “The Southampton Boat Show was the first UK show that we’ve had a presence at and have gained some fantastic feedback into our prospective market. The Show has exceeded our expectations and the brand awareness for the product has been excellent.”

Neale Byart, Editor of Motorboat Owner, said: “This is our fourth Southampton Boat Show and has been one of the best yet. The Show has a busy, feel-good vibe, and we are getting many new sign ups, as well as meeting lots of existing readers. It’s also been a great show for new boat models, and exciting new boating related equipment, that are going to keep us busy testing and reviewing for months to come.”

Greg Chiappini, Head of Aviation and Marine at Lombard, remarked: “The business outlook is good for Lombard Marine following the Southampton Boat Show. We’ve seen consolidation of the uplift in transactions that we saw last year, maintaining the high level of completed deals and we expect to see double digit growth at the end of the year.”

Ben Metcalfe, Managing Director at Landau UK, commented: “As always, the sales of marine gadgets and toys have been excellent at the Show. We have met more first time buyers than previous years and the competition for over £10,000 of marine kit has been hugely popular and well exceeded our expectations. Yet again the Show has provided us with an excellent platform to carry on our strong business growth.”

Liz Abbiss, Director at diYachting Ltd, noted: “Southampton Boat Show seems to have been a great success for diYachting, the response to our products was very welcoming and we seem to have had some excellent leads that should turn into bookings. It is always a friendly and upbeat Show and we enjoy meeting lots of nice people having a great day out.”

Stephen Morris, Head of Power Products at Honda (UK), commented: “The Show this year has been tremendous, we can report that we’ve sold lots of product: both engines and boats and as a side lots of interest in our motorbikes! Additionally, it’s great to use the Show to present the award to the amazing youngsters in the RYA / Honda Youth Rib Challenge, it’s always a highlight to see the competence of such young people on the water. Here’s hoping next year the sun shines like it did this year.”

Mike Williams, Area Sales Manager at E. P. Barrus, said: “This year we are up on sales and we enjoyed great success during the first weekend of the Show. Our bigger engines have been particularly well received.”

Stephen Lees, Owner of Stephen Lees Contemporary Art, noted: "I've had a great Show. It's been fantastic as usual."

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Fifty eight young people have been honoured yesterday by British Marine, the membership organisation for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry, at its annual Graduation Ceremony at the 2016 Southampton Boat Show.

Now in its sixth year, the event celebrates a selection of graduating apprentices from all areas of the industry, in roles varying from marine engineers to shipwrights and joiners; recognising the diversity of skills and careers in the sector. Apprentices from eight member companies were recognised, from Berthon Boat Company, BHG Marine, Cooney Marine, RNLI, Seadub, Spinlock, Sunseeker International, Pendennis Shipyard and Princess Yachts.

The marine industry has over 470 apprentices across 100 businesses, with three quarters of apprenticeships in manufacturing and engineering, according to a new report* released at the Show yesterday.
Apprenticeships are important within the marine industry as an inability to recruit skilled workers is holding back business growth, according to the new report. 30% of companies have identified critical skills gap, with technical skills the biggest obstacle to recruitment. British Marine is working with its members to tackle the skills gap, turning to apprenticeships as well as providing a range of training and development opportunities for existing staff.

Sarah Dhanda, Director of Membership & Services at British Marine, said: “We are delighted to honour these 63 young people at our Graduation Ceremony. They are the workforce of the future and it is wonderful to be able to recognise their hard work and dedication. British Marine has been working with companies to support marine apprentices for a number of years to ensure that the industry, bringing £3.6 billion worth of turnover to the UK economy, addresses the skills gaps and continues to thrive.”

The Royal Navy’s Deputy Chief of Staff Engineering Support, Captain Matt Bolton, who presented the awards alongside Libby Greenhalgh of the Magenta Project, added: “A career in the marine industry offers a wide range of opportunities and an apprenticeship is an invaluable way to enter the sector. Thirty five years ago I started off my career as an apprentice and today I still draw on the knowledge and skills I learnt at the time. It is exciting to see so many young people taking on the oceans of opportunity within the industry.”

Published in Marine Trade

The 48th Southampton Boat Show kicked off to a fantastic first four days over the weekend with strong sales results being reported and Irish boat firms are among the winners in boat brokerage business.

An impressive 23 brands made their World debut on opening day, Friday 16 September, from the likes of global brands Oyster Yachts, Princess Yachts, Bavaria Power, Sunseeker International and Haines Marine. Seven others will have made their European debuts, with 72 UK debuts and 33 new boats being welcomed to the Show over the next seven days.

Over 1,500 have already got out on the water for free with the Show’s Try-A-Boat attraction which sees visitors climb onboard the latest RIBs and luxury yachts, and the Get Afloat! area, where 8-16 year olds can try out dinghy sailing and Stand Up Paddleboarding.

Murray Ellis, Managing Director of British Marine Boat Shows, comments: “We’ve had a terrific start to the 2016 Show. We are already hearing of strong sales reports from our exhibitors with many reporting an increase compared to this time last year. As a global Show, attracting exhibitors and visitors from around the world, this is an important aspect of retaining the strong business reputation of the Southampton Boat Show.”

'It has been very busy so far on this stand and we are up 10% on last year in listings and enquiries' Martin Salmon of MGM Boats told 'We have just shy of 200 boats on the wall and the customer feedback has been excellent'.

MGM Boats have been consistent exhibitors at the UK show throughout the recession and appear to be reaping some rewards. 'There is definitely an appreciation from the public of the effort and consistency of our boat show presentations', Salmon said. 'A lot of people have remarked about the half hearted efforts of their local brokerage companies just listing on the web and sitting back waiting on the phone to ring'  'I am very confident that we will achieve multiple sales and sign up plenty of new listings as a result of this show', he added.

Kiran Haslam, Marketing Director at Princess Yachts, comments: "Fantastic feeling; the sun has been shining today, and our hospitality area as well as our yachts on display are buzzing with show visitors and invited guests. The right conversations are taking place and we are delighted with the organisation of the show this year."

Commenting on the strong retail sales figures, Sean Robertson, Sunseeker International’s Sales Director, said: “The first weekend at Southampton Boat Show has been extraordinary and we are pleased that the Manhattan 52 has commanded so much interest; testament to our substantial investment in new model development which is having broad appeal from both existing clients and customers new to the brand, keen to join the Sunseeker family. The show has predicted to attract over 110,000 people over the ten day period and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors to the stand.”

Sebastian Hirst, Head of Sales for Sunsail and The Moorings, said: “It has been a great Southampton Boat Show so far for us. We have taken more bookings so far this show than we would usually expect, with more people committing to booking here and now, rather than taking the quote and contacting us later. We are also impressed with the busy buzz about the Show and we are very happy with the new layout of Ocean Hall and our stand position – it feels much more open and welcoming.”

Paul Martin of BHG Marine, said: “The start of the Southampton Boat Show 2016 has been promising, with great interest in our new products and higher levels of interest than we anticipated. We are confident that by the end of the week the enthusiasm will continue.”

The Show opened to the British Sailing Team, including Olympic medallists, Giles Scott, Saskia Clark, Hannah Mills and Nick Dempsey alongside award-winning actress, Michelle Keegan. Gold medal winner, Giles said: “The Southampton Boat Show is a highlight on any sailor’s calendar and is a great place to spend time with family and friends. It’s something everyone should experience”.

Featuring one of Europe’s largest purpose-built marinas, the event will play host to lots more activity over the next seven days. Today, Tuesday 20 September, saw nearly 60 apprentices celebrating their graduation whilst British Marine’s new careers video was also launched on the Show’s Festival Stage powered by Datatag & the COMPASS scheme. The Show will also welcome the Rt Hon John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Transport, on Wednesday, 21 September.

Published in Marine Trade

The Southampton Boat Show kicked off this weekend with special guests, Michelle Keegan and the British Sailing Team in attendance. Running until Sunday 25 September, the Show will showcase the very best that the international boating world has to offer. With hundreds of boats on display, including 330 on the stunning marina itself, the Southampton Boat Show is a festival of boating fun for all the family.

Already there has been a boost for Irish exhibitor MGM Boats with its agency for the Lagoon Catamaran voted best by UK Sailing title, Sailing Today.

Key Irish Marine Industry figures are expected to the show this week including Irish Marine Federation Chairman Damien Offer, Paal Janson of Dun Laoghaire Marina, Brian O'Sullivan from O'Sullivan's Marine in Tralee. Also exhibiting at the show is Conor Fanning with the X-Yacht brand. Bernard Gallagher and James Kirwan of BJ Marine in Greystones will be on the Beneteau stand.

MGM Boats is celebrating after the Lagoon 42 was announced as the winner in the Multihull category in the 2016 awards, which were presented at a champagne reception on Friday , the opening day of the Show. MGM Boats is the Irish dealer for Lagoon Catamarans.

southampton boat showSouthampton boat show is attracting the crowds. Photo: World Wide Images

On the back of her new hit BBC show, Our Girl, multi-award winning actress Michelle Keegan officially opened the Southampton Boat Show 2016. Michelle said “I’m so excited to be a part of this year’s Show. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time onboard boats around the world, but there’s nothing like seeing all these spectacular boats displayed together in one place here in the UK. It’s an incredible experience.”

The Show also played host to the British Sailing Team, which included Olympic medallists, Giles Scott, Saskia Clark, Hannah Mills and Nick Dempsey. Gold medal winner, Giles Scott said: “The Southampton Boat Show is a highlight on any sailor’s calendar and is a great place to spend time with family and friends. It’s something everyone should experience”. Saskia Clark, Women’s 470 sailing gold medallist, said: “Having an annual event like the Southampton Boat Show that gives the opportunities for people to try out different types of water activities is crucial for the sport of sailing. Who knows, maybe the next generations of Olympic medallists are among us here today?”

Featuring one of Europe’s largest purpose-built marinas, and as one of the world’s top 10 Boat Shows, the event plays host to lots of family-friendly attractions, including:

• Plenty of free on-water experiences, including Try-a-Boat, offering unique opportunities onboard the latest RIBs to luxury yachts, and the Get Afloat! attraction, where 8-16 year olds can try out dinghy sailing and Stand Up Paddleboarding
• The Festival Stage, powered by Datatag & the COMPASS scheme, hosting live music, talks from boating professionals and fashion shows across the 10-day event
• A number of spectacular air displays over the Marina, powered by KUBE, including performances from the Royal Navy Parachute Display Team and renowned British fighter aircraft, the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane
• The magnificent Artemis tall ship, with visitors being able to climb aboard her stunning deck
• Bumper Boats, sponsored by Sunseeker in support of Macmillan Cancer Trust, offering the younger Show visitors the opportunity to master steering

Over the course of the Show, visitors will be able to explore over 130 debuting boats. Among them are the World debuting Hanse 588, Cormate U23 Racing Edition and Greenline Hybrid 36, and the UK launch of the Azimut 55S and Sunseeker Predator 68 MK II.

There’s close to 600 brands exhibiting at the Show this year, with nearly 30 of these making their first appearance, including powerboat manufacturers BIC Aluminium and Alpha-Centauri and sail yacht brands North Carolina (EDPNC) and Nautor’s Swan.

Flights from Dublin to Southampton include handy day return schedules with Flybe

Published in Marine Trade

The Southampton Boat Show 2016 (16-25 September) is set to showcase a variety of exciting new attractions, brands, boats and product debuts at this year’s Show. It will also herald the first Show for new British Marine Boat Shows’ Chairman, Greg Munford, who is steering the way for both the Southampton and London Boat Show going forward. Irish exhibitors are expected to attend including yacht brokers MGM Boats Ltd.

Every year, the Show welcomes a mix of historic and innovative feature boats and this year is no different. From the awe-inspiring Norwegian three-masted sailing barque, Artemis to the revolutionary Team Britannia vessel bidding to break the world record for the fastest powerboats circumnavigation of the globe, the Marina, powered by KUBE, will showcase an array of boating past and future along its 2km of pontoons. On land, visitors will be able to explore the 18ft Sailfish, Marlin, and meet its owner, Dave Selby, fresh from completing his 300 mile charity sail in the vessel.

In addition, visitors will be able to explore over 60 debuting boats. Among them are the World debuting Hanse 588, Cormate U23 Racing Edition and Haines 26, the European debuting Dehler 34 and Greenline Hybrid 36 and the UK launch of the Azimut 55S, Sunseeker Predator 68 MK II, Sealine F530 and Fjord 40 Open.

Alongside well-established attractions, On the Water’s Try-a-Boat and Get Afloat, this year’s Show will offer a new opportunity for the youngest generation to get on the water for free. Suitable for children aged 3 to 13, Bumper Boats provides youngsters with a chance to master boat steering, as well as the boat’s built-in water cannon.

Onshore, organisers will be looking to entertain further with its new Festival Stage, located in Solent Park. Throughout the 10 days, visitors can expect to enjoy a line-up of live music, fashion shows and expert talks. There will also be the opportunity for visitors to be part of the Show’s very own Guinness World Record Attempt of the ‘Largest human image of a boat’ on Saturday 24 September.

What’s more, visitors will be able to discover over 27 new brands exhibiting in 2016. On show are powerboat manufacturers: BIC Aluminium and Alpha-Centauri, sail yacht brands: North Carolina (EDPNC) and Nautor’s Swan, electronics and equipment suppliers: Racegeek, Aqua-cote and UK Sailmakers, as well as holiday & charter companies: Rubicon 3 and UGuest.

This year’s Show will be the first for Greg Munford in his newly appointed position as British Marine Boat Shows’ Chairman. As Chief Executive of Richardsons Leisure, Greg Munford is familiar with taking a fresh approach and bold ideas. Already in his short period in office he has been instrumental in planning for this year’s Show.

As Greg comments: “As Britain’s biggest boating festival, the Southampton Boat Show is much-loved by sail and powerboat enthusiasts alike and one of the leaders in the global boating calendar. We’re thrilled to have seen soaring tickets sales so far, which are now more than double what they were this time last year.

“Helping plan this year’s event with all its new attractions to entertain the diversity of visitors and more importantly, get more people out on to the water has been a fantastic experience. Being a boater myself, the mix of new international and British brands who will be showcasing the latest boats and marine equipment makes this Show even more exciting for me to be a part of.”

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Did Southampton Boat Show 2015 that ended yesterday mark the end of the recession for the Irish Marine trade? That depends on who you talk to but if numbers are any evidence to go by there was plenty more Irish faces among the 110,000 that enjoyed a taste of Britain’s biggest boating festival. 

Irish show-goers made good use of the Flybe connections from Dublin and the sprinkling of Irish marine firms among the 500 exhibitors gave a great sense of pre-recessionary times.

Mid–week wet weather may have dragged down attendance numbers but it failed to dampen the mood at this year’s Show.

Trade bodies made good use of the opportunity for a useful 'heads-up' on numerous industry matters too. The Society of Maritime Industries, British Marine and the UK Chamber of Shipping signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to set out the basis for all three to work together. 

On an international footing, there was a consensus that better promotional co-operation between member states could increase participation levels in EU boating. The recently rebranded British Marine Federation (now known as 'British Marine') are certainly doing their bit. Murray Ellis, Managing Director, British Marine Boat Shows said: “We have had yet another incredibly successful Southampton Boat Show with more than 10,000 visitors getting out on the water for free. Our attractions have been very popular this year with over 18,000 visits to our tall ship, the Earl of Pembroke, 5,300 rides on the Honda Boat Show Eye and over 27,000 visitors to the Show’s very own Aquarium. 

IMF BMF Sweden Federation
David O'Brien (left) Chairman of the Irish Marine Federation, Howard Pridding, Chief Executive of the British Marine Federation (centre) and Mats Eriksson of Sweboat in Sweden.

Pride of place for Irish stands at Southampton went to the impressive MGM Boats brokerage stand excellently located at the top of the ramp to the show marina. It was an impressive display of boats using the latest digital screens to display boats specs and prices.

mgmboats southampton 2014

The MGM Brokerage stand - the venue for boat sales as well as the Ireland v Canada Rugby match last Saturday 

The stand had over €60m of boat stock on display and the full MGM boats crew headed by Martin and Gerry Salmon were kept busy with 'quality enquiries' for their used sail and power range. The Salmon brothers were joined by John O'Kane, Ross O'Leary, Alan Barton and John McDonald and the company's presence was noted on Sunseeker, Galeon, Aquador, Lagoon, Jeanneau and Prestige stands. 

martin gerry salmon mgm boats

Martin (left) and Gerry Salmon discuss new boat deals at the Sunseeker stand 

The Show saw 23 boats make their world debut and over 330 of the world's leading sailboats and high-performance powerboats on the water.

Alan Corr Greystones harbour

Alan Corr from BJ Marine in Greystones in County Wicklow was on Beneteau's new GT 40 from Beneteau

Strong sales have been reported throughout the duration of the Show, with many companies reporting an increase on last year’s figures including multi-million pound deals. Some serious marine business has been conducted with contracts between the marine divisions of companies such as Rolls-Royce and Sunseeker International being signed.

James kirwan bernard gallagher

Mike Caplan (left), James Kirwan (centre) and Bernard Gallagher from BJ Marine on a new Oceanis 48 (show price £223,038) that will be coming to Dublin next season

'We have been delighted with our two weeks of boat shows in first Cannes and then Southampton. We secured deals for all offices, Greystones, Bangor, Pwllheli and Malta. Clients have been extremely interested in the price point of our new Beneteau GT 40, Fountaine Pajot's Saba 50 catamaran and Sea Ray's European built 355 Sundancer', James Kirwan of BJ Marine told

Hugh mockler Dufour

Dufour's new 500 Grand Large was exhibited at Southampton by Cork Harbour's Hugh Mockler of Crosshaven Boatyard

Hugh Mockler of Crosshaven Boatyard was on board the Dufour 500 Grand Large. Mockler was imprerssed with the good turnout as well as a number of interested Irish parties in the new line–up. The Dufour 382 Grand Large was also afloat at the show. Crosshaven Boatyard was tweeting from the show about a new concept boat called the with a lifting keel designed for sailing schools. The brand new Dufour Drakkar 24 (below) is designed by Umberto Felci and it was unveiled at the French Grand Pavois, Boat Show in La Rochelle next week.

Drakkar dufour

Debbie Weldon and Dick Fanning from Howth were onboard both of X Yachts Xc 38 and Xc 45 models. Fanning  says yhe Xc 38 is the model that offers superb performance in an easily handled package and is ideal for doublehanded sailing. This model was the second yacht in the Xcruising range to be named European Yacht of the Year in the Luxury Cruiser category, on its launch. 

Ronan Beirne of Leinster Boats of Dun Laoghaire said his Euro priced boat brokerage list was well received at the show. Several new enquiries were logged for vessel inspections  in the coming weeks. 

Bobby Nash of Kinsale was exhibiting his range of 3D Nautical charts displaying a selection from the British Isles, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. County Antrim based Red Bay Boats were also displaying their acclaimed range of Ribs. Both Gary Fyffe and Tom McLaughlin from the Cushendall firm were in attendance at the show. 

debbie weldon x yachts

Howth's Debbie Weldon (above) on the Danish built Xc38 and Dick Fanning (below) on the Xc45 from X–Yachts

dick fanning x-yachts

 A number of key Irish ports and marinas were also promoting their wares. Aoife McHale was on hand at the Visit Derry stand continuing the promotion of Northern Ireland's maritime assets on Lough Foyle. McHale explained the city is also gearing up to welcoming the return of the Clipper Round the world race next year to the Malin coast.

Irish Sea interests were promoted by British Marine Wales where Ireland is seen as a key market. 

welsh group southamptonlo

David Reed of Visit Wales, Gerry Salmon of MGM Boats, Alan Morgan of British Marine Wales, David O'Brien of the Irish Marine Federation and David Pougher of British Marine Wales

Published in Marine Trade

#boatsales – Last week's Southampton Boat Show resulted in new boat sales totalling €600k for one Irish boating firm who say the four new craft sold – in an equal split between sail and power boats –  will be coming home to Ireland.

The uplifting news comes from leading Irish boat sales firm BJ marine who operate from Bangor, Malahide and Greystones on the Irish East coast.

The Beneteau Antares 30 (pictured above) was sold at last week's UK show and is one of four new boats sold by the firm that are coming back to Irish waters. The Antares 30 is the show display model and will arrive back into Greystones Harbour marina in County Wicklow during October.

BJ Sales Manager James Kirwan says the show also created massive interest in second hand boats, continuing the trend of the last 12 months where well presented brokerage boats are selling quickly through BJ's three Irish offices.

Published in BJ Marine

#ClipperRace - Clipper Round The World Race organiser Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and America's Cup hero Sir Ben Ainslie teamed up today at the PSP Southampton Boat Show to announce a new youth prize for the next edition of the world's longest ocean race.

As Practical Boat Owner reports, the £10,000 prize is open to any youth sailor aged between 18 and 24 regardless of experience, giving them the chance to crew on the Pacific Ocean leg of the world's longest ocean race.

It's all thanks to a donation from the Clipper chairman to the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation founded by Ainslie in memory of his friend who died while training for last summer's America's Cup.

"When you take on the Pacific Ocean crossing, you are taking on something very, very special," said Knox-Johnson. "There is nothing bigger or more awesome on this planet.

"This is something that will test you and push you to limits you didn't know you had. Very few people have tackled this challenge and now it's your chance to be one of them."

Ainslie added: "It really will be a once in a lifetime experience for the competition winner."

Practical Boat Owner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Clipper Race

#southamptonboatshow – In addition to the boats on display and that of the tallship Pheonix visiting the PSP Southampton Boat Show will be the Royal Navy's HMS Severn (P282), which too will be open to visitors albeit for one day.

HMS Severn will be a visitor attraction next Thursday 18th September. You are invited to come board the 1,677 tonnes OPV offshore patrol vessel on that day (between 1 and 4pm) when she is berthed opposite Solent Park. It is understood that she acted as the starter ship during the Tall Ships Race from Falmouth last month.

She is the second of the River-class built by locally at Vosper Thornycroft's Woolston yard in Southampton.

The 79m vessel is based in neighbouring Portsmouth Naval Base where she is part of the Fishery Protection Squadron that inforces UK and EU laws during 275 days spent at sea annually. Other tasks for her crew of 45 can be anything from fire-fighting to disaster relief operations.

She along with her sister ships, entered service in 2003 and they replaced the Island Class Patrol Vessels, where one of the vessels was converted into a private luxury superyacht.



Published in News Update
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