What's on for all the family

The PSP Southampton Boat Show, in association with ITV Meridian, returns from 12-21 September and will be celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Organisers are lining up a host of things to cater for all members of the family, not only those obsessed with boats, beginning with a promotion allowing children aged 15 years or under have free admission, provided they are with a paying adult.

National Boat Shows (NBS), the team behind the show and an arm of the British Marine Federation, have put together a suggested itinerary for families visiting the show.

1. Try-a-Boat
The first thing to do upon arrival is head over to the booking stand (B85) for the popular Try-a-Boat feature – a fantastic opportunity for active families to experience the thrill of being out on the water.

For the 40th Show there are more boats than ever before, so whether visitors are boating beginners or sailing veterans, they will be able to choose from a more varied selection of the latest inflatables, powerboats and yachts to try – all for free.

2. H2O Zone
Before lunch, head over to the H2O Zone, in association with Calshot Activities Centre, which is brand new to the Show this year.

The H2O Zone is a family-friendly interactive area where people of all ages can experience popular on-water sports first hand. Visitors can test their skills at canoeing, kayaking, dinghy sailing, windsurfing and paddle boarding – the latest water sport craze – with the guidance of industry professionals from the British Canoe Union and the Royal Yachting Association.
The zone runs the activities from 10.30am onwards every day. Make sure you turn up early to guarantee your turn!

3. Refreshments
After all that on-water adventure, those looking for a well deserved rest can check out the improved Guinness Bar next door to the H20 zone or the ever popular Sunseeker Champagne Bar, which overlooks the Hydropool Marina, for something a little more glamorous.

At the Ocean Catering Village, which is right next door to the Main Stage – Powered by Fairline, there is something for everyone. There’s burgers for the kids, hot Panini’s, a selection of sandwiches as well as a vegetarian offering and a full bar selection including traditional seaside fish and chips.

Or, if it’s something more substantial you’re in need of, head over to the Show’s new Restaurant SO40, in association with Cunard Line. In celebration of the 40th Show, Cunard’s Executive Chef Jean-Marie Zimmermann has designed a bespoke menu sure to tantalise the taste buds of every visitor as they savour their food while overlooking the impressive Hydropool Marina. To book a table in advance, call 07770 667 803.

4. The Hydropool Marina
Work off your delicious lunch with a stroll down by the Hydropool Marina which boasts an impressive 1.6km in length and the capacity for nearly 400 boats to explore. NBS will once again be promoting a hands-on Show through its Come On Board campaign, specifically designed to encourage interaction between visitors and the Show’s exhibitors who are willing and eager to offer their expert advice. All those taking part in the scheme will clearly display the ‘Come on Board’ logo.

This year, Dublin based tall ship Jeanie Johnston is sure to be a big hit and will be moored alongside Solent Park for the majority of the celebratory 40th Show. Explorers will be able to climb aboard the tall ship and venture both above and below deck, learning more about the voyages the original Jeanie Johnston would have taken between Ireland and the US during the potato famine.

Katie Miller, the 2006 Raymarine YJA Young Sailor of the Year, will be displaying Hot Socks, her Figaro II race boat, for the duration of the Show. Katie’s and Hot Socks’ appearance at the PSP Southampton Boat Show follows their recent triumph in the bluQube 1,000 mile race, which was their first major solo event.

Callista, another of the Show’s feature boat attractions, offers the chance to uncover the mystery of what lies beneath the ocean surface. The state-of-the art scientific research vessel, on loan from the National Oceanography Centre, features the latest scientific equipment in wet and dry laboratories.

Visitors to the Show can also learn more about The Raymarine Lively Lady project. The 40 year old Lively Lady was originally sailed around the world in 1968-9 by Sir Alec Rose. For the 40th Show, she is back from a two year round-the-world trip that has not only covered over 28,000 nautical miles, but in the process has helped young adults turn their lives around.

Completing the feature boat line up is Spirit of Mystery, the fascinating vessel that Pete Goss has painstakingly replicated from the historical Mystery and will attempt to sail to Australia without the aid of modern electrical or navigational systems.

While down at the Hydropool Marina, visitors won’t want to miss the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) teaming up with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) to provide Search & Rescue demonstrations throughout the course of the Show. The demonstrations give an overview of how these heroes of the sea and sky go about saving lives and approaching their daring rescues – for best views head down to the Hydropool Marina.

5. The Main Stage – Powered by Fairline

After all the excitement down by the water, be sure not to miss out on the action on the Main Stage – Powered by Fairline which will be central to the Show’s spectacular 40th celebrations, bringing the Show’s glorious 40 years to life.

With fun and entertainment for all the family, it is worth keeping an eye on the timetable. Throughout the day visitors will enjoy retro-style fashion shows three times a day (excluding Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday), guest appearances from personalities as well as short films celebrating the history of the Show and highlighting the last five decades of boating – not forgetting of course the announcement of the coveted Miss PSP Southampton Boat Show competition on the final Saturday!

6. Spot the Show on ITV Meridian
If you live within the ITV Meridian region, check out the evening news programme Meridian Tonight every day at 6pm to spot the PSP Southampton Boat Show. The reports from the Show will give viewers a chance to see not only the highlights and excitement of the day, but also what they can experience at the Show during their visit.

Tickets
Visitors buying a flexible combi-ticket deal can spend two full days at either Southampton or London, or one day at both Shows. Available via the ticket hotline on 0844 209 0333 or on the door, this combination ticket deal gives visitors the freedom to choose how they visit the two boat shows. The combi-ticket deal costs just £20 in advance, or £25 on the door.

To book tickets call the ticket hotline on 0844 209 0333 or book online at the Southampton Boat Show site on YBW.