BOAT SHOW PREVIEW
What’s new at Southamp
Returning for its 49th year, the Southampton Boat Show is aiming to entice more people onto the water than ever before, with a range of boating and watersport activities.
This year’s 10-day festival of boating will run from Friday 15 September to Sunday 24 September at Mayflower Park and Town Quay, with new headline sponsors TheYachtMarket.com.
Hundreds of visitors will be invited to step aboard the show’s very own passenger boat to enjoy free 20-minute boat trips in the Solent, which is running most days. The passenger boat will hold up to 340 passengers and make two sails every hour, between 12:00-16:00 on the weekends of the show, as well as Friday 22 September, and between 13:00-16:00 on Tuesday 19, Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 September.
Other new attractions to encourage people afloat will include a new Paddleboard River Experience in the show’s Solent Park; this 60m waterway circuit will enable visitors of all ages and abilities to enjoy canoeing or paddleboarding, aided by Southampton Watersports Activities Centre (SWAC) staff.
The Adventure River Canoe Ride, located in the show’s arena, will offer the youngest show visitors the chance to try canoeing on a winding river.
Meanwhile, ‘Bumper Boats’ with onboard water canons will be on offer for children aged 3-13 years, in Solent Park.
The show’s popular free ‘Try-a-Boat’ sessions from On The Water will allow visitors to experience the thrill of being out on the water in a selection of vessels.
For the first time, On The Water’s ‘Get Afloat’ activities will be open adults as well as children aged 8-16 years the chance to discover dinghy sailing and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) for free. Run by the qualified instructor team from Rockley Watersports, this will include opportunities to go bell boating in twin-hulled open canoes, with seating for up to 12 people.
Paid-for ‘premium’ experiences will also be available, with the return of the Global Challenge Sailing Experience (£60 pp), offering visitors a chance to sail on board a 72ft Ocean Race Yacht as part of a 12strong crew, the VIP Platinum Experience (£135 pp) which includes a cruise on a motor yacht. Meanwhile, the Admiral’s Club lounge tickets include a welcome glass of prosecco, lunch and patisseries (£75 pp), along with access to ‘VIP loos’.
Throughout the 10 days of the show, there will be a daily line-up of entertainment on two dome stages. One in Mayflower Park’s Food Harbour Area and another in Solent Park near the Guinness Bar, the stages will welcome an array of music acts, from Sinatra tribute acts to Caribbean steel bands, as well as expert talks and other events.
Other attractions will include Europe’s largest purpose-built marina showcasing 330 of the latest models from British and international boat manufacturers, along with feature boats and a tall ship. Visitors can browse marine products from more than 500 exhibitors, and trial the latest marine equipment and electronics in the newly-configured Ocean Hall.
Murray Ellis, chief officer of boat shows at British Marine, said: ‘At TheYachtMarket. com Southampton Boat Show we are privileged to have such an ideal location to get people on the water and on average 10,000 visitors go boating or trial watersports across the show’s 10 days.
‘However, this year we want to get more of our visitors enjoying on-the-water experiences. This means more variety, more accessibility and more capacity, which we are planning to deliver at this year’s event. We are determined to see record numbers enjoying life on the water with family and friends at this year’s show.’
There will be world debuts from Southerly Yachts 330 and 470 models, the Sealine C430, Princess 55, Duchy 35 from Cockwells, Bluewater 50 and Beneteau Swift Trawler 35 at the show; UK debuts from the Dufour 460 Grand Large, Squadron 53 from Fairline Yachts, Benetau Oceanis 51.1 and 62 yachts, and Beneteau Swift Trawler 50, Prestige 520, ARBA 500 and 555 models and Saffier 10M, SE 33, 8M and 6.50 models; plus a show debut from The Sealine C539.
Making its UK debut at the Southampton Boat Show, Wässer-Dek decking, exhibited by Elite Teak, is promised to be cooler underfoot and lighter than wood and PVC decking and provides shockabsorbing cushioning. On the Landau UK stand there will be show debuts from Brompton Marine Bike, and Argus MiTIC E and S thermal imaging cameras.
The RIB Shop will be debuting its RIB & Inflable Boat Cleaning Kit, while IMP will exhibit SPLASH-30S boat watermakers.
There will also be the UK debut of the
SUNBEAMsystem Tough Flush solar panels, exhibited by DanVolt Ltd.
Climb aboard Kaskelot, a three-masted barque and one of the largest remaining wooden ships in commission, as she makes her show debut.
Moored alongside 330 of the latest sail and motor boats on the show’s marina, Kaskelot’s knowledgeable crew and state-of-art restoration will offer a treasure trove of stories for all visitors to explore.
Measuring 46.6m, Kaskelot was built in Denmark in 1948 by the J Ring-Andersen shipyard. She was commissioned by the Royal Greenland Trading Company and used to supply remote areas of Greenland until the 1960s.
After this, she became a fisheries support vessel in the Faroe Islands. However in 1981 her fortunes were changed. Completely re-rigged, Kaskelot found a new career as a sail-training vessel, plus the occasional starring role. Her film and TV appearances include Return to Treasure Island (1986), The Three Musketeers (1993), Amazing Grace (2006) Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Poldark (2016).
Kaskelot will welcome aboard Gemma Hunt, the star of CBeebies programme Swashbuckle, on Saturday 16 September. Gemma will be helping to kick off all the action on the first weekend, entertaining the show’s youngest visitors with a pirate song and dance show, meet and greets and autograph signings.
Murray Ellis added: ‘We know that our visitors love tall ships, always proving hugely popular, and this year we are delighted to be welcoming the tall ship Kaskelot to TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show for the first time. Her presence for the 10 days offers a rare opportunity for visitors to climb on board and learn about the history of one of the last classic wooden tall ships still in existence, all for free.’
Live race action
On Sunday 17 September, the show’s waters will play host two races for competitive boaters – the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship National Final and the Battle of Classes Pursuit Race. The dinghy race will be hosted by Royal Southampton YC and SWAC, with live GPS Tracking and online commentary from SailRacer.
‘Try a Boat’ during Ladies Day at the Southampton Boat Show 2016
Get Afloat with Rockley Watersports...
...while children enjoy Bumper Boats
The tall ship Kaskelot will be a show feature boat