The Motor Boat & Yachting Festival seems a long time ago now, and even the Southampton Boat Show, by the time you read this, will be starting to feel like a distant memory...
The Motor Boat & Yachting Festival seems a long time ago now, and even the Southampton Boat Show, by the time you read this, will be starting to feel like a distant memory. The less said about that fez the better, obviously, but in all respects except those sartorial the Festival was a resounding success and, for me, it marked the high point of the season – not least because it happily coincided with the only four consecutive days of sunshine that we had all summer, as far as I could tell.
The Boat Show produced the customary crop of extremes: weather, boats, fuel shortages, you name it. It will go down not only as the first, and possibly only, show where the gigantic Sunseeker 105 was on public display, but also for the wettest Preview Day on record. For half an hour during one protracted bout of monsoon-type rainfall I was trapped – which sounds all wrong as we did, after all, have stocks of champagne – aboard a brand-new 50ft sportscruiser while waterfalls cascaded through gaps in the canopy and window frames, forcing the unfortunate boatbuilder to put on a brave face, keep the drinks flowing and skilfully steer the conversation towards less embarrassing subjects. No exhibitor could have been more relieved than him when Saturday dawned dry and sunny. Shame it didn’t last.
You can find all the show news, including our verdicts on the most significant new boats, starting on p100. As for the Festival, our version of events can in this month’s issue – and if it doesn’t exactly match yours, I’m not in the least surprised.