LONDON BOAT SHOW 2017 CELEBRATES START OF THE SEASON FOR £3.01BN UK INDUSTRY

16 Jan 2017

London Boat Show 2017

The 2017 London Boat Show drew to a close yesterday amongst a backdrop of world launches, celebrities and strong sales being reported. Offering something for those both new to boating as well as more experienced mariners, the event provided a unique insight into the most sought-after products and upcoming trends for the year ahead.

Featuring over 100 boat and product launches including 18 World, 2 European, 43 UK & 37 Show debuts plus 47 new exhibitors for 2017, this year’s Show witnessed the coming together of the industry to celebrate the start of the season.

Unprecedented levels of disruption across the travel networks coupled with snow effecting six out of the first eight days of the Show, had an unavoidable effect on visitor numbers. Despite being 5% down on visitor numbers across the 10 days, the Show continued to provide excellent business opportunities for exhibitors at the start of the New Year.

Brand new attractions wowed visitors at this year’s Show including The London Stage. Returning due to popular demand and bigger than previous years, the Stage played host to live entertainment welcoming a fantastic line-up of sporting personalities and boating pundits. From record-breaking sailors, Olympic medallists and BBC broadcasters to adventurers and pioneers, all shared their inspiring stories and expert knowledge in new interactive stage shows including A Question of Sailing and The Daily Brunch Show. Shining the spotlight on British boating success, the Stage also welcomed high-octane fashion events, showcasing the latest in boating trends.

In addition, the new Dream Lodge Marina & Boating Lake was one of the stunning new feature attractions at this year’s Show. The idyllic setting saw beautiful yachts moored in the marina as well as offering fantastic places to eat and drink. The Marina also played host to exciting on the water activities including the ‘blind-boating challenge’ and seabob demonstrations. Positioned adjacent to the Dream Lodge Marina, the Watersports Park powered by Rockley provided activity both on the water and land. This interactive area offered some 1,200 visitors the chance to try out some of the latest watersports trends including Stand Up Paddleboarding, kayaking and sailing.

The Show came at a time when the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry has been high on the government’s agenda. The Show welcomed Industry Minister Jesse Norman MP, Trade Minister Mark Garnier MP and Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage to the event over the past week. British Marine took the opportunity to discuss the support the £3.01 billion industry needs from Government on issues such as skills and exports. It was also an ideal way of highlighting the value of the industry and the Show in promoting topics such as watersports and its accessibility, excellent and innovative design that exists within the sector and increasing boating tourism.

Proving the Show was also still high on the list in the world of showbiz, a host of stars also attended the Show this year. Celebrities including award-winning actress, Joanna Lumley, HRH The Princess Royal, sailors Dame Ellen MacArthur, Helena Lucas MBE, Dee Caffari MBE, Saskia Clark MBE, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, ocean rower Guin Batten, voice of the BBC Radio 4’s shipping forecast Zeb Soanes, adventurer Monty Halls, journalist and newsreader Michael Buerk, Cowboy Builders’ star Dominic Littlewood, actor David Suchet, TV SAS star Ant Middleton, former rugby star Phil Vickery OBE, entrepreneur Sir Keith Mills and renowned celebrity hairdresser Nicky Clarke all graced the Show.

A number of key industry awards were also given out at this year’s Show including the Superyacht UK Young Designer of the Year, TYHA Marina of the Year and the Yachts and Yachting Awards. Plus new for this year, the winners of the boats.com YJA Young Sailor and Yachtsman of the Year also received their accolades live on The London Stage with Gavin Reid being honoured for his mid-ocean rescue.

Murray Ellis, Chief Officer of Boat Shows at British Marine comments: “The 2017 London Boat Show started the boating season complete with enjoyable live entertainment and the unique opportunity for visitors to get on the water in an indoor venue. We were pleased to offer an unrivalled experience into the latest trends and the opportunity to look ahead and get ready for the coming months.

“The UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial industry is worth more than £3 billion. The current confidence in the market and the importance of the Show as a sales platform was echoed in some of the good business reports from the Show floor from our smaller exhibitors right the way through to the top end luxury brands.”

Greg Munford, Chairman of British Marine Boat Shows concludes: “What a great event we’ve seen at the 63rd London Boat Show. We have seen many examples of both exhibitors, members and sector bodies using the Show as a fantastic networking opportunity and the platform to host various industry events. Despite the extraordinary travel and weather circumstances, the 2017 London Boat Show has provided something for those who love boating, visitors wanting to experience something new as well as those after a fantastic day out. To see and hear the excitement of the hundreds of children who took to the water every day on paddleboards and kayaks on our huge purpose-built pool was a real highlight.”

Exhibitor quotes

Sean Robertson, Sales & Marketing Director at Sunseeker International comments:  “Once again, it has been a highly successful London Boat Show with £25m of confirmed sales and a further £15m under contract; it’s very encouraging to see so much confidence in the Sunseeker brand, our exceptional yachts and the leisure marine industry in general.

“We were especially delighted to debut two new models, the stylish 68 Sport Yacht and the eagerly anticipated Manhattan 66 which has already found 31 new buyers; a reflection of this model’s dominance in its sector. We were also delighted to showcase the 95 Yacht, the largest on display at the Show; in fact six of the largest 10 boats at the Show were Sunseekers reflecting our position as the UK’s No. 1 boatbuilder.

“During the course of the Show, our new Manhattan 52 won the award for ‘Best Flybridge up to 55ft’ at the 2017 Motor Boat Awards. We are delighted to announce that this is now our fastest-selling model to date with over 80 retail orders in its first four months. We are thrilled to have won this award, as it underlines our ability to keep giving our customers the best in class across every segment we operate in.

“Our 2017 forward order book is up 41% in retail units on the same period in 2016 and we are extremely positive about the year ahead, particularly as we have a further two new models to launch.”

Russell Currie, Managing Director at Fairline Yachts says: “Fairline Yachts has had a very successful London Boat Show, achieving a sales turnover of £4m on the first day of trading alone! We have continued to sell boats throughout the Show and have been impressed by the high calibre of clients attending. Visitors to the stand have been pleased to see Fairline back and have been extremely positive, particularly regarding the quality of the boats we are producing. The initial details of the forthcoming Targa 43 Open, launching in the Spring 2018, have been very well received and more details will be released shortly. We also had productive meetings with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Jessie Norman MP as well as local MP, Tom Pursglove. We were grateful for the opportunity to speak to the Minister about Fairline Yachts and our plans for the future. The Minister was very supportive of Fairline and the boatbuilding industry as a whole.”

Kiran Haslam, Marketing Director at Princess Yachts remarks: "This year's London Boat Show concluded with a busy weekend seeing many guests on our stand and a great deal of excitement surrounding the global debut of our all-new S60 sportsbridge yacht. The industry is undoubtedly in the best position it has been since the global recession seven years ago and London was a great way to kick off what will hopefully be a very good year for Princess."

Peter Harrison, Director at Helm remarks: “We’re delighted with how the Show has gone for us this year, it’s been fantastic. This is our second London Boat Show – we launched the company six weeks before last year’s event – and have seen the footfall to our stand double as well as the number of enquiries and bookings from last year. The London Boat Show is a great platform to raise our brand profile and we’ll definitely be back for London 2018!”

Michael Bollom, Chairman at A Glaze Ltd comments: “A Glaze has had a great London Boat Show this year; we’ve definitely noticed an increase in the quality of visitors to our stand. We’ve witnessed a year on year increase in our sales figures at the Show for the last six years now with new trade customers being added. The new product we launched here sold out. We’re already looking forward to the 2018 Show.”

Richard Pierpoint, Managing Director at FlexiSail adds: “This is our 12th consecutive year at the London Boat Show and we have always found it to be a successful event for us. It’s important for our business that people understand that the product exists and what it does. We are in a new location this year which has meant increased footfall at the FlexiSail stand, which allows us more opportunity of explaining and growing awareness of the FlexiSail name. With this increased level of interest, exhibiting at the Show allows us to build our database and register new memberships, with business up 40% from last year. We will definitely be back next year.”

Mathew Hornsby, Sales Director at Williams Jet Tenders says: “The 2017 London Boat Show has provided a great platform to showcase our fantastic model range including the newly launched Minijet 280 - now our fastest selling tender with well over 150 ordered! The Show has been a great success with sales across the range, exceeding retail sales we received at the 2016 London Boat Show. Of particular interest on the stand was the Turbojet range which continues to be our most popular tenders for yachts between 50ft and 80ft. Highly regarded for their versatility and performance, the Turbojets are the first choice of tender for many yacht owners globally and continue to be specified by yacht builders at the very earliest stage of a yacht design. In addition to new customers it was great to welcome many existing owners to the stand and learn about their boating plans for the coming year; and of note were the number who were ordering a new yacht and therefore taking the opportunity to renew their tender at the same time."

David Thomas, Sales at Cornish Crabbers states: “We’ve had an incredible Show. Our stand has been situated in a fantastic location which has produced genuine interest in our boats and a good quality of custom and we’ve been able to push orders for the next 12 months. This has been our best Show in a long time. ”

James Campbell, New Business Executive at Pantaenius comments: “We’ve had some really encouraging conversations on our stand at the Show this year and have a number of enquiries to follow up on when we get back to the office. The London Boat Show is also a great networking opportunity for us – it’s brilliant to have key people within the industry all under one roof and a good place to meet new people.”

Greg Houlston, General Manager for Broom adds: “This was our second London Boat Show and we’ve been pleased to receive a good level of leads and enquiries on the stand for the variety of products and services offered by Broom Marine Services. We are particularly encouraged by the quality of enquiries for the Volvo Penta Range, who we’re flying the flag for at the Show.”

Andy Sims, UK Representative for Quick SPA says: “The London Boat Show has been the first time that Quick has exhibited at a UK Show and we have found it to be extremely successful, with the world launch of our new giro stabilizers at the centre of our exhibit. We’ve taken orders across a range of products including the giros which have exceeded our expectations. We are very pleased with the Show and the team behind it and will be returning next year.”

Greg Chiappini, Head of Aviation and Marine at Lombard comments: “2017 has been yet another great year at the London Boat Show and we were lucky enough to be joined on our stand by the amazing Olympic Sailing Gold Medalist, Saskia Clark MBE, who was representing us as an ambassador. We also had the opportunity to speak to many visitors about the funding facilities that Lombard is able to offer to customers who are looking to purchase. We have long shown our commitment to the marine industry and as a dedicated marine team, the London Boat Show is a key event for us. We look forward to another successful year ahead for the UK marine industry.”

Martin Gray, Managing Director at Pure Latitude remarks: “Exhibiting at the London Boat Show is a great platform for Pure Latitude boat club. We offer an innovative proposition of affordable, low commitment and hassle free boating which is particularly relevant with the current economic uncertainty. We have had a significant number of new memberships from the stand and are very much looking forward to the 2018 Show.”

Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas states: “The London Boat Show has been a great start to what promises to be a very exciting year for MDL, which will see us unveil our transformed Ocean Village Marina in Southampton. This year’s Show has generated high levels of interest in our European marina network and the fantastic cruising opportunities our Freedom Berthing package offers. An absolute highlight of the Show was a visit to our stand from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, where we shared industry insight and discussed MDL’s ongoing evolution. The Show also saw two of our marinas recognised in the Marina of the Year Awards, which was a fantastic way to close another brilliant London Boat Show.”

Steve Arber CMM, Operations Director at Tingdene Marinas remarks: “On the Tingdene Marinas stand we have enjoyed visits from many of our existing and new customers and are pleased to report several sales of new boats.”

Amanda Atkinson, AkzoNobel's Product Manager for International Paint comments: “Exhibiting at this year’s London Boat Show has been a fantastic occasion and a brilliant way to start 2017 for International Paint. The start of the Show was a real highlight for us, as we officially unveiled in the UK two new shades for the International Toplac range, Woodward Green 139 and Platinum 151. We had a brilliant response from visitors on both the new additions, as well as our staple product portfolio – it was great to meet so many industry enthusiasts under one roof!”

John Arnold, UK Sales Manager for Torqeedo says: “London Boat Show always provides an exciting platform for Torqeedo to showcase its latest products to customers and press alike. Although the footfall appeared to be down this year, we sold a good number of motors and there was a lot of interest in our DAME award-winning Cruise Fixed Pod collection, as well as the general range. We have also had some strong enquires for our revolutionary Deep Blue system. London Boat Show also provided the perfect platform for us to sign a high-profile contract with a prestige vessel – which will be announced imminently.”

Scott Farquharson, General Manager at Sunsail adds: “London Boat Show 2017 was an unprecedented success for Sunsail, with an exceptional number of visitors to the stand who were interested in our offerings for the coming year – they took particular interest in the new bespoke rum tasting flotilla in the British Virgin Islands, and new flotilla route at our Palma base in Mallorca.

"We have to thank our special guests on the stand, including Helena Lucas MBE and Phil Vickery MBE DL, who we have been working with on our Funding the Future campaign and the Wooden Spoon Regatta – initiatives we are really proud of and excited to progress in 2017.

"We were also honoured to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to our stand at the London Boat Show and share our passion for sailing with her. Princess Anne was particularly interested to know more about how we are getting more people into sailing as a sport and we talked about our new and exciting Funding the Future campaign, which aims to help small sailing clubs around the country with a grant of £5,000. She was delighted to hear that Solva SC, a small sailing club from West Pembrokeshire, won our top prize, giving them a national platform at the Show.”

Charles Knight, from Navigators & General: "Navigators & General has had a strong 2016 and we see the London Boat Show as a great opportunity to highlight all the great work we've done on behalf of our customers. Our objectives for the London Boat Show 2017 were to launch our new yacht and motorboat policy offering, build on the already strong brand awareness of Navigators & General and meet with our clients, brokers and marine trade contacts. We were really pleased with what we achieved at the event and on social media through promoting the following great news."

To view the highlights video for the London Boat Show 2017 click here: https://youtu.be/IZTV3qnAPsI

To download images of the London Boat Show click here: http://www.w-w-i.com/london_boat_show_2017/

For more information, please contact either:

Crown Pavilions