The boat show season is almost on us again...

The boat show season is almost on us again and so our thoughts turn to Southampton, Cannes, Genoa and such places. Well, ours do because we?re currently compiling lists of exhibitors, producing graphics for our show stand, and wondering whether you?d prefer a bottle of gin or a bag as an incentive to renew your subscription. Meanwhile, your thoughts are probably set on enjoying your boat this summer. But trust me ? with the show season just around the corner, there comes a host of new boats for next season.

And while it might seem a little previous to be thinking of buying a new boat, some of you will be doing just that. A trip to the Southampton Boat Show next month (or maybe Cannes, if you fancied somewhere a trifle more exotic) will set your mouth watering at the prospect of a shiny new toy, and your brain whirring as you do the arithmetic.

Well, help is at hand. This month we have a guide to the international boat shows designed to make swanning off to Cannes or Miami (or wherever) a breeze. And if you?ve never done the overseas boat show thing, try it ? it?s a great excuse to hop on a plane and spend a weekend away somewhere different ? eating and drinking and shopping, and wondering why you can?t buy a ten-man inflatable Polynesian-style canoe at the London Boat Show. Actually, the chandlery sections of overseas boat shows are often intriguing ? with amazing gadgets that, although you?re not quite sure what they?re for, you?re quite certain you want.

The other part of this magazine that you should find handy if you?re thinking about a new boat (or interesting, even if you?re not) is our brand new Buyer?s Guide. In this ten-page section we list the top ten boats in six different categories. This isn?t intended to be a comprehensive guide to every new boat available, but MBY?s cream of the crop. You?ll also find hints and tips for buyers, covering subjects such as surveys, finance, paperwork, training and running costs. And we?ll be changing the Guide every month, so there?ll always be something new in it.

We hope that the Buyers Guide will be a handy tool for making informed purchasing decisions ? or for settling arguments at the yacht club bar.

In the meantime, get back to your boating ? this fine summer won?t last forever.