Award-winning TV star, model and activist, Joanna Lumley has officially opened the Sunseeker International stand at the London Boat Show.

The 2017 London Boat Show gets under way today, Friday 6 January, at ExCeL London with 10 star-studded days lined up, celebrating the very best of boating.

More than 300 exhibitors are taking part in the annual show, with seven world boat debuts confirmed from the likes of Princess Yachts, Sunseeker International, Cobra Ribs and Nautilus Yachting, plus a further four UK and seven show launches planned.

A large crowd turned out at the Sunseeker International stand, where Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley declared the show officially open.

London Boat Show 2017 opening event crowd

The London Stage is back, with live entertainment and exclusive performances scheduled throughout the 10-days, including fashion events showcasing the latest in boating trends.

Sky Sports presenter Alec Wilkinson will be hosting regular features from sailing greats including yachtswoman Dee Caffari and Olympian Saskia Clark to boating favourites Zeb Soanes and Alex Alley.

A full list of confirmed speakers can be found here.

The special guests will be sharing their inspiring stories and expert knowledge through interactive talks and panel shows, including:

  • A Question of Sailing

Based on the classic TV programme, this popular quiz show will be full of facts, fun and celebrities going head to head.

  • Sailing Uncovered

This interactive show will offer visitors the chance to put their questions to the experts and pick up some top tips.

  • The Daily Brunch Show

The Daily Brunch Show will welcome in each day of the show at a leisurely pace, with special guests taking visitors through the breaking headlines from the morning papers as well as updates from the show floor.

Dave Selby

Dave Selby aboard his Sailfish 18 Marlin

PBO columnist Dave Selby will be joining the line-up on Monday.

Dave said: ‘9 January is “People’s Day” at the London Boat Show. As I’m a people I’m doing presentation on stage at 1.15 and 3pm about cheap boats.’

A new attraction for this year’s show is the Dream Lodge Marina & Boating Lake, featuring yachts moored in a marina setting, as well as places to eat and drink.  The marina will also play host to on-the-water activities including the ‘blind-boating challenge’ and seabob demonstrations.

Dream Lodge, artist's impression

Dream Lodge, artist’s impression

Nearby, the Watersports Park powered by Rockley will invite visitors to try out Stand Up Paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing and water-zorbing. Alternatively, visitors can enjoy demonstrations ashore of innovative new equipment and cooking events.

Bringing a taste of ‘La Dolce Vita’ to the London Boat Show, stand E027 will see participation from three Italian Marinas – Marina Di Portisco, Sardinia, Marina D’Arechi, Salerno and Venezia Certosa Marina, Venice.

Meanwhile, Boat Club Trafalgar boat-hire club based in Portsmouth is running a competition at the show, offering visitors the chance to win a whole year of free boating.

Murray Ellis, chief officer of Boat Shows at British Marine Boat Shows, said: ‘As the first boat show of the European and World calendar, the 63rd London Boat Show will offer an impressive display of products and services to help visitors start the new season. We have an exciting array of interactive attractions at this year’s show offering visitors the chance to have fun whilst also learning something new about the world of boating.’

Don’t forget to find the latest PBO subscription deals, with savings of up to 40% and a show exclusive free gift at the Time Inc stand, D065.

The show will open daily from 10am to 6pm, from Friday 6 January to Sunday 15 January, with a late-night opening until 8pm on Thursday 12 January.

Up to two children aged 15 years and under can gain access to the show with every standard adult ticket presented. Advance tickets cost from £12 if you use the discount code ‘pbo’.

From 13 to 15 January, your boat show ticket will also give you access to the Telegraph Cruise and Telegraph Travel shows at ExCeL.

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