I love Britain at this time of year. The cities are empty, the beaches are full and sometimes the sun comes out....

I love Britain at this time of year. The cities are empty, the beaches are full and sometimes the sun comes out long enough to justify the shorts we’ve all been wearing for the last three months. It’s even possible to swim in the sea without needing resuscitation afterwards.
I’ve just had two weeks off and spent the entire time messing around in boats along the Dorset coast with my extended family. Hand on heart there is nowhere I would rather have been and nothing I would rather have done. Have a look at our Top 20 Channel anchorages on p68 and you’ll soon see why the South Coast can be a match for anything the Med has to offer. It also helps explain why we have dedicated this issue to the best of British boating.
We may not lead the world in many fields these days but when it comes to motor boats, Britain still rules the waves. Take a flick through the pages of our Southampton Boat Show preview on p25 and you’ll soon see why. The big players like Sunseeker, Princess, Fairline and Sealine never cease to amaze me with their constant stream of ground-breaking new models. It takes most car manufacturers three years to launch one bland little hatchback; these guys produce two or three stunning new boats every year. They also build them in Britain using British designers, engineers and craftsmen.
Nor is it just the big boys that know how to deliver the goods. Look around at the wealth of smaller boatyards like Aqua-Star, Oyster, Pearl and Cockwells – all of whom are showing new boats at Southampton. Being patriotic doesn’t seem to be very fashionable these days but this is one aspect of our country we’ve got every right to feel proud of. Come to see us at Southampton and we promise to show you just how much fun boating in this country can be. We’re even giving away a £33,000 Chris-Craft (p22) to prove the point (just don’t tell anyone it’s American!)