What's on and how to get there

The revamped London Boat Show opens on Friday for what promises to be a ground-breaking event.

Having drafted in top designers and rethought the entire boat show concept, event organisers National Boat Shows have lined up a host of new exhibits aimed at keeping happy the experienced and novice boater alike, as well as including attractions for the rest of the family.

The new title sponsor is city firm Collins Stewart.

Here is what NBS have to say on the coming show, with ticket and travel details at the bottom.

And don’t forget any MBY reader buying an advance ticket is entitled to a free pint of Guinness! Just ring the ticket hotline on 0870 060 0246 and quote ‘MBY offer’. You’ll then need to swap your ticket for a beer voucher at the MBY stand in the main boulevard. See you there!

Whether you’re a boating novice, marine veteran or you just like playing around on the water, the Collins Stewart London Boat Show is the perfect place to experience the best of the boating world. Bursting with new, exciting and interactive things to do and see, the Collins Stewart London Boat Show is a celebration of our island nation featuring everything from seafaring skills through to boat design and coastal life. The Collins Stewart London Boat Show takes place from 5-14 January 2007 at ExCeL London.

The ten-day event will bring together the largest and most varied collection of boats in the UK as well as attracting an interesting and exiting array of boating personalities and marine experts. Budding boat owners can check out the latest innovations and products on the market, while boating novices can learn everything there is to know about boating, watersports and our island heritage.

For the first time ever, the Collins Stewart London Boat Show will sport a special ‘Island Nation’ theme, encouraging visitors to reconnect with the UK’s historic roots through a series of exciting and thought provoking features.

Climb onboard
Show visitors can explore hundreds of different world-class makes and models of boats from multimillion-pound motor-cruisers to one-man lasers and inflatable RIBS, and everything in between. From the makers of celebrity-style vessels to manufacturers of smaller craft like, visitors can climb aboard and experience any of the hundreds of the boats on display with specialist experts on hand to answer any questions.

Learn from the best
Experts from across the industry will be on-hand to help, educate and offer tips and advice on a multitude if boating related topics. Specialists ranging from finance experts through to sailing schools will make sure that visitors leave the Show armed with all the information they need. A range of interactive features will help visitors learn to anchor boats, use deck-gear correctly, navigate in fog, and maintain an engine.

Youngsters can take their first steps into the sailing world by playing at the Deck Games area of the Show. The specially designed games will help them get fit for sailing, teach them how to hoist a sail and rig a boat as well as allowing children to race against each other in a variety of activities.

Sit back and relax
Back by popular demand, the inland waterways attraction is a space for visitors to enjoy the best of our inland waterways. Canal boats, river cruisers and day boats will be moored on the attraction. This year, the London Boat Show has teamed up with Crocus to provide specially grown grass for the feature to bring an extra taste of the countryside.

Broaden your horizons
Both boating novices and marine veterans will enjoy learning new skills, listening to historic tales as well as picking up top boating tips at the Cockpit Theatre. Demonstrations and presentations scheduled throughout the Show include:

Olympic medal winners Shirley Robertson and Ben Ainslie will be talking about sailing success, preparations for the Beijing Olympics, as well as Shirley’s latest challenge of combining motherhood and professional sailing
Practical advice and demonstration from ex-British military personnel including Special Forces and security services about how to stay safe at sea
Visitors can also take a trip down memory lane as retired lighthouse keepers talk about their experiences in the isolating but once vital job
Seafaring and navigation expert Tom Cunliffe will be presenting an informative and irreverent look at the changes in seafaring between 1969 and 2006. From sailors with holes in their oilskins, no radios, no liferafts to fully-kitted out boats, well-educated skippers awash with technology – how has life at sea changed?
Boating expert Peter Poland will be speaking about the appeal of the smaller yacht
Boat designer Nigel Irens who designed, amongst others, Ellen McArther’s record-breaking boat B&Q will be offering his insights in to the intricate, high-tech world of modern boat design

Magnificent marina
Moored on the docks alongside ExCeL will be a range of the Show’s largest and most impressive boats. The marina is a quarter of a mile long and will be home to luxury sailing yachts, RIBS and day sailors as well as the impressive naval frigate HMS St Albans.

HMS St Albans is a type 23 frigate that has recently seen active service in Lebanon and the Northern Gulf. Visitors will be able to explore the frigate, meet her crew and learn more about life in the Navy.

Fine dining and refreshments
Making its debut at the London Boat Show is Green’s at The Semaphore Restaurant. Simon Parker-Bowles is bringing his legendary London restaurant Green’s to the Show. Visitors looking for a taste of the high-life will be able to experience fine dining set amongst some of the world’s finest motor cruisers, complete with a purpose-built lighthouse, and will reflect the quality and style that Green’s is renowned for. To book a table at Green’s at the Semaphore Restaurant please call 020 7820 3576.

With over 700 exhibitors, around 1000 world-class boats and masses of related equipment, the Collins Stewart London Boat Show is a must attend event for everyone with a passion for the water.

The Show will be open daily from 5-14 January 2006 from 10am until 7pm (6pm Sunday 14). Thursday 11 is late night opening until 9pm. Adult tickets start at £12.50 and this year children can come for free. For more information or to book your tickets visit www.londonboatshow.com or call 0870 060 0246.

ExCeL has great transport links, it is conveniently located close to London City Airport, there is a direct dual carriageway link to the M11 and M25 and ExCeL even has its own dedicated Docklands Light Railway station – Custom House for ExCeL – providing fast, convenient access to the City (30 mins) and the West End (45 mins). To find out more about the facilities the venue now offers visit www.londonboatshow.com