First day impressions from the all-new Earls Court Boat Show

Preview day of the all-new Earls Court Boat Show is drawing to a close here in West London.

A glamorous opening saw Penny Lancaster-Stewart cut the show’s red ribbon flanked by Kenny and Gaby Logan, who are all here representing the Prince’s Trust .

Then it was time to wander round the stands, and draw the inevitable comparisons with the British Marine Federation’s London Boat Show that moved from this venue in 2004.

Earls Court 1 is definitely recognisable. The entire hall is centred around the large pool, which is filled with yachts and small motorboats and surrounded by various bars.

The main stage sits at the top of the hall, and today has hosted a number of fashion shows and presentations, including the official launch of the Round Britain Powerboat Race .

The motorboats can be found in Earls Court 2, which lacks the charisma of the first hall, but still offers up a varied choice of boats that should satisfy most tastes. The Riva stand is particularly stunning, as is the fact BoatQuays has managed to up-end a Mariah sportsboat so it is pointing to the ceiling!

Inland boaters will be happy, as finally they’ve been recognised with almost a third of Earls Court 2 devoted to slow-lane cruising.

Exhibitors, while nervous about what the coming 10 days will hold, seemed happy with the space allowed them by the organisers of this event.

Jez Banks, here with a Westline 24 and 34, told MBM: “It’s a completely different feel to ExCeL, which can feel cold and stark. There’s no £1m superboats, but it is more of a people’s show.

“There’s an interesting mix of boats, and it’s not dominated by one or two big companies.”