Scotland’s Boat Show 2015 at Kip Marina, Inverclyde broke every previous attendance record, attracting more than 16,000 visitors.
A record-breaking 16,250 visitors flocked to Scotland’s Boat Show 2015 at Kip Marina, Inverclyde last weekend.
This marked an increase of nearly 1,800 visitors to the three-day event. Organisers of the UK’s third largest boat show said Saturday was the busiest ever day with approaching 7,500 visitors.
Practical Boat Owner magazine’s Project Boat Hantu Biru was among the show’s attractions, with members of the public invited to step aboard the fully-restored Snapdragon 23 and to enter a competition to win her.
David Lacy, who keeps his boat in Troon, said: ‘I know the whole story of Hantu Biru, she’s an old friend.
‘Well done, great job. But still more expensive than buying a new boat.
‘It’s been great for me, I’ve got a Snapdragon 24, the stuff you’ve done, I’ve been learning a lot.
‘I pitied you some of the jobs you’ve done. She’s absolutely pristine, makes mine look tatty.’
Anthony Layden of Buchlyvie said: ‘It’s awesome to see it in real life.’
Alan Rennie, of Inverkip, said: I’ve read every single article, I think she’s absolutely brilliant.
‘She proves what you can do to bring back a really old boat.
‘There have been really, really good stories, I’ve enjoyed it. What really gets me is a 30-year-old boat, sat in a yard and what you’ve done to tidy it up and bring it back to life.’
He added: ‘It’s an inspiration to us all.’
Former boat yard owner Jim Brown, of Largs, said: I must admit you’ve done a beautiful job on it. I’ve followed it right from the word go. I would say it’s probably from an amateur (in the best possible way) point of view, one of the best renovations I’ve ever come across. And being an ex-boat yard owner I’ve seen many.’
John and Pauline Langfield, from Preston, drove for four-and-a-half hours to see the PBO Project Boat and attend the show.
John said: ‘One of the reasons we came to the boat show was to have a look at Hantu Biru.
‘I’m halfway through doing one of my own, a Sea Witch, 19ft.
‘It’s our first proper little boat and we can’t wait to get her on the water.’
Michelle Ashworth, of Dunoon, said: ‘We’ve been to the show the last three years because my husband’s gran lives nearby.
‘It’s certainly seems to be a lot bigger than last year.’
For the first time, the wheelchair-friendly Wheely Boat from Clyde Muirshiel offered free taster sessions at Scotland’s Boat Show.
Barbara Kinghorn, aged 90, enjoyed a trip on the Wheely Boat, along with her friends and carers from the Erskine care home in Bishopton, for former servicemen and women.
Former Wren Barbara said: ‘It was very much the best bit of the day.’
Carer Christina MacDonald said: ‘We just came to look at the boats, we weren’t expecting a boat ride. It was brilliant.’
Show sponsors, RYA Scotland also offered Access Dinghy taster sessions, in conjunction with Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, which enabled many youngsters to enjoy their first trip on to the water.
Other attractions included a new Scottish Food & Drink Pavilion, complete with an indoor market showcasing everything from preserves and pickles to multi-award winning Gigha halibut and a theatre kitchen where guests could enjoy demonstrations and tastings of Scottish seafood, artisan chocolate making or the new Glen Etive Mhor 3 Scotch whisky.
Following the success of PBOs Ask the Experts LIVE! event at Beaulieu Boatjumble, we teamed up with the RYA Scotland to offer more expert talks during the show in the RYA Scotland Theatre thanks to Sika’s Gareth Ross, International Paint’s Kate Moss, CB Marine Services’ surveyor Colin Brown and Ocean Safety‘s Michael Scott who provided liferaft and lifejacket demonstrations.
Dave and Marion McKone, of Lancashire, enjoyed the Sika demonstration on sealants.
Dave said: ‘It was very good. Educational. We know what we were doing wrong now.
‘We try and do a job as cheap as possible as we don’t want to buy expensive primer.
‘There were a lot of things we hadn’t thought about.’
Nigel Wardrop, of North Lanarkshire, attended the International Paint talk and said: ‘I learnt how to paint the top of the boat. Whether I can put it into practice I’m not sure.
‘I was particularly interested in this talk.’
Keen dinghy sailor Alan Duffy, aged 14, was the volunteer for both Ocean Safety demonstrations and said: ‘It was excellent. I’ve seen a lifejacket inflate before – not my own, but not a liferaft. It was fantastic.’
His mum Marie MacDonald said: ‘It’s our first time at Scotland’s Boat Show, I think it’s excellent. It’s been very well organised, I can’t believe how big it is.’
Crowds gathered to watch acrobatic displays of Flyboarding. Also causing great interest on the water were the two Round the World Clippers ‘Clyde Challenger’ and a Clipper 68, where people could enter a competition to win a week’s training.
The show was officially opened by Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism Fergus Ewing.
More than 90 boats were for sale at the event. Other highlights included stalls showcasing the latest marine equipment in the RYA Scotland Pavilion, plus luxury cars from Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Maserati, Morgan and Porsche.
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The Clyde Life-Style Marquee hosted dozens of artisan traders, while the Inverclyde Council zone allowed local organisations to showcase the opportunities that Inverclyde can offer for waterside living and working.
Able 2 Sail charity volunteer Neil Robertson said: ‘It was definitely worth coming. We’ve got 20 names of people interested in sailing with us and about 20 people interested in volunteering, including some very well qualified people with extensive sailing experience.
‘We were short of skippers so that’s great. Plus it’s all networking.’
There was musical entertainment from the Isle of Cumbrae Pipe Band and the Inverclyde Rock Choir, plus helicopter flights on offer.
Holt Leisure Group and Kip Marina’s managing director Gavin McDonagh said: ‘Every year the show grows with this year our best yet and we are particularly delighted as many exhibitors have already booked to return next year.
‘All at Kip are extremely proud of their show and the fact that it attracts thousands of visitors to see the best of Inverclyde from land, sea and air.’
Next year, Scotland’s Boat Show will take place from 14 to 16 October 2016.