Returning for its 49th year, the Southampton Boat Show is planning to get more people than ever before participating in boating and watersports activities at this year’s biggest festival of boating.

With participation in the UK on the rise as more people enjoyed boating and watersports last year, according to the Watersports Participation Survey 2016, the 2017 show looks to embrace the trend and get more people on the water with a line-up of new and returning attractions.

Whatever your age or skill level, whether you’re an aspiring sailor, junior paddleboarder or avid skipper, looking for family-fun or a challenge, there is something for everyone.

Southampton Boat Show. Credit: onEdition2016

Southampton Boat Show. Credit: onEdition2016

Ways to get out on the water at the Southampton Boat Show are:

  • Hundreds of visitors will be able to climb aboard the show’s very own passenger boat daily and enjoy a boat trip in the Solent, to view the show from a new perspective and enjoy being out on the water.
  • A new Paddle River Experience will take pride of place in Solent Park. With a 60 metre waterway circuit and lush greenery, this attraction will transport visitors to a woodland stream and offer those of all ages and ability the chance to start try canoeing or paddleboarding.
  • New for 2017, children and adults will be able to go bell boating at the show. A twin hulled open canoe seating up to 12 people, bell boats offer fun for all.
  • The Adventure River Canoe Ride, located in the show’s arena, will offer the youngest show visitors to try their hand at canoeing on its winding river.
  • A motorised boating experience for children aged 3-13 years, located in Solent Park, will allow the youngest generation the opportunity to master the art of steering whilst having fun with the onboard water cannon.
  • The popular free ‘Try-a-Boat’ sessions from On The Water will allow visitors to experience the thrill of being out on the water in a selection of vessels.
  • On The Water’s ‘Get Afloat’ will offer children aged 8-16 years the chance to discover dinghy sailing and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), all for free.
  • Paid-for ‘premium’ experiences will also be available, with the return of the Global Challenge Sailing Experience, offering visitors a chance to sail onboard a 72ft Ocean Race Yacht as part of a 12 strong crew, and the VIP Platinum Experience which includes a cruise on a motor yacht.
Southampton Boat Show 2015 marina. © onEdition

Southampton Boat Show 2015 marina. © onEdition

Visitors to the Southampton Boat Show will also be able to relax at one of the show’s many bars and enjoy live entertainment at one of the two dome stages.

Or simply soak up the last of the summer sun exploring Europe’s largest purpose-built marina showcasing 330 of the latest models from British and international boat manufacturers, along with feature boats and a tall ship.

Plus, visitors will be able to discover and trial the season’s hottest marine equipment and electronics from around the world in the newly-configured Ocean Hall.

Murray Ellis, chief officer of boat shows at British Marine, said: ‘At the Southampton Boat Show we are privileged to have such an ideal location to get people on the water and on average 10,000 visitors go boating or trial watersports across the 10 days of the show.

‘However, this year we want to get more of our visitors enjoying on the water experiences. This means more variety, more accessibility and more capacity, which we are planning to deliver at this year’s event. We are determined to see record numbers enjoying life on the water with family and friends at this year’s Southampton Boat Show.’