Southampton Boat Show 2021: Your essential guide to Britain’s biggest boat show

The 2021 Southampton Boat Show opens its gates again this week and promises to be bigger and better than ever.

After being cancelled at short notice last year due to the pandemic, the Southampton Boat Show is going ahead this year but with a few crucial differences. Here are the details you need to know to enjoy a great day out at Britain’s biggest boat show.

Where is the 2021 Southampton Boat Show?

The Mayflower Park location is the same but the layout has changed slightly with a new entrance by West Quay shopping centre and additional exhibition space on this side of the road to make up for the loss of the Holiday Inn section.

The purpose-built pontoons are back in place as usual with around 300 boats afloat and a further 200 displayed on shore. Check out our pick of the best new boats at Southampton 2021.

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When is the show?

The show runs from Friday 10 to Sunday 19 September and is open from 9.30am, half an hour earlier than usual.

Officially the show closes at 6.30pm every day, except for a 6pm closure on the final Sunday, although the ‘Festival Green’ area where music will be playing all day will remain open for refreshments, food and entertainment until 9.30pm every evening except the last.

Southampton Boat Show entry requirements

All visitors and exhibitors will be required to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test no more than 48 hours prior to arriving at the show.

Results will need to be logged on the government website, so that test results can be made available to gate staff via the NHS App, email or text.

No one will be admitted without showing evidence of a negative test. Similarly the NHS Track & Trace QR Code will be available to scan at all show entrances and vaccination status evidence will be required.


Covid protocols

Covid protocols apply across the whole show. There will be sanitising stations and exhibitors’ booths will be regularly cleaned, with special attention given to touch points.

Greater focus has also been placed on keeping stands as open as possible to encourage good airflow. Although no longer legally required, mask wearing will be encouraged, especially in catering area queues and inside boats.

Southampton Boat Show 2021 tickets and prices

The standard price for a one-day adult ticket is £25.50 from Friday to Sunday or £21 from Monday to Thursday but there are a wide variety of concessions for children under 15, groups of ten or more, NHS workers, students and disabled badge holders. See full details at:


Shore-based space has increased

Activities at the Southampton Boat Show

For those wanting an on-water experience, there will be three easy-access initiatives – namely Get-A-Float, Try-A-Boat and Try-A-Boat+. Get-A-Float offers instructed sessions in dinghies, SUPs and kayaks.

Try-A-Boat offers outings aboard a Rodman motor cruiser, a Wetwheels powercat suitable for disabled people and four different RIBs, as well as a variety of sailboats.

Try-A-Boat+ includes trips on the square-rigged tall ship Morgenster, the RTW racing yacht Global Challenger and passenger cruiser Island Scene.

All are included in the ticket price but spaces are limited and only booked at the show. The booking point for Get-A-Float is between the Watersports and Dinghy zones, while the booking point for Try-A-Boat is at Festival Green.

MBY’s stand at the Southampton Boat Show

MBY will have our usual stand opposite the entrance to the marina (no E001) selling discounted magazines and subscriptions.

Our editorial team will be out and about so if you want a word, leave a message and mobile number at the stand and we’ll get back to you directly.


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