The South Coast marina is due to host a celebration of classic boats next month

Classic boat lovers are expected to flock to Birdham Pool Marina next month for the first annual Classic Boat Festival.

The inaugural event aims to celebrate traditional boatbuilding, with more than 30 sailboats and powered vessels due to go on display on Saturday 19 July from 10am to 6pm, including models from Triana and Fairey.

Mike Braidley, group operation manager at parent company Castle Marinas, told MBM: “The intention is to grow this free show into a classic boat festival on the south coast.

“We’re surrounded by traditional boatbuilding skills that we really want to bring to the fore, we’ve got two tremendous shipwrights and we really want to show off their skills.”

Highlights include Q&A sessions and advice on restoration from expert boatbuilders, exhibitions from local artists, and a prize draw to win 50% off an annual berth at the marina.

But the star of the show will undoubtedly be the return of ‘Black Lady’, a 37ft MG Duff wooden sailboat that was built and launched at Birdham Pool in 1947 (pictured below).

Any classic boat owners wishing to take part in the festival are invited to moor at Birdham overnight for free.