Attendance just 5% down on 2007. Boat sales hold up

The 40th Southampton Boat Show coincided with one of the most volatile weeks on the Stock Market ever. With banks collapsing and share prices plummeting, however, the public appetite for visiting the South Coast’s biggest boat show was almost undiminished.

Organisers recorded 121,389 visitors to the 10-day show, just a five per cent drop on last year’s figures.

Lombard Marine Finance reported a 10 per cent increase in the number of applications received at this year’s show, and a 52 per cent increase in the value of applications. “Sailboat applications were up by 30 per cent bringing this on a par with the number of powerboat applications,” said Ian Braham, head of Lombard Marine Finance

Jonathan Duffy MD of Sailtime Europe, the yacht sharing business said: “We have personally equaled our performance of the 2007 Show, which is fantastic, and aided by the good weather have thoroughly enjoyed the Show.”

Good omens for London in January
And good results at Southampton always bode well for the rest of the boat show season – and January’s London show at Excel – in particular.

James Beaver of Dean and Reddyhoff marinas, said: “This is the best boat show we have ever done. We have already made contact with NBS regarding a stand at the London International Boat Show in January.”

James Grazebrook of Haylard said: “Southampton is the first in the annual round of major international boat shows and all the indications are that the multi-national superyacht and large leisure yacht business continues to achieve satisfactory sales levels.”

Boat sales hold firm
Boat sales showed no sign of dropping off either with Formula 1 boss, Eddie Jordan stepping up to buy a brand new Elan Impression 514, despite already owning a luxury Sunseeker powerboat.

Andrew Morgan of Morgan Powerboats, said: “We launched our new Morgan 260 at the Show this year and the response from the visitors has been phenomenal! With the business we have generated here at the Show over the last ten days, our family run business will be kept busy for the next 12 months alone.”

Nick Griffith of Ancasta said: “Sales levels have met our expectations however volumes of enquiries both from existing and new customers have greatly exceeded expectations. We are delighted.”

Rick Reading of Topper: “We have had very good sales figures equaling that of last year. Saturday in particular was spectacular – the best we have experienced in many years. And of course we will be returning in January to London.”

James Robinson of Fairline: “As of 4.30pm on the last day, Fairline Boats had successfully sold 30 Fairline boats amounting to UK £26 million retail deposited sales. A tremendous Show.”