Accessible, friendly, lots of boats. Is Birmingham the perfect boat show?

There’s no doubt about it – the Birmingham Boat Show is being taken very seriously this year.

Not only does it have a new headline sponsor, MBM, but it also features an exhibitor list that any international event would be proud of.

For the first time ever, due space has been handed to the GRP, and there is an awful lot of it on display – 250 boats in total. Marques as varied as Sunseeker and Fletcher are here vying to the attention of the visitors.

What makes it even better for boaters is that everything is accessible. Want to nose around the Manhattan 60? No problem. Want to check out MBM’s new Cruising Club boat, the Princess 42? Welcome aboard.

This may be due to the slightly quiet corridors, but it’s more likely down to the different boat show culture here on display at the NEC. It just seems to be a friendly event, one that says ‘yes’ rather than ‘make an appointment’.

Exhibitors, at least, seemed happy. Dominic Smulders, MD of Bray Marine Sales, here with the new Haines 350, told MBM: “It’s a great venue, and is very easy to get to. I can’t think of anywhere easier to access than Birmingham.

“The MBM Marine Hall is a wonderful idea – it breaks the boats from the caravans and now we know who’s on our stand.”

To see some pictures from the show, visit MBM’s Flickr site. We will be uploading additional photos over the next few days, so make sure you check back.