Planning on visiting the Southampton Boat Show 2023? Here is your complete guide to Britain's biggest boat show, including how to get discounted entry
The Southampton Boat Show 2023 is one of the biggest boating events in the UK calendar, held annually at Mayflower Park in Southampton.
Here is your guide to make sure you don’t miss anything!
When is the Southampton Boat Show 2023 open?
The Southampton Boat Show 2023 will run from 15-24 September. It will open at 1000 each day and will close at 1800, except on 24 September when it shuts an hour earlier at 1700.
How do I get tickets?
Tickets are available via the boat show website: www.southamptonboatshow.com.
PBO readers can get any one day adult ticket for £19.99. Simply enter the promo code: PBO2023.
There are a range of general admission tickets on offer ranging from £44 for a two day ticket and £32 for an any one day ticket to £17 for concessions which apply to NHS and emergency staff, the Armed Forces, students, the over-60s and disabled visitors. Valid ID is required.
A carer over 14 years old who is assisting a guest who has a disability can enter the show free.
Two children 15 and under can also enter the show free with each adult ticket.
Full details of the ticket options is available on the above website.
There are also VIP tickets available at a cost of £156.25 per person, which includes access to the Quayside Club Waterfront Lounge, complimentary drinks throughout the day and a buffet lunch. VIP parking is available to VIP ticket holders and costs an additional £40.
How do I get to the Southampton Boat Show 2023?
Entrance to the show is at the WestQuay Shopping Centre in Southampton.
Within 5 minutes walk, there are plenty of parking spaces if travelling by car. Alternatively, the show is a 5 minute walk from the main bus station in the town.
Southampton Central is the mainline railway station closest to Mayflower Park, and is a 5-10 minute walk through the centre of town to the show entrance.
Southampton Airport is available for international visitors; a train regular runs between the Southampton Airport Parkway Station to Southampton Central.
What can I expect to see at the Southampton Boat Show 2023?
The show is divided up into five zones: Watersports Zone, Dinghy Zone, Classic & Day Boat Zone, Mayflower Park, including the Foredeck Stage sponsored by Practical Boat Owner and Yachting Monthly, and the Show Marina.
This year, there will be a dedicated area for entry-level watersports, such as paddleboarding, windsurfing, wakeboarding and kayaking, with a purpose-built watersports lake, allowing visitors to have a go or try kit before buying.
British Canoeing and the Southampton Watersports Activity Centre will be running session on stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), canoeing, kayaking, and SUP yoga. Scuba diving and snorkelling experiences will be provided at the Andark Dive Tank.
There is even a model boating section.
Among the exhibitors will be watersport equipment brands Two Bare Feet, Sandbanks Style, Venus Seychelles, Lorima, and Shore2Sea.
Nestaway will be exhibiting boats of every shape and size and the latest watersports canoes, kayaks, and boards will be showcased by Paqualife.
New products will also be premiered including:
- Manta5 SL3 Hydrofoil bike, which enables users to cycle on water,
- Zego’s multihull powerboat, the Fatcat 4500,
- Whaly new Whaly 435,
- The new Mini Fisher 430.
The Dinghy Zone hosts sports and sailing dinghies, trailer boats, gear and accessories for all dinghy enthusiasts!
Of excitement for this year will be the brand-new Topper.
Designed in 1977 by Ian Proctor, this iconic boat has been in continuous production for the last 40 years.
2023 sees the launch of the new “Cool Grey” Topper, made from rota-moulded UV-stabilised polyethylene, with a choice of three different rigs.
Additional features in the Cool Grey Topped include more storage spaces, adjustable toe straps, centralised flush mounted self-bailer and added protection for the dagger board.
It now has full World Sailing approval, and costs from £3,795 inc. VAT.
For those wanting to have a go at dinghy sailing, the ever popular Get Afloat one-hour sessions will be running throughout the show, and are suitable for those aged 8-over 80.
Qualified instructors from Rockley Watersports will run the sessions, which also include kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. All the necessary kit, wetsuits, and buoyancy aids are provided.
Other boats confirmed for the show include:
- RS Sailing will be at the show with its nine different dinghies on display, from the tiniest RS Tera up to the RS21 race-ready keelboat.
- Hartley Boats will be displaying its range of dinghies from its training and beginners’ boats to cruising dinghies and sophisticated one-design racers.
- Fusion’s “4-in-1” Maverick. From sailing sitting down to stand up sailing, or adaptable as a SUP or windsurfer, this multi-functional dinghy does everything!
- New to the UK and also first time exhibiting at the Southampton Boat Show, RotoTech’s range of fully recyclable polyethylene boats, from 3.5m-5m, are made in Poland primarily for the Search & Rescue market. The modular design means accessories and upgrades can be easily added to compliment the removable and bolt-in storage options, and one of the boats on show will be fully kitted out with Railblaza accessories.
Classic & Day Boat Zone
This zone hosts everything from day boats and traditional clinker-built boats to more modern launches with electric engines.
There will also be a chance to learn classic boat building skills, with demonstrations of rope making, rigging and knot tying, with Sue Pennison of the International Guild of Knot Tyers.
Throughout the show, staff and students from the International Boat Building Training College will be building a classic boat, demonstrating all aspects from steam bending wood through to carving and routing.
One of the stars of the zone will be the the clinker-built Amazon, which stared in the 1974 film of Arthur Ransome’s classic book, Swallows and Amazons.
Sophie Neville, who played Titty in the film, will be at the show, talking about both dinghies which are now owned by The Arthur Ransome Society.
A feature on her memories of sailing Amazon during the filming can be found in the October 2023 issue of Practical Boat Owner (Available from 31 August 2023)
Several boat builders will also be showing how to fit electric or hybrid propulsion to traditional classic yachts.
Nelson Motor Yachts will be highlighting their Nelson 18, a 60-year-old design now featuring a choice of two superstructures and option of electric, diesel or hybrid power.
Woodbridge Boatyard will be premiering its new electric propulsion systems on an 18-foot GRP open hull.
The company has fully refurbished this old simulated clinker hull with a new timber fit-out and flush deck to create an electric-powered boat.
The Woodbridge Boatyard propulsion system, named the Debden Drive after the river on which it is located, is available with Vetus 48V motors, ranging from 4-10 kW, a 7-inch touchscreen display with built-in wifi, charts, echo-sounder and battery data readout.
Other boat builders which will be exhibiting will include tenders from Micro Boats, nestling prams from Adventure Boats, sailing yachts from Drascombe and Lakeland Wooden Boats, and fishing and motorboats from Highlander.
There will also be a range of watersports equipment.
Mayflower Park including the Foredeck Stage sponsored by Practical Boat Owner and Yachting Monthly
The Foredeck Stage sponsored by Practical Boat Owner and Yachting Monthly will, for the first time, be located inside the Ocean Hall.
PBO regular contributor, surveyor Ben Sutcliffe-Davies will be the host throughout the show.
Talks and presentations not to miss on the Foredeck Stage include:
- PBO editor Katy Stickland and The Cruising Association in conversation with the solo record-breaking offshore sailor Jeanne Socrates on 21 September 2023 at 1530
- Sophie Neville, who played Titty in the 1974 film version of Swallows and Amazons will be sharing stories from behind the scenes and the efforts to save both Swallow and Amazon – the boats used in the filming – on 15, 17, 21 and 24 of September 2023.
- The ocean sailor, author and raconteur, Stokey Woodall, who has sailed the world’s oceans amassing over 300,000 nautical miles will be talking about satellites and frying pans, and his life under sail.
- Ben Sutcliffe-Davies on the importance of marine surveys and a rope work session with English Braids.
- Sailor, author and raconteur, Tom Cunliffe.
- How to get afloat – the first year, with a panel of industry experts
- In conversation with The Cruising Association: 18 September – 1500-1530 – Channel Crossing Procedures, Processes & Experience. Bob Garrett, Joint Channel Section Secretary will provide guidance on the changing processes for checking in and out of the UK and France and look to the future changes expected in 2024 and beyond. 22 September and 23 September – 1600-1630 – Orca and Yachts: What has been learnt over the past 4 years? John Burbeck, CA orca project lead, will share information on orca interactions, changing patterns of orca behaviour, reporting platforms, data analysis, lessons learnt and the progress made to identify solutions to the phenomenon.
The Ocean Hall has over 160 stands, featuring everything from sailing associations, such as the RYA and The Cruising Association (stand J419), charter holiday firms, chandlery, insurance, lighting and rigging to the latest technology and gadgets from the likes of Garmin, Raymarine and B&G, trolling motors, solar panels, electric outboard engines, hydrogenerators, marine-grade dehumidifiers, refrigeration and boat cookers.
On the Raymarine stand (J385), adventurer, explorer and marine conservationist, Monty Halls will be giving a talk on 16 September at 3pm about his plans to circumnavigate the UK with his family on his Colvic 34.
Outside in Mayflower Park, there are stalls packed with clothing, chandlery goods and accessories, the chance to see latest in engines, technology and smaller boats.
On show for the first time in the UK, Protagon Yachts, with Boatsmart, will be showcasing two their family day boats, the Protagon 20 and the larger Protagon 25.
From Finland, Silver Boats UK will be showing the Terhi range with the UK debut of the centre console Terhi 450cc.
Made from ABS plastic, these foam filled and unsinkable boats range from 2.3m to 4.8m in length, supplied with a choice of Honda, Suzuki, Mercury or Tohatsu outboards.
The Sasga, a trawler-style yacht custom built by the Spanish boat boatbuilder, the Elan E4 and and the award-winning Quarken boats featuring the Cabin and Onyx models will all be on display on the boatfolk stand.
RS Sailing will be showcasing their extensive range of dinghies.
Williams Jet Tenders is displaying the MiniJet 280, TurboJet 325, SportJet 345 and 395.
This purpose built marina hosts 100s of boat each year, allowing you to explore the latest launches as well as some classic boats and meet boat owner associations, including the Westerly Owners’ Association, as you walk along the pontoons.
Here is the list of boatbuilders which are confirmed, so far, for the show pontoons, with boat debuts highlighted:
- Arcona * new to show – Arcona 50
- Bali Catamarans
- Bavaria * new to show – Bavaria C46 (World Debut)
- Beneteau * new to show – Beneteau First 36, Beneteau First 44
- Boats on Wheels
- Cornish Crabber
- Dragonfly Trimarans
- Dufour * new to show – Dufour 41 (World Debut), Dufour 37
- Excess Catamarans
- Fountaine Pajot
- Hanse * new to show – Hanse 410
- J Boats * new to show – J/45
- Jeanneau * new to show – Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 380 (See PBO’s test of the 380 in October issue), Sun Fast 30 One Design, Jeanneau Yachts 55
- Lagoon Catamarans * new to show – Lagoon 51
- Makara Yachts
- Nautitech * new to show – Nautitech 44
- Nautor’s Swan * new to show – Swan 58
- Neel Trimarans
- Oyster Yachts
- Rustler Yachts * new to show – Rustler 57
- Spirit Yachts * new to show – Spirit 72 Deckhouse
- Swallow Yachts
- X Yachts * new to show – X43
- Aquador Boats
- Axopar Boats
- Ballistic Empowered By Yamaha
- Balt Yachts
- Bavaria * new to show – SR33
- Boston Whaler
- Candela * new to show – Candela c-8
- Cobalt Boats
- Dale Motor Yachts
- Duchy Motor Launches
- Fairey Marine
- Fairline * new to show – Squadron 58 (World Debut)
- Flipper Boats
- Fountaine Pajot * new to show – Fountaine Pajot MY4s
- Fusion Power Boats
- Gemini RIBS
- Grandezza Boats
- Haines Marine
- Jeanneau * new to show – DB/43
- Monterey Boats * new to show – Monterey 235SS, Monterey 238SS
- Nord Star * new to show – 42+ Cruiser
- Oceanmaster * new to show – Oceanmaster 630 WA
- Offshore Powerboats
- Orkney Boats
- Prestige * new to show – Prestige X60, 690, M48
- Pardo Yachts
- Parker Boats * new to show – Parker 720 Adventure
- Piper Boats
- Princess Yachts * new to show – Princess S72
- Protector Boats * new to show – 310 Targa
- RYCK Motorboats
- Regal Boats
- Regency Boats/RBS Marine * new to show – Regency 350 LE3 Sport
- Rodman Boats/RBS Marine * new to show – Rodman 790 Ventura CC
- Sargo Boats UK
- Scorpian RIBS * new to show – Sting 10m Open
- Sea Ray * new to show – 260 SLX, 290 SDX and 210 SPX
- Saxdor Yachts/Ideal Boat
- Sealine Motor Yachts
- Seaward Boats
- Sunseeker * new to show – Superhawk 55, 75 Sport Yacht
- Tracker/RBS Marine * new to show – Tracker Targa V19
- Viggo Boats
- Viking Yachts
- Windy Boats * new to show – 34 Alizé
- White Shark Boats
- Yamarin Boats
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