Countdown to Southampton

Our round up of how to make the most of your boat show


The Southampton International Boat Show is almost upon us and as well as showcasing all the latest boats, accessories and equipment, there’s a lot of fun to be had and bargains galore. Here’s our round up of how to make the most of your boat show.

Ready, steady, go
The show officially opens on Friday 12 September, Press and Public Preview Day, and although tickets are more expensive on this day (£20 at the gate, instead of £15) it will give you the chance to take an early peak at launches by the likes of Fairline, Sealine, Princess and Sunseeker.

The grand opening of the show will take place at the new Main Stage – Powered by Fairline and will include appearances by our Olympic heroes, the Skandia Team GB, as well as other figures from the boating world. Expect a spectacle and ladies grab your hubbies’ wallets as there’s a fashion show straight afterwards.

There’s never been a better time to haggle and that doesn’t just go for boats – chandlers will be falling over themselves to offer you special rates. Here’s our pick of the bargain bunch:

Reeds Nautical Almanac is launching its online version and anyone that subscribes at the show will get 25% discount, plus a loyalty card that you can use to get discounts from participating companies.

Premier Marinas is offering free visitor nights for all boat owners that visit the stand.

Try-a-boat is 40% bigger this year, so if you’ve ever wanted to test ride a boat for free, now’s your chance.

There are also discounted entry tickets for groups of 10 or more.

Kid’s corner
Let your little ones try canoeing or sailing in the H20 Zone, which is completely free, or test their sea legs on Dee Caffari’s sailing simulator. Also, don’t forget to collect wristbands for the kids from security, which will help reunite you, should you get lost.

Helly Hansen will be running twice daily style sessions throughout the show, showcasing all their latest gear, held every day at 1pm and 4.20pm in the Holiday Inn Lounge. There is also a new area, known as the Platinum Pavilion, which will be selling all the latest lifestyle products.

Beauty queen
Ladies strike your best pose and gentlemen perfect your best non-leering stare, the Miss PSP Southampton Boat Show competition will round off the show on the last Saturday. Pop along to see who will be crowned this year’s winner.

Getting there
Don’t get lost,
check directions and public transport routes

Pack your wellies
Although we may see glimpses of sunshine (particularly on the opening Saturday), rain is forecast and the weather will be mainly unsettled.

And finally…
Above all, enjoy yourself (we know we will) and pop along to the MBM stand to say hello.


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