London Boat Show 2016: Fall in love with boating
If you haven’t already caught the boating bug, organisers of the 2016 London Boat Show are making sure you do this January. Visitors to the ExCeL Centre in the London Docklands, (January 8-17) can experience a host of nautical wonders - from heritage yachts to the most futuristic marine technology that can't fail to inspire and impress.
The theme this time is ‘Where adventure starts, pioneers meet and innovation shines’, so expect cutting edge boat brands, exciting interactive features, a wealth of marine products, electronics and clothing for sale. A radical new layout for the massive show means the look and feel of the event will be different too. If previous shows are anything to go by, the excitement and pleasure of leisure time spent on the water won’t go unnoticed by the thousands who attend this world famous exhibition.
Last year the London Boat Show saw attendance numbers rise for the first time in four years. The venue welcomed 92,288 visitors over ten days, making for a 4% increase over 2014’s figure of 88,593. Numbers could swell even further in 2016 with the addition of the Mediterranean Bay, a fun 60s Revival feature, and the usual feast of fabulous debut boats from the leading brands.
New layout to boost show appeal
The flow of visitors around the show is an important element of how it is received by exhibitors and ticket-holders, and for 2016 a change in layout is planned that could boost satisfaction rates.
Following discussions a decision has been taken to move Sunseeker International’s huge stand, which will open up the whole show much more. With the prominent stand moved from its previously central location to run horizontally along the perimeter of the South Hall and the whole show re-allocated, the new arrangement will improve the movement of people through the show. So visitors can scan the whole scope of the event from the West to East wall – a real visual spectacle.
Debut boats galore
As always, the public’s appetite to explore beautiful debut boats will be satisfied at London Boat Show. Sunseeker International launches its eagerly anticipated 131 Yacht, which at 131 feet (40 metres) will be the largest model ever to make its debut in London. This will appear alongside a stunning collection of other Sunseeker models ranging from 50 feet upwards.
Leading dealer Ancasta International Boat Sales is presenting a premium line-up of yachts from world leading brands Prestige and Beneteau. The highlight this year will be the new Prestige 680 Flybridge (pictured below) - making its UK debut following a successful world debut at the 2015 Cannes Boat Show in September.
Meanwhile Spanish boat builder Rodman, and RBS Marine Ltd - the Rodman Distributor for UK and Ireland - reveal the Rodman 890 Ventura. This will be only the second time the Rodman 890 Ventura has been shown to the public, following its international premier at the Paris Boat Show in December. Keep an eye on the show website for details of all the boats on display: www.londonboatshow.com.
11-yacht line up from Princess
Expect big things from Plymouth’s world famous boat-builder Princess at the London Boat Show 2016. Head to this high profile stand for an 11-strong line up of the most glamorous boats you can imagine – including the magnificent Princess 88 Motor Yacht, the Princess 68, 60, 56, 52 and 43 from the Flybridge range, the dynamic V58 Open, V48 and V39 from the sporty V Class range. Finally don’t miss the sleek S65 from the S Class range.
As part of Princess International’s celebration of 50 years in business, the painstakingly restored Project [email protected] 'Charlotte' will also feature at the show. This is your chance to see her before she sets out on an ambitious world tour. An original yacht from the company's 1965 beginnings she’ll take you back to the good old days of the swinging 60s with a lovely retro vibe, colour palette and top quality contemporary styling. This all ties in nicely with the Show’s fun 60s Revival theme (see below).
New features for 2016
British Marine Boat Shows have pulled out all the stops to deliver a fun, interactive and educational programme of events during London Boat Show 2016. Here are just some of the new features on offer:
The Mediterranean Bay area adds another dimension to this year’s show. This is a purpose-built Mediterranean Pool hosting an array of water seminars on essential sailing skills. The Bay is complimented by a ‘Mediterranean Village’ with a cafe bar and space to sit and watch the action. Top sailing schools will feature a number of on-water seminars looking at close quarters boat handling, sail reefing and capsize drill.
A festival of watersports is also planned where visitors can get on the water and try the fantastic sport of water walking, test out the latest sit-on top kayaks from Johnson Outdoor and get to grips with paddling.
The 60s Revival
The 60s were a time of great change, a true era of adventure, pioneers and innovation so it’s fitting that the decade is being celebrated at London Boat Show. Boating became cool in the 1960s. You can learn about the arrival of the Mirror Dinghy and Sir Francis Chichester becoming the first person to sail singlehanded around the world with only one port of call. Classic boats will be on display alongside information about the innovations they brought.
The Show Theatre
Centrally positioned at the exhibition, the Show Theatre will host sessions every day featuring marine industry experts and boating heroes. No matter how experienced you are, there’s always more to learn about boating, so head here for top tips and advice on a range of topics – all for free!
Image credit: OnEdition/British Marine Boat Shows