PSP Southampton Boat Show Upbeat First Weekend

BOAT SHOW: The first weekend of the PSP Southampton Boat Show brought a smile to many faces as the sun shone and the visitors came to see what they’d been missing all year: some fantastic boats and a bit of a dream.

After last year’s press day, where journalists wandered disconsolately from event to event, this year saw so many press launches the journos were spoiled for choice.

And that so many companies were willing to put new products on the market is a very good sign for the immediate future.

Organisers National Boat Shows (NBS ) had made much of the nearly 100 product launches planned for the show – including 30 world launches – and it seemed all were set for press day.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor provided the glamour for the opening ceremony, after which attention switched to Sunseeker’s Predator 130 where the four equally glamorous girls from Escala played as the new boat met her PSP SBS crowds for the first time.

After that, it was down to Formula One pundit Eddie Jordan to bring a smile to Mr Braithwaite’s face as he signed his cheque for the first Sunseeker 46 – his 10th Sunseeker – quoted in one newspaper as being worth £12m.

After that, we had launches from Peters & May, Sealine, Mastervolt, Golden Arrow Marine, Northshore Yachts, Discovery Yachts, PSP – where Frank Dixie announced his company would sponsor the Southampton Boat Show for yet another year – Williams Performance Tenders, Garmin, Clipper Marine, Fairline, Raymarine, Marine Electronic Services, Premier Marinas, Scorpion RIBs, Ultrasonic Antifouling, The Green Blue, Standard Horizon, Princess Yachts and Sunsail.

Then it was on to the Saltwater Party, where members of the press get the…er, mickey taken out of them for their transgressions over the past year.

Boating Business got off lightly with a prize (and a tube of Anusol) for its headline of Painful Piles Removed about some boat owners forcing a harbour authority to remove some badly-placed mooring piles.

An excellent press day by all accounts. And the visitor total over the weekend was just about on a par with 2008 which, after the ups and downs of the last year, was a great result.

And we understand 100 people went to the Sunday evening dinner at Dockgate No 4 and had a great time.

Fingers crossed the weather stays with us (OK, it would be nice if the high pressure drifted a little to the south to take the north easterlies away), but the people we spoke to reckon business had been a great deal better than they were expecting.

Source: Boating Business www.boatingbusiness.com