Britain’s festival of boating draws to a close

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Red Arrows Display Thrills Visitors At The Southampton Boat ShowBritain’s festival of boating draws to a close after welcoming everyone from sailing legends to pop stars

As the 2015 Southampton Boat Show drew to a close yesterday (Sunday 20 September), over 110, 000 people had enjoyed a taste of Britain’s biggest boating festival. 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.

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.

The Show kicked off in style with F1 presenter, Suzi Perry opening the Sunseeker stand with Britain’s Got Talent winners, Collabro. The Red Arrows provided visitors with a show-stopping display over the purpose-built marina on the first weekend, with sailing legends Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Olympian, Annie Lush all making appearances during the ten day event.

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.

“Sales have been excellent this year with visitors having the opportunity to purchase from an array of products from bags made of recycled sails to multi million pound yachts. There has been an exuberant atmosphere, once again confirming the Southampton Boat Show as one of the leading Boat Shows in the world.”

Exhibitor quotes from the 2015 Southampton Boat Show

Sunseeker International, Sales Director, Sean Robertson: “We’ve enjoyed an excellent Southampton Boat Show this year with over £35m of confirmed orders and several more in the pipeline, as usual it’s also been a real pleasure to welcome so many visitors and special guests to the stand. The GREAT Creations exhibition was also a real success this year, showcasing the Best of British iconic brands and designers alongside our special Union Jack wrapped San Remo.

We were particularly proud to celebrate a huge landmark for the business at this year’s Show – the delivery of our 100th yacht in the 100ft+ category. This achievement marks a significant milestone and a real coming of age for Sunseeker, and we’re looking forward to launching several new larger models over the coming months for which we’ve already received several confirmed retail orders.

Overall it’s very encouraging to see so much confidence within the UK boating industry, and with our current order book for 2016 up 70% year on year, we’re excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Landau UK,  Managing Director, Ben Metcalfe: “Yet again Southampton Boat Show brought really positive results for Landau UK with cash sales being a record high and sales enquiries showing an increase on last year. Most of all the show was fun and enjoyable and we are busy trying to think of ways of continuing that trend for our customers and all of us on the stand at the next Southampton Boat Show, as well as London Boat Show!”

Princess Yachts,  Marketing Director, Kiran Haslam: “We saw a lot of people at this year’s event. There was a genuine enthusiasm from visitors towards the entire event, and we have seen a positive impact on our order book, too. We strive to bring a large range of Princess’ yachts to the Southampton show, and welcome both fans and customers of our brand to engage with us there.”

MTU UK Ltd, Managing Director, Bruce Phillips: “Once again the Southampton Boat Show has proven to be an excellent event which has attracted many of our customers both from the marine and other industries. It has been the perfect platform to launch our new range of high performance diesel engines. It has been a first-class forum for customer exchanges. Clearly the highlight of the exhibition was the Red Arrows display.”

Nisos Yacht Charter, Owner, Rowan Carver: “This year has been excellent. It seems to be getting better each year and there has been a great quality of visitors this year. This is our 5th year here, and we have had an increase of commitment from customers, compared to previous years, with holidays being booked over six months in advance. The Show has given us a good start for 2016, and provides us with confidence for the London Boat Show. The atmosphere has been very positive, which has made everything better, both inside and out. As always the organising has been great, hassle free and trouble free during the set up. The location of our stand is really good this year, and the layout and space is much more open then previously, so it’s really helped with our business.”

Fairline Boats, Sales and Marketing Director, Douglas Culverwell: “We were delighted to host the world premiere of the Targa 53GT at the Southampton Boat Show, which is the corner stone in our busy boat show calendar. It was a natural fit, for us as a British boat builder, to launch at our home Show.

We were very pleased with the positive comments from the media, our dealers and customers alike which have resulted in worldwide publicity and interest for our new Targa 53GT.“

Robert Underwood Multihulls, Co-Founder and Company Director, Ed Underwood: “We unveiled the Bali 4.3 catamaran to the UK for the first time at Southampton Boat Show and it was very well received by both visitors and press. The Bali is proving very appealing to a wide range of potential buyers, and it is great to see the level of appreciation for the innovative features on board. The footfall this year fluctuated depending on the great British weather, but we are pleased that our serious clients still came out to visit the stand and we are in the process of writing quotations, following up with lots of very hot leads and converting these into sales. We look forward to next year!”

YachtSurfer (brand from Exmoor Technology), Business Development Manager, Warren D’Souza: “We are very happy. We are use to the Show and we did more business in the first three days than we did at the whole Show last year. I think our products are better, the branding is better and it has been a great Show. I think the Red Arrows created a buzz and gave people another reason to come for a day out. We are going to London and will do Southampton again next year.”

Torqeedo GmbH, UK Sales Manager, John Arnold: “We were extremely pleased with the results of this year’s Southampton Boat Show. It exceeded our expectations in terms of footfall and sales, especially in the first weekend. It was great to see plenty of interest in our products and we look forward to returning in 2016.”

Garmin (Europe) Ltd, Marketing Executive for Marine & Wellness, Chrissy Winchcombe: “We have had a consistently busy stand with lots of visitors interested in upgrading existing equipment and systems. Power boaters and sailors have shown a lot of interest in our new GPSMAP 7400 series. Sailors are also keen on our new intuitive software which gives users more data at their fingertips whilst sailing or racing. There has also been a lot of interest from sailors in Garmin’s large, easy to view GNX sailing instruments.”

Excel Boats, Sales Director, Terry Wright: “This year we have done very well.Friday we beat our record in terms of sales, which has been in place since the 2008 Boat Show. This has given us a good start to the season, also due to us having a more comprehensive range, of 35 models, which gives more demand to customers. Judging by how today has gone; we may have even beaten our record again. The girls have done a very good job organising this year, responding well to the needs of the exhibitors, and we’ve noticed the Show has matured this year. The use of space has been efficient, and it helps to create a good atmosphere, being outside always makes for a really good Show.”

Selva Marine, UK Agent, Mark Pullinger: “The Show for us is a way to underline the efforts that we have done over the course of the year and give customers the chance to ask questions about the product on the stand and with the dealers. The main focus of our attention has this year has been to strengthen the brand with customers and their knowledge of the products, and the conversation has been encouraging. We have launched and shown a good range of products and customer feedback has been very positive. It has definitely felt like we have taken a step forward.”

Williams Jet Tenders, Sales Director, Mathew Hornsby: “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. Our latest Sportjet 400 model, which made its UK premiere at the Show, was very well received by visitors and our existing customers. Our beautiful new waterfront location significantly increased the level of footfall that we saw and the move reflects our exciting plans for continued growth in the year ahead – including a new range of models that we will launch at London Boat Show.”

Ben Coombes Small Craft Ltd, Owner, Ben Coombes: “As a first timer at Southampton Boat Show, it has been an excellent ten days with strong customer interest and many new industry contacts. As a classic wooden boat builder from the Isle of Wight, it’s great to link with wooden boat enthusiasts from across the UK. Our winter calendar is filling up with demo sails for my wooden scows, as well as some restorations. I even met the owners of one of the first scows my grandfather built over 60years ago. It’s been fantastic to promote the beauty and craftsmanship of wooden boats and I’m looking forward to returning next year.”

For more information visit: www.southamptonboatshow.com

About British Marine:

British Marine (the trading name of British Marine Federation Limited) is a membership organisation leading the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry. It has over 1, 600 members drawn from both seagoing and inland sectors and represents an industry employing more than 31, 500 people in the UK. For more information about the work of British Marine and how to join, please visit the website: www.britishmarine.co.uk.

About British Marine Boat Shows:

The Southampton Boat Show and the London Boat Show at ExCeL London are organised by British Marine Boat Shows, a division of British Marine. The Southampton Boat Show 2015 ran from 11-20 September. The Southampton Boat Show 2016 runs from 16-25 September. For more information please visitwww.southamptonboatshow.com. The London Boat Show takes place fromFriday 8 – Sunday 17 January 2016 at ExCeL London – seewww.londonboatshow.com for more details.

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