Europe's largest outdoor sale of boating items hailed a success by organisers

More than 8,800 visitors flocked to the 2013 Beaulieu Boatjumble yesterday to snap up nautical bargains in the idyllic setting of the country estate.

The 36th annual event, the largest outdoor sale of boating items in Europe, attracted visitors from far afield to Hampshire.

Shipwright Donal Greene, from Connemara, Carna, Ireland, said: ‘I come here every year on a pilgrimage to buy shiny things.

‘We have a few stalls here but we always end up buying more than we came with.

‘We usually throw a few barbecues for the local traders, it’s a good event.

‘We’ve been coming for years now, we’ve made a lot of friends and a lot of contacts.’

Rudy Mulkems, of Belgium, was ‘updating his library’ with maritime books from the PBO stand.

He said: ‘We’ve attended the last four Boatjumbles, except for last year of course when it was called off because of the weather.

‘We have a 40-year-old yacht we tend to find bits and pieces around here for the boat. It’s a lovely place and we’ve had good weather every year we’ve been.

‘I usually stop at the PBO stand first and rummage through the books.’

PBO’s restored Snapdragon 23 Project Boat Hantu Biru proved to be a big attraction for the thousands of visitors queuing up to enter the show.

Competition winners

Jen and Brian Bradley from Devon won PBO’s ‘VIP Beaulieu Boatjumble weekend’ of a night’s hotel accommodation and tickets to the show.

Jen said: ‘We have a Starlight 35, which we keep in Plymouth Yacht Haven, we’ve had it about eight years.

‘It was the first Starlight 35 that PBO tested back in the early 90s.

‘We come every couple of years to Beaulieu and usually come with a great big list.

‘Last time we bought a heavy boat anchor and chain, which was a nightmare to carry back to
the car.’

A good sales day

Beaulieu spokeswoman Margaret Rowles said: ‘We’re really pleased with the weather, it was dry although a little bit chilly.

‘8,834 visitors attended, just 200 down on 2011, so we thought that was quite positive.

‘I have to say I saw more people with purchases and quite big purchases than I’ve seen in previous years.

‘Our delivery lorry, which runs to and from the car park, was busy right up until the end.

‘Our event manager said the exhibitors she spoke to were very happy with their sales.

‘It was a good sales and shopping day.’

Margaret added: ‘This year the trunk traders area expanded quite a lot, it ‘s a very popular area.

‘We’re very strict on the people we allow in as it’s for amateurs emptying out garages and lockers, not commercial traders.

‘That concept really does particularly well at this show.

‘The K3 Bluebird also proved to be a good draw, as did the Classic Motor Boat Association marquee.

‘We’ve had a gap of a year because of last year’s bad weather so everyone was looking forward to the boatjumble.

‘At Beaulieu it is the first outdoor event of the calendar so it’s always good to start on a good note.’