Coleman report of London Boat Show 2016
The 62nd annual London Boat Show took place from Friday 8th January to Saturday 17th January at the ExCel in London and has been hailed as the biggest boat show to date that the capital has ever seen. The theme of the Show was ‘Innovation through the ages’ as the best of the industry was brought together and celebrated innovation from the 1960’s right through to today’s racing innovations and latest designs and technology.
There was a 1960’s revival exhibition which celebrated the ‘Best of British’ and transported visitors back to the swinging 60’s, wowing visitors with a Fairey Huntsman 28, an Amphica, a Jaguar E-Type, a Riva Junior and a Mirror Dinghy.
Coleman Marine Insurance Executive Tony Pauffley enthused, “At Coleman we insure many of the Fairey Huntsman boats. They are a true British classic and a superb drive. We like insuring these boats as the owners are incredibly passionate, knowledgeable, enthusiastic boat owners who really care about their boats and know and understand how to maintain and care for them.”
Tony met up with Poole based Peter Gordon who is Chairman of the British Marine Boat Shows. Peter advised, “We are delighted with the new layout of the boat show which has been very well received, by visitors and exhibitors alike. Hi-lights include a Mediterranean Bay – a purpose-built pool spanning 500sqm, overlooked by a Mediterranean-themed village. It is an on the water ‘play’ area for both beginners and experienced skippers.”
Peter continued, “Almost 400 boats are on show with nearly 100 of them making their debuts. We’ve got an enormous range in prices, from just £300 - £16million. There’s something to keep everyone happy!”
The London Boat Show Theatre welcomed some of the World’s most highly acclaimed boating experts talking on topics ranging from technology and innovations, to engine maintenance and around the World expeditions. Visitors were thrilled to meet and listen to, among others, Britain’s most successful sailor in Olympic history, Sir Ben Ainslie, the record- breaking female sailor, Dee Caffari MBE, the America’s Cup commentator, Tucker Thompson, Volvo Ocean Race winner, Ian Walker and the Land Rover BAR’s fitness coach, Ben Williams.
Sunseeker created a huge splash by exhibiting the Sunseeker 131 Yacht, a tri-deck 40 metre long superyacht costing in excess of £16 million – the biggest boat to ever make its world debut at the London Boat Show. Sunseeker were also celebrating after having been announced as winners of the Motor Boat Awards 2016 with their Predator 57 boat which was first showcased at the Southampton Boat Show in September 2015.
Tony Pauffley chatted with Jonathan Macklin, Commercial Director for Sunseeker International who commented, “We are delighted to have won this award. We have worked really hard to make sure that all the elements of the boat are unique and delight our customers. The Predator 57 shows innovation, style and performance and all these elements have been recognised in this award. Our order book has grown rapidly since its launch and we are building one every 5 days. We have a full order book until the end of the year. We will need to build some more!”
Poole based Golden Arrow Marine were exhibitors at the Boat Show. Business Development Manager David Hill advised, “It’s great to be showcasing our glass cockpit simulator and IPS Drive. The IPS drive is ten years old but we are now on version three. People have been really enjoying operating the joystick simulator and seeing just how easy it is to dock a boat using the latest technology.”
Other exhibitors enjoying a successful boat show illustrating the best of what their company can offer included international sailmaker Ullman Sails whose head office is based in Devon. Sales Director Chris Davison commented, “We are proud to be promoting our new, unique cruising sails which are particularly innovative as the fabric has vectran in the warp and the fill. This allows you to build both crosscut and radial sails for performance cruise applications. We have also brought along new additions to our FiberPath range which is for custom membrane cruising and racing sails. This is our 3rd London Boat Show and the best one we’ve had. We have had an excellent show and have signed up with a large charter company that we first met at the Show last year.
Rockley Point Sailing School from Poole experienced a particularly busy boat show in the year that sees them celebrate their 40th birthday as a company. Managing Director Pip Woods enthused, “We’ve had a fantastic show. The Mediterranean pool has created much interest and has been a real prominent feature. We’ve worked with other exhibitors too who have enjoyed demonstrating their latest products and innovations on the water. For example, we had the Golden Arrow Marine ‘Torqueedo’, a motorised paddle board, being demonstrated in the pool and it created a real buzz. To celebrate our 40th birthday we’ve been offering 40 % off on all our UK courses booked by RYA members at the show. This has proved extremely popular and sales have been significantly up on previous years.”
Continuing the innovation and design theme, Superyacht UK ran a Young Designer’s Competition over two days at the Boat Show with 10 talented university design students from across the UK, competing to win a coveted prize of a four week internship at the famous Pendennis Shipyard. Students were briefed and then hand drew their own concept yachts from scratch, in full view of boat show visitors who were able to chat to students as they worked about their designs and concepts. Dastinas Steponenas, a final year student from Coventry was announced as the winner.
Richard Selby, International Development Manager for British Marine and Superyacht UK commented “Superyacht UK’s objectives are to actively promote the role of British excellence throughout the world, and to provide greater co-ordination for the industry while providing support to UK member companies. The Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition is an opportunity for young British Designers to be recognised by the industry and gain invaluable work experience and contacts.”