The London Yacht Show will take place at London's St Katharine Docks in May with Fairline, Princess and Sunseeker all planning to exhibit
British Marine is backing plans to relaunch a major new boat show in London in the spring. Informa Exhibitions, which already runs the successful Monaco and Fort Lauderdale boat shows, has taken over the old London On Water show with a view to turning it into a bigger and better event.
The show takes place in May at St Katharine Docks, close to the City of London and yards from Tower Bridge. In previous years it has been a relatively small event but with Informa’s resources and the backing of British Marine, which runs the Southampton Boat Show, hopes are high that it will put a London boat show back on the international calendar.
“We’ve taken this show on for what it can be, not what it is,” says Andrew Williams, president of maritime for Informa Exhibitions. “Our decision to partner with British Marine stems from our desire to work very closely with the industry.”
Despite aiming for a three to four-fold increase in size, Andrew is keen for the show (renamed the London Yacht Show) to retain its boutique nature. “We’re not looking to compete with the Southampton Boat Show, this will be a focussed event aimed at the luxury end of the market.”
Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, has already given it her backing, telling MBY: “Our decades of experience running renowned boat shows in the UK mean a network of relationships and contacts. In particular, our sales team will be working with the team at Informa to secure and grow the presence of leading brands.”
However, Robinson is keen to stress that the new LYS is not a direct replacement for the now defunct ExCel show. “LYS is a completely different prospect. It is primarily catering to the demands of boat brands and associated products and services which cater for the luxury market.”
Current plans envisage an immediate expansion to around 77 on-water berths, including eight superyachts. There will also be three floating villages and a number of land-based marquees and hospitality areas.
It’s a move that has already been warmly welcomed by all three of the UK’s major motor boat builders.
Miles Moorhouse of Fairline Yachts told MBY: “We’re very excited. With British Marine driving the show forward and the weight
of Informa Exhibitions behind it, it has every reason to be successful.”
It’s a view echoed by Princess Yachts marketing director, Kiran Haslam. “A London-centric show is a hugely important event for the industry. The proposed dates and the location of this show are better than the old Excel show. Many of our clients
are skiing in early January and Excel was always at the mercy of winter travel issues”.
Sunseeker is also planning to exhibit.
The Editor’s View…
This could be exactly the kind of BOAT SHOW LONDON NEEDS. Both the timing and location of it are far more appealing than EXCEL in January. St Kat’s doesn’t have a lot of berths so I hope they manage to get a good mix of boats for people to see not just the obvious big guns.