Strong sales were recorded despite a slight dip in attendance as the 2016 London Boat Show came to a close

Strong sales and an improved layout helped to create a positive atmosphere at this year’s London Boat Show, despite a slight dip in attendance.

Organisers British Marine Boat Shows announced this morning that a total of 90,328 people visited the ten-day event, which is roughly 2% down on last year’s figure of 92,288.

Murray Ellis, managing director at British Marine Boat Shows, said: “The quality of business achieved coupled with the fantastic attractions on offer and celebrity faces seen, has resulted in the 62nd London Boat Show being yet another successful show.

“At the heart of one of the world’s most pioneering capital cities, we have showcased the rich heritage of both British and international boating, latest marine innovations and designs to a global audience.”

Key debuts at the show included the Sunseeker 131 Yacht; the largest boat ever launched in London and the Poole-based yard is claiming sales worth £40m during the ten-day event.

Sean Robertson, sales director at Sunseeker, commented: “This has been our most successful London Boat Show for a number of years. It is an excellent barometer of sales to come in 2016.”

He added that the Sunseeker team met with more clients and prospects that ever before, eclipsing their pre-recessionary levels of interest and resulting in a 55% year-on-year increase in forward orders.

Meanwhile, Princess Yachts launched the brand new 75 Yacht to widespread acclaim and also reported strong sales from the Excel Centre.

Kiran Haslam, marketing director at Princess Yachts, said: “This event continues to be an important date in our calendar, and thanks to working collaboratively with British Marine Boat Shows we have started 2016 in great shape.”

New attractions for 2016 included the Mediterranean Bay – a 500m2 indoor pool that hosted product demonstrations and on-water training sessions for more than 1,000 visitors.

Special guests at the show included TV presenters Adrian Chiles and Floella Benjamin, in addition to scheduled appearances from Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville and Made in Chelsea star Lucy Watson.

The organisers have also confirmed that the London Boat Show will return to the Excel Centre for 2017, with the event set to run from January 6-15.