More sailing boats on the water than ever before at Europe’s biggest boating festival: but most importantly, show organisers are letting Dave Selby loose!

Now in its 48th year, the Southampton Boat Show will see two key changes to the layout – including an increased number of yachts on the water and a shake-up to the indoor stands.

The 10-day event will run from Friday 16 to Sunday 25 September at Mayflower Park and Town Quay, Southampton.

Map of new layout SBS 2016Incorporating one of Europe’s largest purpose-built marinas, the show will have hundreds of boats on display, including 330 on the marina itself and more than 2km of pontoons.

Beneteau and Jeanneau, exhibiting 20 and 21 yachts respectively, have moved all their boats off the land and in to the marina, freeing up space for an extension to the Mayflower Park marquee area – a move that has helped organisers to meet the increased demand from product companies.

Instead of the usual Windward and Ocean Halls, there will be one larger Ocean Hall with one side of glass panelling to entice passing visitors. West System International will be among the exhibitors in the newly laidout Ocean Hall, with epoxy demonstrations at 12pm and 2.30pm daily at stand number J390.

A new Festival Stage in Solent Park will feature live music, talks from industry experts and a marine-inspired fashion show. Bands will include Fake Tan, Might Be Buble and HRH Queen.

Visitors will be encouraged to take part in the show’s Guinness World Record attempt, being held at 11am on the final Saturday (24 September) in front of the stage, to create a picture of a boat using 400 people: the current record is 323 people.

The stage zone is home to the Guinness Bar and Food Village.

Celebrity guests

Michelle Keegan. Photo courtesy of Lipsy London

Michelle Keegan. Photo courtesy of Lipsy London

Actress Michelle Keegan, is set to appear at this year’s Southampton Boat Show on Friday 16 September at 11am to officially open the show.

Michelle, who starred in the BBC drama ‘Our Girl’ and is currently working on ITV drama ‘Tina and Bobby’ said: ‘I am thrilled to be opening the Southampton Boat Show this year. As an avid fan of all types of activity on the water, I’m really excited to spend some time at the Show, soaking up the atmosphere and experiencing some of the brilliant attractions on offer.’

Fresh from their medal winning performances in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, members of the British Sailing Team will also be helping to officially open the Southampton Boat Show on Friday 16 September.

Gold medallists Giles Scott (Men’s Finn), Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (470 dinghy) and silver medallist Nick Dempsey (RS:X windsurfer) will be joined by their fellow Olympians.

British Sailing Team Olympic contenders ©Jes Renedo/Sailing Energy

British Sailing Team Rio 2016 Olympians. ©Jes Renedo/Sailing Energy

The full line-up includes:

Nick Thompson (double Laser World Champion)
Alison Young (reigning Laser Radial World Champion)
Luke Patience and Chris Grube (470 dinghy)
Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (Men’s 49er skiff)
Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth (Women’s 49er FX skiff)
Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves (Mixed Nacra 17 multihull)
Bryony Shaw (Women’s RS:X windsurfer)

Murray Ellis, British Marine boat shows managing director, said: ‘We’re delighted to welcome Michelle to the show this year.

‘As Britain’s biggest boating festival, the Southampton Boat Show is a much-loved event and one of the leaders in the global boating calendar. The show attracts visitors from those new to boating to avid sailors as well as a host of famous names.’

He added: ‘We are passionate about giving visitors to the Southampton Boat Show the opportunity to get out on the water with over 10,000 people taking part in watersports activities at last year’s event.

‘We’re thrilled that members of the British Sailing Team will be joining us to help open the show and inspire even more of our visitors to get involved in sailing and other activities on the water.’

Artist impression of the Southampton Boat Show festival stage

Artist impression of the Southampton Boat Show festival stage

Dave Selby live

PBO columnist Dave Selby will be arriving at the show ‘fresh’ from a 300-mile voyage in his Sailfish 18, Marlin, having set sail on 9 July from Maldon, Essex.

Dave Selby and his dog Bart

Dave Selby and his dog Bart, aboard the 18ft Sailfish Marlin

He will be hosting a series of talks in The Arena, near the main entrance, at the Marlin’s Mission stand A134.

Dave said: ‘It’s a perfect storm: an aging population and an ever-growing stock of fibre-glass boats means owning a boat has never been cheaper. People are even giving boats away.”

‘I want to share everything sailing has given me.’

Topics will include how to buy a boat and get sailing on a modest budget, plus practical demonstrations with the PBO team.

Dave, 57, who suffers from a viral condition called Guillain-Barré Syndrome, hopes to inspire people to get afloat and support the GAIN charity.

Dave, who made the journey in small hops as health, time and weather allowed, has now completed the voyage.

Marlin will be leading in a flotilla of small, affordable boats to the Town Quay ahead of the show, arriving at 8.30am, Tuesday 13 September.

Follow his progress at and on Twitter @ImpracticalBoat

SeaSafe, who have supplied Dave’s custom lifejackets and safety equipment, will be holding daily clinics on Dave’s stand (A134), offering lifejacket checks and advice, plus a special show price for servicing and providing a servicing collection point.

Seaglaze are providing new windows which Dave and the PBO team will fit during the show. Silky Marine will transform Marlin’s faded and stained hull with demos of their boat-cleaning products.

Claudia Myatt will be artist-in-residence for the first weekend, with a special offer to produce boat paintings and cartoons for PBO readers. The Hurley Owners Association will be showcasing the Hurley 20 on the stand and giving advice about small-boat ownership.

Dave Selby Southampton Boat Show itinerary

Friday 16 September, 10.45am: Marlin’s Mission press conference on stand.

Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September: Marine artist Claudia Myatt, who illustrates Dave’s columns in PBO, will be painting live at the show and hosting a selling exhibition of her wide-ranging work, from cartoons to paintings, PBO mugs and books.

Saturday 17 September, special guest, Sam Llewellyn. The maritime author and PBO columnist will be giving a talk about ‘the minimum boat’ and signing copies of his nautical novels and books.

Daily from Saturday 17-Sunday 18 September

10.30am talk – Get Afloat, Get A Boat: Sailing has never been more affordable. Dave Selby and his team will tell you everything you need to know to buy a budget boat and enjoy holidays of a lifetime for a fraction of the cost of a single family holiday.

12pm noon life-jacket clinic: Seasafe, who’ve supplied Dave’s custom life-jackets and safety equipment, are holding daily life-jacket clinics, offering life jacket checks, advice and a collection point for servicing, and a special discount show offer.

Afternoons from 2pm: Practical talks and demonstrations.

Dave, the PBO team and Seaglaze will be replacing the boat windows on Dave’s Sailfish live at the show.

Dave and Silky Marine will be sprucing up the tired, faded hull and rust-stained deck of Dave’s Sailfish using Silky Marine’s boat cleaning products.

Seajet will be on hand to give expert tips and guidance on anti-fouling.

SBS Trailers will demonstrate how you can transform a tired old boat trailer into a versatile go-anywhere trailer that makes launch and recovery easier.

Oceansteer: The emergency rudder company will demonstrate their latest system for small boats.

PBO at the show

Hantu Biru

Ben Meakins and David Pugh aboard the first PBO Project Boat Hantu Biru

PBO editor David Pugh and deputy editor Ben Meakins will be revealing details about their next project – building a Secret 20 from a kit, on Marlin’s Mission stand (A134).

Find the team here and at the Time Inc marine media stand E1, where the latest PBO offer of a six-monthly direct debit subscription for £18 with a free gift of either a Aqua Pac Dry bag or Gill Marine Dry towel, will be available.

Other attractions

The Wooden Boatbuilders’ Trade Association will also be running talks and demonstrations in The Arena, covering all types of craft and most methods of construction of wooden boats.

Traditional boats at the Southampton Boat Show. © onEdition

© onEdition

For the first time in four years, the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Active Marina Experience will not feature at the show.

The RYA and World Cruising Club will be launching the 2017 ARC Channel Islands Rally on Sunday 18 September (1530-1700) in the show’s RYA Lounge.

Artemis tall ship. Credit: Karen Goerttler

Feature boats will include the Norwegian three-masted sailing barque, Artemis which was restored in 2001, and now often serves for hospitality and charter purposes. Visitors are invited to step on board, learn more about her history and chat to her crew.

Plus the revolutionary Team Britannia vessel bidding to break the world record for the fastest powerboats circumnavigation of the globe.

On The Water’s Get Afloat will enable eight-to-16-year-olds to try boating and watersports such as Stand Up Paddleboarding for free, while the show’s On The Water’s Try-a-Boat will offer free trips on the latest Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs), powerboats and yachts – but be sure to sign up as soon as you enter the show at stand A140, because places go fast.

Try-a-Boat is available for children aged eight and upwards: under-18s will need an adult’s signature.

Bumper Boats is a new children’s attraction for those aged between three and 13 – and the boats have built-in water cannons.

Disabled visitors can take to the water on Wet Wheels – a 9m Cheetah catamaran, specially adapted for wheelchair access.

For £59, visitors can take a 90-minute trip on a 22m (72ft) race yacht with the Global Challenges Sailing Experience.

Boat debuts

There will be almost 600 exhibitors spread across the land and marina, showcasing thousands of boats, brands and equipment.

New brands include Cormate, Nautor’s Swan, BIC Aluminium, Django, Waterspoor, Tiwal UK, Bainbridge Kayaks, North Carolina (EDPNC), Racegeek, The CleanBoot, and AquaCote.

A total of 32 boat debuts have been confirmed, including eight world firsts: Cormate Utility 23 R, Greenline 36, Oyster 675, Seaward Nelson’s 36 E16 and 42 E16, Spirit 47 CR, X4, X6.

The 24 UK debuts will include the Azimut 55S and Atlantis 43, Bavaria’s E40 Fly, E40 Sedan, 46 Lifestyle and 51 Lifestyle, Nautitech 46, Boston Whaler 230 Outrage, Dehler 34, Elling E6, Squadron 65 Hard Top, Targa 53 Open, Fountaine Pajot Lucia and Neel models, J/112, Swan 54, RM 1270, Sargo 33, Sealine F530, Minijet, Axopar 24 T-Top and Axopar 37 AC.

Returning to the show, but this time on water in the marina (berth M336), W1DA – Wild Atlantic One Design – is a boat with only 10 moving parts and zero emissions, thanks to a retractable 6kW electric motor powered by wind and solar. The 10m (33ft) hull has a foam epoxy sandwich with spars in carbon fibre, a carbon wheel, an open transom and retractable keel. Below, there are four hull lights on each side. The galley runs on 240V with an induction hob, fan oven and fridge. The aft cabin has headroom in part and there’s a V-berth forward with two convertible saloon berths.

Southampton Boat Show 2015 marina. © onEdition

Southampton Boat Show 2015 marina. © onEdition

Special events

Air displays – The Royal Navy parachute display team, The Raiders, will perform across the first weekend, at 2pm on 17 and 18 September, while a Hurricane and Spitfire will take to the skies on Saturday 24 September and Sunday 25 September.

Careers Day on Tuesday 20 September will see British Marine promote marine careers and young people entering the industry, including the annual British Marine Apprentice Graduation Awards.

Ladies Day on Thursday 22 September will see the show focus on promoting female participation in boating and women working within the marine industry. Organisers will be putting special entertainment on the stage and giving a ‘ladies day twist’
to the Admiral’s Club and the Platinum Experience ticket events.

Honda RYA Youth RIB challenge – On Sunday 25 September, youngsters aged eight to 16 will be demonstrating their Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB) skills in their national final, with the goal of winning a Highfi eld 460 or a
Honwave T40 for their club.

New products at Southampton this year

David Parker nominates a couple of items to look out for…

Compact outboards_Suzuki engineNew compact outboards: It is easy to get used to the convenience of outboard motors on small craft – less welcome can be the noise and vibration that comes with them, particularly if you have to go any distance. Suzuki, however, is launching a new range of small engines designed to be quieter, lighter and easier to transport. Compared with other outboards I’m used to they are noticeably quieter too. Also impressive is the fact that they offer three-way storage so they can be laid tiller side up or down, or placed on their front. Models in the range are the DF6A, DF5A and DF4A, which are 6, 5 and 4hp respectively. These compact motors weigh just 24kg and prices start at £925 for the DF4AS.

Inflatable planing motor canoe_SpearfishInflatable planing motor canoe: The Spearfish 15 is the latest design from Nestaway Boats, a company which always has a popular stand at the show with its range of folding and portable craft. Described as an inflatable planing motor canoe, with a 6hp outboard the Spearfish 15 will plane with two adults at 12 to 14 knots. It is certainly both very quick and a lot of fun with its long, narrow hull, and features include a high-pressure inflatable floor with a V-shaped bow. There is also a large inflatable bow canopy to keep the kit or the kids dry. It can carry up to four adults and, with a pack weight of 25kg, will fold away to fit in the boot of a car. Boat-only prices start at £1,200.

Ticket discounts

Use the clubs and associations’ Southampton Boat Show discount code JG1 to reduce the price to £11, or the code EX12 will reduce tickets to £13.

Advance preview day tickets (Friday 16 September) usually cost £20 for adults, or £27 on the gate. Two children aged 15 and under can go free with every adult ticket. Standard adult tickets usually cost £15 in advance or £22 on the gate.

The new £70 Admiral’s Club ticket gives visitors access to a luxury lounge with a private pay bar, a glass of prosecco on arrival, morning and afternoon refreshments, and a cloakroom. Other ticket options include a Platinum Ticket, priced from £135, which includes a trip out on a motor yacht and access to the hospitality lounge.

For more details, see or call the ticket hotline on 0844 776 7766.

Swanwick Marina’s Used Boat Show

The annual Used Boat Show at Swanwick Marina will be running alongside the Southampton Boat Show, between 16 – 25 September.

Now in its 37th year, the event will open daily from 10am – 6pm. When booked in advance, visitors can get a Park and Ride service to Southampton Boat Show. Besides a complimentary ticket to the show, the offer includes free parking at Swanwick Marina and a return coach journey to the Southampton show – for £13 per adult or £35 for a family ticket (two adults and up to four children).

To book your Park and Ride tickets please call your local Premier Marina. Alternatively telephone Swanwick Marina on 01489 884 081 or drop into Swanwick Marina Reception to purchase tickets.

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