As the biggest marine festival in the UK, the TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show needs no introduction. This year, it celebrated its 50-year anniversary by showcasing a plethora of beautifully designed boats and products from over 600 global marine brands.
As the highlight of the British Marine calendar we, of course, are annual attendees of the event so we were expecting a lot from this 50-year anniversary event, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. We’ve put together our highlights from this year’s Southampton Boat Show below.
The Ribeye stand
Ribeye is one of the industry’s leaders in luxury RIB manufacturing and their ambition has always been to produce the best leisure RIBs in the world.
In our eyes, Ribeye has to win the best stand award. While it wasn’t the biggest in the show, the way it was set up and decorated certainly made it stand out from the rest. As a brand, they pride themselves on cutting-edge design and British craftsmanship, and you can certainly see how they’ve applied these principles to their stand!
The red Princess R35 yacht
This is certainly the highlight on the list where the picture says more than we ever could. Before the boat show started, there was an air of excitement around Princess Yachts launching three brand new yachts, with the most hotly anticipated being the 50-knot R35 – their fastest yacht yet. Princess has always been a big player in the yachting industry, but the R35 promised an entirely new class of yacht – the ‘R’ stands for revolution after all!
Little did anyone know they’d debut it in this magnificent red colourway, which made everyone’s jaw drop who walked past – including ourselves! As Garry Childs from BoatShop Menorca put it: “it’s very Bond isn’t it?”.
The red R35 in all its glory.
As soon as you enter the show’s pontoons via the bridge, you’re met with an endless view of boats – too many to take in in one go! No matter what your preferred boat of choice is, you’ll find a boat that’ll pique your interest here.
Walking along the pontoons and seeing row after row of every type of boat from catamarans to superyachts was a particular highlight for us. Aside from the boats, the buzz and atmosphere at this area of the show was particularly electric – with everything there was to look at, it’s easy to see why!
It’s easy to get caught up with the latest in modern technology at the boat show, but one of the most popular feature boats at the show was the complete opposite of this.
Kaskelot is one of the world’s largest remaining wooden ships still in commission and is always a regular feature at the Southampton Boat Show. Stepping onto its deck feels like you’re stepping into history as Kaskelot was built in Denmark all the way back in 1948.
Since then, it’s become somewhat of a celebrity, starring in blockbusters such as The Three Musketeers and Alice in Wonderland and TV shows such as the UK’s beloved Poldark. Kaskelot certainly provided us with the ultimate escapism in the flesh too!
Kaskelot took everyone who saw it back in time.
The atmosphere and the people
While this isn’t a tangible attraction, for us and nearly everyone we spoke to about the show, said the atmosphere and the friendly, like-minded people were by far their favourite thing about coming to the Southampton Boat Show each year.
Tom Sanderson from JBT Marine echoed this feeling by telling us “the atmosphere is always fantastic at Southampton because it’s towards the end of the boating season – they’ve had a great summer on their boats and they’re still really excited about it.”
The exhibitors were there to build a relationship with the people visiting – it’s so much more than the hard-sell. “For us, the boat show is about relationship building, we’re not here to push people to give us their money now. We want to build a relationship that hopefully, in the long term, leads to a sale and lasts for a long time after” Sanderson said.
Of course, there were so many attractions that it would be impossible to mention every single one of our highlights – the Guinness tepee definitely falls within that list! So, if you didn’t make it this year, we certainly recommend you go see what all the hype is about at the Southampton Boat Show 2019!