It was good news all round for British yards as the 2017 London Boat Show opened its doors
The 2017 London Boat Show, hosted at the ExCel centre, opened on Friday with Sunseeker, Princess and Fairline all reporting positive finishes to 2016 and exciting developments for the year ahead.
Fairline managing director Russell Currie recognised the progress the brand has made since the new management team took over. “Our financial report will be out soon and you will be able to see what a good position we are now in,” said Currie.
He continued, “We’ve gone from 0-227 employees in 11 months and sold over 75 boats worldwide including ten in the first hour of the boat show.”
Currie also revealed that this year will see the launch of a brand new Targa 43 sportscruiser, which will hit the water at Cannes, followed by a Squadron flybridge version soon after.
Over at Princess the big news was the launch of the smallest model yet in the yard’s sportsbridge range, the S60. Combining the space of a flybridge with the looks of a sportscruiser, the three-cabin cruiser has a claimed top speed of 38 knots.
Princess chairman Antony Sheriff reported a 20% increase in sales in 2016 and a return to profit for the Plymouth yard. “Our order book currently stands at £400m,” he said “a 40% increase year on year and retail sales are up 60%.”
“In 2017 we will see the launch of the S60, V40 and 62 plus another four new models before the end of the year,” he said “and we will invest £55m into yard facilities focussing specifically on new technologies.”
On the Sunseeeker stand, opened by Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley, the Poole yard was launching the all new Manhattan 66. A rival to the likes of the Princess 68 and Azimut 66, the Manhattan boasts four spacious cabins and, for the first time on a Sunseeker, separate access to the master cabin from the saloon.
CEO Phil Popham reflected on a fantastic year gone by where Sunseeker recruited 200 more to the workforce, saw retail sales over the autumn shows of £95m and boosted the order book by 40%.
To date it has sold 79 Manhattan 52s since launch and there are already 28 Manhattan 66s on order.
Elsewhere, Prestige used the show for the UK launch of its 630 and Rodman introduced an outboard version of its clever 31 Spirit model.
The show draws to a close this Sunday, January 15.