Boating enthusiasts turned out in force for a landmark edition of Beaulieu Boatjumble yesterday, which celebrated 40 years of nautical bargain hunting.
The event also marked the golden anniversary of show sponsor Practical Boat Owner magazine and hundreds of visitors packed into the PBO Ask the Experts Live marquee, for a day of free talks and demonstrations by marine industry experts.
Nearly 6,600 visitors turned out for the Boatjumble’s ruby anniversary year, which boasted more than 560 stands crammed with nautical paraphernalia.
Trunk Traders was a popular highlight of the event, with more than 100 enthusiasts driving into the show to sell unwanted spares and nautical knick-knacks from their car boots.
From cleats and seats right up to vessels for sale, the Beaulieu Boatjumble was a one-stop shop for anyone planning for this year’s boating season. Whether show-goers were looking for a replacement steering wheel for a classic sports boat, serviceable second-hand sail, set of fenders or inboard diesel engine, Beaulieu’s Boatjumble was the place to find it.
Mike and Bernie Wrankmore from Bournemouth said: ‘We’ve been coming to the boatjumble every year for 30 years. The best bit is the bargains when you can get them. We’ve been here in all sorts of weather, including when it’s been really muddy. This year has been good.’
Charles Howard, from Waterlooville, said: ‘This is my first boat jumble ever. Until I retired three weeks ago I had to work Sundays. I’ve enjoyed it.’
He added: ‘I’ve been a subscriber of PBO for eight years and I’m a fan because of the mixture of practical stuff and tempting cruising and also it’s absolutely bang up to date with all the new gear and safety legislation. I very much enjoyed the rebuild of Project Boat Hantu Biru and I’m very much looking forward to the next one with the Secret 20.’
Special guests at the show, were the Ocean Brothers, who are preparing to row across the Atlantic to raise £100,000 for the British Skin Foundation in memory of their late father. New Forest doctor Greg Bailey and his step-brother Jude Massey, a sailing and ski instructor, showed visitors the two-man rowing vessel they will be confined to for the 11-week voyage and talked to them about the challenge in honour of Peter Massey who died after a long battle against skin cancer.
Greg said: ‘My brother’s 18 and he lost his dad, my step-dad, a year ago. We thought lets turn this suffering into something memorable and decided to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic.’
Ask the Experts
Back by popular demand for a third year, PBO’s Ask The Experts Live! feature saw maritime professionals give up their time for free to offer advice on a range of subjects including sail trimming, effective anchoring, repairing fibreglass and diesel engine maintenance.
Rear Commodore of the Ocean Cruising Club Daria Blackwell and her husband Alex, authors of Happy Hooking – The Art of Anchoring, drew the crowds with a talk on effective anchoring. Alex also stepped in with an impromptu talk on cruising the West Coast of Ireland, when chef David Wells was unable to attend the show.
Daria said: ‘We’ve had a good audience here. It’s our first time to Beaulieu, it’s astounding to see people walking out of here with baby buggies loaded with all kinds of boating gear, it’s fascinating.’
Ian said: ‘There were a lot of people, it was a very pleasant experience to come and meet more people than I was expecting to see. I hope my talk was informative for most people.
‘I’ve never been to Beaulieu Boatjumble before, I was quite surprised by how busy how early it was.’
Jerry said: ‘I really enjoyed it. It was good fun and hopefully a bit of education has gone out and people will be safer.
‘There have been some interesting talks, I was listening to the other guys, it was very worthwhile for people to come in and hear things. Many thanks to Selden Mast Limited for loaning us their demo rig for the day.’
Tom Edwards of ASAP Supplies provided insight to diesel engine maintenance with the help of a demo engine supplied by Hamble School of Yachting, Gareth from Sika – which was also sponsor of this year’s Experts Live! – gave a practical demonstration on window bonding, while Gary Thompson of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy from Wessex Resins demonstrated how to repair holes in glassfibre boats.
Gareth said: ‘I thought the boatjumble was a bit sparse compared to previous years but the talks were really well attended.’
Gary said: ‘This is the third year that WEST SYSTEM Epoxy has been involved, I enjoyed it, it’s always a good day out.’
Met Office weather forecaster Penny Tranter and her colleague Nick Ashton shared their knowledge on how to prepare for and respond to impacts from the weather.
Penny said: ‘The audience asked a lot of really good, challenging questions. We were helping them to plan for when they’re out on the water whether just for a few hours or something a bit further afield.’
Meanwhile PBO regular Alan Watson offered advice on electronics on board throughout the day, and RNLI Community Safety Team volunteers hosted a popular lifejacket clinic for a third year running.
RNLI volunteer Dr Charles Fay said: ‘We did about 50 lifejacket checks or talks, giving advice about appropriate lifejackets for the type of activities the visitors wanted to do. I taught one lady how to service her own lifejacket, as its not difficult.’
Alan said: ‘It’s been a busy day, I’ve had a lot of questions, from why doesn’t my Satphone work to why does smoke come out of my wiring.’
BHG Marine, which has just opened a new BHG Service Chandlery at the Buckler’s Hard Yacht Harbour on the Beaulieu River also celebrated its 70th year at a stand at the show.
In Boatmall, HM Coastguard Search and Rescue displayed a fast response boat while the RNLI promoted safety at sea.
Boats in Boatmart included a classic Cornish Shrimper 19’ with a fetching yellow hull which was on sale at £14,499, plus an impressive wooden 2003 Gaff Cutter for £6,500. A 1963 Wayfarer sailing dinghy was on sale at £1,895, while power boat fans could buy a 2004 Hellwig Milos speed boat fitted with a 190 HP Mercruiser engine for £5,950.
Deals were done for nearly-new canoes, kayaks, inflatable dinghies and rigid tenders fit for years of faithful service. All manner of Seagull, Yamaha, Mercury and Mariner outboard engines were available, while sailors could browse a selection of quality new and second-hand wooden fixtures and fittings, cookers, sinks and toilets.
There was also plenty of choice with brand new chandlery items, including ropes, chains, winches, fenders, anti-fouling paints, polishes, lubricants, life jackets, deck shoes and sailing gloves.
Buyers adding a nautical theme to their home were also snapping up traditional sailing accessories, including ship bells, brass portholes, oars and vintage lamps.
Videos of all the PBO Ask the Expert talks and demonstrations will be posted in due course on the PBO YouTube channel.
40th Beaulieu Boatjumble Fact File
- The first Boatjumble on Sunday 16 April 1978 saw more than 7,000 eager visitors browse 270 stands, with numbers of traders almost doubling the following year.
- Boatmart became part of the event in 1991, giving potential boat buyers the chance to inspect and buy a wide range of trailerable yachts, dinghies and motor boats.
- Visitors topped 20,000 in 1990, when the Boatjumble was first hailed as ‘Europe’s biggest boating jumble sale’.
- Stephen Lowe, yacht skipper and son of actor Arthur Lowe (famous for playing Captain Mainwaring in Dad’s Army), was a stallholder in 1988, selling numerous items of maritime miscellany.
- Boatmall was added to the show in 2011, giving show-goers the chance to see the latest products from leading manufacturers, try on clothing and tinker with up-to-the-minute technology.
- Trunk Traders began at the Boatjumble in 2007, for smaller traders and yachtsman to set up shop from the boot of their car.
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