We pick out 20 of the best new boats heading to Britain’s biggest boat show, the 2022 Southampton International Boat Show.
When: Friday 16 to Sunday 25 September (excluding Monday 19 September – closed for the Queen’s Funeral)
Opening time: 10am – 6pm (5pm on 25 Sept)
Where: Mayflower Park, Southampton SO15 1ST
There’s something infectious about an outdoor show with an on-water display in a proper nautical city – and once again, the Southampton International Boat Show looks set to make the very most of its natural assets.
As home to Europe’s largest purpose-built exhibition marina, it will feature a Get Afloat initiative, involving dinghies, kayaks and paddleboards. And it will also adopt a redesigned layout (download 3MB PDF) with new activity-focused zones for Watersports, Dinghies, Classic and Day Boats.
But what most of us go to Southampton for are the latest motor boats to hit the UK market and, in that regard, the 2022 Southampton Boat Show will be a spectacular showcase. We’ve sifted through the entire exhibitor list and cherry-picked 20 new boats, each of which is due to make its show, UK or World debut on the south coast.
They encompass everything from cats and monohulls to RIBs, day boats and flybridge cruisers. They go from 25 to 70ft in length and while some are targeted upgrades on existing models, others are completely new boats from the ground up.
Of course, you might still decide to trawl Europe’s autumn show circuit in search of big-ticket glamour. But if you want a simple way to get on board the best new boats around, there’s no more entertaining way to achieve it than this.
21 of the best new boats at the 2022 Southampton Boat Show
With a beam of 21ft 6in, the Aquila 44 is nearly 50% as wide as it is long, and that enables it to incorporate a walkaround layout with wide side decks, without restricting the open-plan design of its beamy saloon.
At the aft end of that space, a well-placed galley, with retractable partition and fold-out bar, makes excellent use of the threshold between the saloon and the cockpit.
And with a convertible saloon dinette, plus three ensuite double cabins, there’s ample space to sleep up to eight.
Capable of running at speeds of up to 30 knots, sleeping up to eight people in four separate cabins and cruising continuously for more than 3,000nm, the new Archipelago 47 is all about expanding your horizons.
As a robust long-distance aluminium power cat, it leverages the design input of Chartwell Marine, a firm of naval architects whose primary area of expertise is powercats for the offshore windfarm industry.
But the Archipelago 47 isn’t just about pared back practicality. According to Archipelago, it combines that with the “homely feel of a family cruiser” and it also happens to be one of the most stylish examples of its type you are ever likely to see.
Since it appeared on the scene in 2019, British adventure brand, Arksen Yachts, has been busy developing a range of rugged off-grid cruisers with keen expedition capabilities, like self-righting hulls, tough aluminium construction and vast cruising ranges of up to 7,000nm.
Constructed in collaboration with Ring Powercraft in Itchenor, this first of Arksen’s new Adventure Power Series is designed as a “premium SUV” for rapid, all-action weekend adventures.
The Axopar 25 is the point at which the game pushes beyond simple open dayboating to incorporate authentic weekend cruising. Available as a Spyder or T-top, it subtly alters the open walkaround deck of the Axopar 22 with a starboard helm console, a port walkway and a two-berth cuddy with toilet.
But with a 7ft 4in beam and a weight of just 1,750kg plus engine, it remains easily trailerable. And with a price that starts at €121,000 and a claimed fuel flow rate of just 1.2 litres per nm at 25 knots, it looks pretty affordable to own and run too.
The final part of the package is some welcome deck flexibility. In addition to the two-person bow sunbed, the cockpit has a pair of reversible helm seats and a choice of three aft layouts: a simple forward-facing aft bench for two; a U-shaped dinette for six; or a central storage unit with convertible seating and sunpad.
The new Azimut 53 is all about serious high-volume tri-deck flexibility on a relatively compact platform. Naturally then, it uses Volvo Penta’s IPS system, not just in pursuit of improved pace and fuel efficiency but also as a means of increasing lower deck living space.
In practice, that gains about 2ft over a traditional shaft-drive set-up and that’s enough to enable Azimut designer, Alberto Mancini, to create a full-beam owner’s cabin with a large bathroom and walk-in wardrobe, plus a pair of ensuite guest doubles.
There’s also the option of a single crew cabin aft but if you’re a self-drive cruiser (as most people will be at this length), it’s equally handy as a storage locker for your toys. On the main deck, there’s a fairly conventional saloon-forward, galley-aft layout with external dining stations both fore and aft.
And up on the flybridge, a distinctly convivial arrangement, with sunbeds forward and a wraparound dinette aft, puts the skipper right at the heart of the party.
The Bavaria SR36 is a clever boat. The cockpit, for instance, provides two very enjoyable dining zones – one on the port side of the main cockpit opposite the huge wet bar. And another more intimate C-shaped dining area that faces out over the aft swim platform.
This is slightly offset to port to create a larger starboard side deck and this laudable user-friendliness is also reflected in the options list. You can choose either a full hardtop with or without sliding doors across the back to enclose the cockpit, or a skimpier one with a gap between the windscreen and the roof for the full wind-in-the hair experience.
Down below, the midships owner’s cabin can be rigged with a large double or two separate berths and the long couch can also double as an occasional extra berth.
Up in the bow, the guest double can be specced as a private room or you can choose a more open-plan layout to maximise light and space by linking the forward cabin with the big central saloon.
Beneteau Antares 8
The Beneteau Antares 8 has been doing good business as a versatile family companion for more than a decade now but the 2022 model appears to be the slickest yet.
At the heart of the latest Beneteau Antares 8 overhaul is accessibility. A new starboard side gate makes access to the pontoon much simpler.
The wide aft swim platforms sit flush with the deck for easy movement into the cockpit. And the starboard walkway has been widened for better access to the sunbathing area at the bow.
Bluegame has applied the same formula to this 60ft model, which was announced at the 2020 Genoa Boat Show and will be making its Southampton debut later this month.
The Bluegame BGX60 is the brainchild of celebrated Italian custom yachting specialist, Sanlorenzo. And when you step on board, that absolutely shows.
The lower saloon, for instance, is a spectacular asset. Positioned deep down and way aft, it opens out onto a vast stern deck, creating a watersports, relaxation and party zone that feels like the Beach Club of an authentic custom superyacht.
Dale Classic 37
During its 60-year history on the beautiful waters of Milford Haven, Dale Motor Yachts has come to epitomise what artisan boat building is all about. Strong hulls, bullet-proof build, classic lines, impeccable joinery, lovely materials, easy customisation.
And in the form of the lovely-looking new Dale Classic 37, conceived during lockdown, there’s every reason to get excited once again. The idea behind the new boat was to create a beautiful cruiser in the classical style but with more sleeping space than the Dale 35 and more manageable proportions than the Dale Classic 45.
To help guarantee serious offshore cruising abilities, it would be built upon the same Category A semi-displacement hull as the Dale 40. And to ramp up the flexibility, it would come with a fully enclosed wheelhouse and the capacity to sleep four people at a time.
Dromeas D28 SUV
Looking for a boat that taps into the modern appetite for multi-purpose recreation? Then the Dromeas D28 SUV is for you.
This new wheelhouse model uses the same twin-stepped deep-vee hull as the existing Walkaround and Centre Console variants but adds an enclosed pilothouse and a pair of 250hp outboards for serious year-round fun.
The central pilothouse itself uses a large sunroof, twin sliding side doors and wraparound glazing for big views and an open boating feel, ensuring it stays warm in winter but not too hot in summer.
Fairline Squadron 68
Fairline’s flagship flybridge cruiser has received a serious overhaul for 2022. There’s a new galley design on the main deck with extra workspace plus a sociable bar area that straddles the space between internal saloon and external cockpit.
You can also now opt for a tri-fold patio door aft, as well as a starboard side door, which is great for single-handed helming, for extra ventilation in warm weather and for unobstructed movement around the boat.
Available with either three or four cabins, the master suite comes with a kingsize bed, a starboard office and a port settee – and the VIP guest cabin has been given some useful extra space, plus twin beds that convert into a double at the touch of a button.
Updated materials and finishes, as well as a tweaked window line, add extra dynamism to the 68, bringing it well into line with the styling exhibited by the rest of the fleet. And up on the flybridge, the redesigned hardtop now comes with a retractable canvas sunroof and an integrated electric aft sunshade for extra day boating flexibility.
Fjord 38 Open
While it might be the baby of the fleet, the 38 Open is pure unadulterated ‘Fjord’. In line with its larger siblings, the Fjord 38 Open is all about big walkaround decks and relaxing alfresco day spaces, with weekending facilities in the bow and elegant (though minimalist) styling.
Essentially it’s a dayboating party platform and it commits to that with its deck furniture. At the heart of the cockpit, beneath a low-profile T-top with extendable aft sunshade, a pair of three-person benches face off across a dining table.
They use reversible backrests that also fold flat, enabling you to turn this section into forward facing benches, a full sunbed or both.
Galeon 510 Skydeck
The Galeon 510 Sky Deck is based squarely on the award-winning 500 Fly. It takes the same hull and lower deck arrangements and then modifies the upper deck to upgrade the style, drop the centre of gravity and sharpen up the handling.
The flybridge is of course reduced in size but it still has room for wraparound bench seats and a pair of loungers on either side of the central helm. And the shifting of the fly deck aft also frees up the space for a huge glass sunroof above the lower helm.
Iron Boats 767
Being the second largest of the four models in the fleet, the Iron Boats 767 is a great showcase for this new Scandinavian brand.
Designed as “a unique concept in hybrid RIB/sportsboat design”, it uses a low-slung D-shaped fender to drop the centre of gravity and add protection without the internal volume penalty incurred by a traditional air-filled RIB collar.
Like the rest of the fleet, the hull of the Iron Boats 767 has been designed in Sweden with input from the celebrated Mannerfelt Design Team. That has been matched to a centre-console layout that keeps the decks clear and the weight where it belongs.
Nord Star 36+ Fly
With three decks and five-berth accommodation in a sub 40-footer, the Nord Star 36+ Fly certainly packs a lot of functionality into a very manageable package.
In spite of its secure walkaround layout, the central pilothouse still has room for a large aft dinette, a starboard sideboard and helm seating for three.
There’s also an unobstructed internal walkway, twin doors to the side decks and a permanent aft door for direct access to the aft cockpit.
Princess proclaims that this new flagship of the F Class “sets the direction for an all-new design language… with an emphasis on sculptural surfaces and lengthened feature lines”.
On the inside, a choice of four colour schemes will be offered, with oak and walnut cabinetry options available. Accommodation is for up to eight guests split across four cabins and the layout puts a strong emphasis on socialising.
Practicality is also evident in the side access door adjacent to the lower helm station and the split foredeck sunpads, which should make mooring easier.
The scale of the gap between Saxdor’s original 200 model and its award-winning 320 has always seemed a bit surprising, but it looks like the Saxdor 270 is set to remedy that.
At just under 28ft in length, it uses Saxdor’s twin-stepped hull with a finely angled bow and vertical stem, alongside single outboard options of up to 300hp.
Sunseeker Predator 65
Although we tested the new Predator 65 in our August issue, this is the first chance for UK showgoers to get a proper look at it. It may lack the 65 Sportyacht’s fancy outside helm position but there’s a vast carbon fibre sunroof over the internal helm that lets the outside in when open but still allows masses of natural light to filter through when closed.
In the aft cockpit, the standard layout uses a port bar, plus a central bench backing onto a sunbed above the garage. That garage is big enough for a Williams 345 jet tender plus a whole range of watersports toys – and you can also spec it as a Beach Club, with ambient lighting, freestanding furniture and rain shower.
Down below, a three-cabin layout for up to six guests features a full-beam ensuite master cabin, plus two ensuite guest cabins and a separate day heads. But again, there are plenty of options, including an owner’s office, a galley-down arrangement and a lower saloon.
Twisted Automotive started life as a company ‘re engineering’ Land Rover Defenders for clients with a penny or two to rub together. Following the company’s purchase of a Salcombe-based marine engineering firm, it’s now diversified into modifying existing powerboats in a similar vein.
Unlike the Twisted T450, which is based on a Cobra hull, this time Twisted have gone for the Axopar 25 as the basis, and this high performing chisel-chinned stepped hull has gained a solid following over the last decade.
It certainly looks the part, especially in the case of the Bahama Gold Twisted T300s with black powder ‘adventure roofrack’ and suspension seats, towed behind a matching Landy.
While American brand Wellcraft is best known for its fast centre console sports fishers, the 355 is entirely different. Part fast weekender, part four-season adventure boat, the new model comes with a trendy plumb bow, an enclosed wheelhouse and distinctly Scandinavian styling.
That puts it on a collision course with the likes of Axopar, Saxdor and Nimbus – but given the muscle of parent company, the Beneteau Group, it’s likely to be very competitive. With its stepless, deep-vee hull and triple 350hp outboards, it should push well beyond 50 knots.
But with its offset pilothouse, it also offers year-round useability and easy movement along the wide starboard side deck. Inside the wheelhouse, there’s a starboard dining area, three forward-facing helm seats and a basic galley to port.
A pair of skylights, an opening sunroof and all-round glazing deliver great visibility. And in spite of a sociable bow, there’s still ample room below for a double vee-berth and a separate heads with shower.