Big changes for Britain's favourite on-the water boat show this September include a 100ft Ferris wheel

There’s

been a shake up at the Southampton Boat Show and organisers are promising that

this year’s event will be a boating festival for all the family

New

attractions include the PSP Southampton Boat Show Eye, a 30m (100ft)

Ferris wheel that will offer visitors a bird’s eye view of the Mayflower Park

site and marina for £3 per person.

For

the first time, a stage will be set up in the Guinness Bar area with acts

providing entertainment each afternoon. Michael Bublé tribute act ‘Might be

Bublé’ will be among the performers, while exhibitor bands providing the

warm-up will include The Sunseeker Renegades and Princess yacht band.

A

new undercover walkway will provide a link between the Mayflower and Ocean

exhibition halls. At the time of going to press, more than 500 exhibitors had

signed up to the 10-day event and more than 97% of exhibition space had sold

out.

Run

by National Boat Shows, a subsidiary of the British Marine Federation, the

event has one of Europe’s largest purpose-built marinas with over 2km of

pontoons able to display more than 300 boats. This year’s diverse spectacle

includes the show’s feature boat the 112ft Tall Ship Phoenix, which will be

lowering its gangplank to the public.

Free

Try a Boat sessions will be available with 30-60-minute trips in the latest

Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs), powerboats and sailing yachts, skippered by

qualified instructors

The

popular RYA Active Marina workshops are back for a third year, offering

visitors free on-water and shore-based workshops. It’s a chance to refresh

boating skills and gain top tips from expert instructors on a Sunsail yacht,

Sealine 390 flybridge motor boat or Suzuki-powered RIB, with sessions running

from 11am-5pm every day.

Youngsters

aged eight to 16 years will be able to enjoy free 90-minute taster sessions

aboard RS sailing dinghies and Stand Up Paddleboards with Get Afloat. (For all of these

activities sign up at Stand A140. Active Marina slots can be booked in advance

at http://bit.ly/activemarina)

Meanwhile,

the Challenge 72 yacht will offer visitors the chance to go sailing

for an hour and a half, from £54 per person.

Preview

day on Friday 12 September, will provide a chance to see new boat and product

launches, with a celebrity guest – yet to be revealed.

The

show’s final day, Sunday 21 September, coincides with the Bart’s Bash Guinness

World Record attempt to stage the world’s largest sailing event. This will be

taking place at thousands of sailing clubs simultaneously in memory of double

Olympic medallist and America’s Cup sailor Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, who

tragically died during an America’s Cup training accident in May 2013.

Southampton

Boat Show organisers are hoping to create a hub at Mayflower Park for Bart’s

Bash, feeding in images from around the world. The show’s chosen charity for

this year is the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, which aims to change

children’s lives through sailing.

The

world’s biggest boat owner group, the Westerly Owners’ Association (WOA) will

be present at the show, after an absence last year when it was unable to find

any suitable stand space available at a price it could afford.

The

not-for-profit organisation has accepted a kind invitation from Plymouth’s

award-winning Mayflower Marina to share some of its stand space at J034 in the

Mayflower Hall.

The

show will open daily from 9.30am to 6.30pm, but closes half an hour earlier on

the final day. Tickets cost from £20 for adults. Up to two children under 15

can get in free with each paying adult. Platinum Experience tickets cost £125

and include a trip on a Fairline Phantom 48 yacht. Concessions, group and

family tickets are available.

n Call the ticket hotline on 0844 776 7766 or

visit www.southamptonboatshow.com