Britain’s biggest boating festival is fast approaching and there are certain types of boaters it always seems to attract
Boaters from across the UK will be flocking to Southampton’s Mayflower Marina in a few weeks for the annual nautical extravaganza that is the Southampton Boat Show.
The MBY team has been covering this show for longer than we can remember and over the years we’ve noticed that it always tends to attract a certain types of boaters.
Here’s our rundown of who to look out for and how to spot them:
- The hopelessly lost first-timer
Despite the organisers’ best efforts to make Mayflower Marina easy to navigate, there is no getting around the fact that it is bloody huge!
So there is always at least one person standing in the middle of the pathway, intensely staring at signs and struggling to get their bearings.
You can recognise them by their pained expression and inappropriate choice of footwear. Bonus points if you see them walk down a dead-end pontoon and then walk straight back, seconds later.
- The fender-kicker
The boat dealer’s nemesis who sucks up hours of their time asking detailed questions about the inner workings of the electric toilet and criticising the profile of the spray rails on the latest 60-footer before finally dismissing it as not a patch on their own 20-year old cuddy cruiser.
In the meantime the genuine buyer waiting politely for their turn to speak to the dealer has finally got bored of waiting and moved on to the next door dealer’s craft.
Bonus points for overhearing them saying: “I’ll be back when my lottery numbers come up…”
- The secret millionaire
Can be hard to differentiate from the fender-kicker due to their preference for dressing down.
However, look closely and as well as the suspiciously deep tan you’ll find that those carefully ripped jeans are in fact £600 Dolce and Gabanas while the plain looking trainers are limited edition Balenciagas.
If in doubt, sneak a glance at their wrist, even the most secretive of millionaires can’t resist splashing the cash on an expensive watch.
Bonus points if you see one with a partner who looks at least 15 years younger than them, speaking of which…
- Painfully stylish WAG
Usually seen attached to the Secret Millionaire and doing a fine job of blowing his cover.
The WAG spends the day teetering down the pontoons in ten-storey Louboutin stilettos, stopping periodically to top up on fizz in various VIP areas and sprawling herself over sunpads to top up the Instagram “likes”.
Enormous sunglasses and a skin-tight outfit are a must, as is a tan in a deep shade of Coppercoat.
They can usually be overheard telling a cowering salesman how much nicer the fabrics are on their boat than the one she is looking around.
She will also be massively affronted at being asked to remove said heels on the brand new teak decks.
Bonus points for spotting a WAG with a miniscule dog poking out of a Louis Vuitton clutch.
- Brow-beaten family man
The Family Man has such good intentions, all he wants to do is have a nice day out with the family and demonstrate to them what fun a boat could be for some quality time together.
This does not go to plan, though, as his teenage daughter moans constantly about how bad for the environment motorboats are and insists that they should be camping instead, in between taking endless “selfies” and flirting with those hunks who go around on roller skates and give you directions.
His young son attempts to tear apart every single boat they look at and then jumps into a liferaft and refuses to come out. He throws in the towel early having paid for a whole day of parking.
Bonus point if you see him promising to buy the kids a kayak each if they just let him look one more boat.
- Grizzled seafarer
This is the type of person most people think of when they picture a boater, and the truth is they do exist; they’re just not as common as you might think.
The grizzled seafarer can be found on the chandlery stand, arguing the finer points of their favourite type of knot, wearing a knitted jumper (regardless of the weather) and an expression of serene superiority.
Bonus points if you see them propping up the bar with a pint of real ale, retelling the heroics of their latest deep-sea fishing saga.
The 2015 Southampton Boat Show runs from 11-20 September and tickets are on sale now, priced at £15 per adult.