British boats light up the London Boat Show

See the Hardy 40 DS, Sunseeker 75 Yacht, Princess V48 Open and Fairline Targa 48 GT

Four new boats from four British manufacturers have lit up a grey start to the year as the London Boat Show once again showcases the best of domestic boatbuilding.

The Hardy 40 DS, Sunseeker 75 Yacht, Fairline Targa 48 GT and Princess V48 Open are all making their debuts at the ExCeL event, which is lagging last year’s show in attendance but outperforming it in advance ticket sales.

Fairline stole the show on Monday with the unveiling of its Targa 48 GT, which was dramatically draped with an enormous Union Flag that was whipped off during CEO Kevin Gaskell’s presentation of the boat.

Unusually, Fairline also chose to showcase a concept craft at ExCeL, the Fairline Esprit. The sleek-looking sportscruiser is Fairline’s attempt at seeing the future, and comes with plenty of clever ideas including a chartplotter and system information display built into the steering wheel.

Coming a close second in grandstand terms was the appearance of TV presenter Suzi Perry, who was at the show to unveil a pink Williams jet-RIB, which is being auctioned in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

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Looming large over the Williams stand is Sunseeker’s 75 Yacht, the smallest boat in its Yacht range. Four ensuite cabins, spectacular detailing and punchy performance from the standard MAN V12s add up to an asking price of £2.2 million ex VAT.

The Princess V48 Open is another debutante and is the sister ship to the V48 we tested in our October 2013 issue, but with changes including a single open cockpit space and full-sized tender garage.

The Hardy 40 DS, meanwhile, looks to be a well-judged entry into the 40ft cruiser market, and offers an intriguing mix of solid, dependable seakeeping and modern styling inside and out. Look out for a full test of the boat soon.

That’s by no means all – don’t miss the enticing red-hulled Jersey 30 from new company Fibre Classics, which comes with a very inviting asking price of £99,999 including VAT.

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