The PSP Southampton Boat Show kicked off in glamorous style on Friday, and while launches from Sunseeker and Princess stole the limelight the show is also important for smaller UK manufacturers too.
Hundreds of people gathered around the Sunseeker stand at the PSP Southampton Boat Show yesterday as Formula 1 star Jenson Button and racing commentator Eddie Jordan joked about which one of them was using Button’s yacht this weekend.
The pair, both owners of Sunseekers, officially unveiled two new models in the Poole-based yacht builder’s range, the Portofino 40 and Predator 80, at the annual PSP Southampton Boat Show.
The Sunseeker stand was particularly impressive, packed with luxury motor yachts and glamorous girls.
Down on the marina, Princess had their yachts actually on the water, unlike Sunseeker. Princess also unveiled two new models – the Princess 56 made its first UK appearance and the sportier Princess V62-S had its world premier.
Simon Clare, head of marketing for Princess, said: “It is an important show as it provides a great platform for us to showcase our products. It’s important on an international level too, as in the boat industry there are not many opportunities to see all the boats together like this.”
The show has over 1,000 boats on display and is the biggest leisure marine show in the UK. It is expected to attract over 12,000 people to Southampton across the 10 days.
The show displays everything to do with marine, even down to engine parts such as damper drive plates and couplings. Roger Firth, director of R&D Marine, was showcasing his range of flexible shaft couplings and engine mounts at the show. His company manufacture couplings, mounters and dampeners for engines in Hertfordshire and have had a stand at the show for 25 years
He said: “I sell to all major engine and stern gear companies, being at the boat show today means that if they have a problem, they can come and find me and talk to me face to face. I think that is really important.”
Relative newcomers to the show Boatbox were displaying its car roof box that transforms into dinghy. Boatbox had a stall at the show last year, but were only displaying prototypes to get a feel for the market. This year it has the finished product on show – a product that is manufactured in Dorset from materials that are sourced in the UK.
Boatbox inventor and owner Mark Tilley said: “I have spent a lot of money getting the product to market, now it is in production I feel we are finally ready. We have done a few shows this year but this is the biggest. I am hoping to follow the success we had at the Camping and Caravan Show at the NEC and make some sales.”
The PSP Southampton Boat Show continues every day until Sunday 23 September. Tickets cost £16 in advance or £20 on the door. Children are free with a full paying adult.
For more information go to www.southamptonboatshow.com