Southampton Boat Show

southampton boat show 2018

Southampton Boat Show 2018

Southampton Boat Show 2018 – Celebrating 50 Years on the Water

This year the Southampton Boat Show 2018 will celebrate 50 years of boating festivities.  The show runs from Friday 14th September until Sunday 23rd September and, as usual, will be located at the Mayflower Park venue as it has been for the last 50 years.

Show Marina

So what’s to see this year?  Well one of Europe’s largest show marinas with 2km of pontoons, with space for more than 330 sailing and motor craft.  Step aboard beautiful sailing yachts and tall ships, or book a free “Try a Boat” experience.

The Hairy Bikers

Si King and Dave Myers, the Hairy Bikers, will be opening the show and then attending the show on 22nd September demonstrating their culinary skills.


With around 700 exhibitors from the marine industry showing their wares over the 10 days, there is plenty to see in 3 purpose-built undercover halls and outside stalls around the show site.

Discount Code

This year YachtingMonthly magazine is advertising a ticket offer of 2 standard any day tickets for £26, available until 13th September 2018.  The advanced purchase price of a standard any day ticket is normally £21 each.  Just use code YM26 when using the official Southampton Boat Show online ticketing facility.

How to Find the Show

The Southampton Boat Show 2018 is situated at Mayflower Park, Town Quay, Southampton, SO14 1AQ.  There is ample parking near the show if you are driving, but it can get very busy so arrive early.  Try and use the West Quay Multi-Story Car Park, normally £5 for the whole day (check out Parkopedia).  Avoid the West Quay Podium Car Park (very expensive) and also NCP car parks as they tend to hike the price for the duration of the show.  Southampton Central Station is within 10 minutes walk of the show, as is the National Express Coach Station.

southampton boat show 2018

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london boat show cancelled

London Boat Show Cancelled

London Boat Show Cancelled

As many of you will now be aware, the London Boat Show 2019 has been cancelled.  Whether this is going to be a permanent fixture still remains to be seen but it was not a shock to many in the Marine industry.

I have been attending the London Boat Show since 2011, only since owning Lovesail.  Up to that point, it was not on my radar.  I had attended the Southampton Boat Show before but I live not far from the city so that was a given.  In the seven years, I have been visiting the London Boat Show there has been discontent among the visitors and exhibitors alike.  I made it a habit to ask everyone I met at the show, both visitors and exhibitors what their thoughts were about it.

Visitors have been far from happy for some time.  The London Boat Show used to be run from Earls Court and was a popular venue.  The move to Excel had to be the main reason for their unhappiness.  Earls Court is central and easy to get to.  Once you had visited the show you were free to pop into “town”.  This was especially important if you had travelled far.  It was a weekend away, a treat, something to look forward to.   Excel, by comparison, is over in Docklands, a hassle of a tube ride which takes 30 minutes from Waterloo station.  Nothing much else would compel you to visit Docklands, the city airport?  Beckton Sewage Works?!  It’s a bleak place in January.  This coupled with the stark exhibition halls, lack of atmosphere and sky-high prices in the on-site eateries, it’s no wonder ticket sales struggled.

“……The place is inaccessible, soulless, dreary, small”

Exhibitors were complaining too.  A nightmare to get to and not much to do in the evenings if you were staying locally for the duration of the show.  The timing though was the big problem.  The London Boat Show falls just before the much bigger and better Boot Show in Düsseldorf, quite a feat for the London exhibitors to pack up and be in Germany in time for the Boot.   The Boot is a must diary date for anyone serious in creating connections in the marine industry.

Many reasons were cited for the move, the need for water, better infrastructure, Sunseeker had insisted!  Only a select few will know the real reasons but if it was to display the boats in water why were the docks empty?

Southampton Boat Show. by comparison, is huge, with a purpose-built marina to house the boats, the vibrant city of Southampton within striking distance and good road and rail links.  If you are there from afar,  you can take a short break and visit the Isle of Wight too, capital of sailing.

“In Southampton you’ve got the movement of the sea, the wind in the rigging and you can imagine getting on board and casting off there and then”

I for one hope the London Boat Show does not return.  There must be a need for a boat show for our Northern countrymen with plenty of brilliant venues to choose from.

A close friend summed up the London Boat Show rather succinctly, “…..that London venue is ****. The place is inaccessible, soulless, dreary, small etc etc. Manky modern docks are not a good place to showcase beautiful yachts and boats. There’s no emotion down there, no spirit of adventure. As for boats being displayed in the exhibition hall……aaarrggghhhhh! Ghastly.   In Southampton you’ve got the movement of the sea, the wind in the rigging and you can imagine getting on board and casting off there and then”.

london boat show cancelled


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southampton boat sow 2015

Southampton Boat Show 2015

Southampton Boat Show 2015 – Free Attractions

Southampton Boat Show 2015 runs from Friday 11th September until Sunday 20th September at the Mayflower Park, Southampton.

This year I thought I would list some of the free attractions on offer at the show.

Earl of Pembroke

The Earl of Pembroke is a three-masted tall ship which was built in Sweden in 1945.  She was used for trading timber in the Baltic before undergoing a complete restoration in 1985.  The ship is now an exact replica of the HMS Endeavour, the ship that took Captain Cook to Australia on his first expedition.  The Earl Of Pembroke is now used for private hire and has also been used in several films and television series such as Hornblower, Treasure Island, Longitude, Moll Flanders and The Count of Monte-Cristo to name but a few.

southampton boat show 2015

The Aquarium

Southampton University have put together rockpools and tanks filled with fascinating creatures that are found in our local waters.  Also on display is a dark-room filled with coral and anemones to show off their natural ability to emit fluorescent light.  Scientists and students from Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton will be on hand to answer all your watery questions about the oceans.  Stand A134.


Suzuki Rib Experience

Visitors can have the chance to get out on the water at the Show on a RIB.  The  7.8m RIB will whisk visitors around Southampton Water completely free of charge, provided you are over 8 years, of a certain height and promise to wear one of their lifejackets.  To book a place visit the Suzuki stand E056.

southampton boat

Adventure River Canoe Ride

For the younger adventurers amongst us, the adventure river canoe ride gives little ones the chance to experience what it’s like to take their canoe down a fearsome winding river!  Height restrictions may apply and explorers may get a little wet.  Hunt out stand A133 for more details.

southampton boat show

Related Articles: The Boat Show


southampton boat show 2014

Southampton Boat Show 2014

The PSP Southampton Boat Show 2014 runs from Friday 12 September until Sunday 21st September.  As is usual it will be gracing the Mayflower  Park/Town Quay area of Southampton.  For those of you finding your way with a SatNav,  SO15 1AG.

Many new attractions have been talked about to encourage more visitors this year. Last year saw over 100,000 visitors to the show.  Here are just some of the attractions on offer at the Southampton Boat Show 2014:

Challenge 72 Round the World Experience

Board the Global Challenge sailing yacht for an exciting trip around the Solent to experience what it is like to crew aboard a 72-foot racing yacht.  For 1 hour 30 minutes, you can helm the boat, hoist the sails, or winch ’til your muscles pop.   It matters not if you are a novice or experienced sailor, great fun will be had under the guidance of the professional crew.

 Tall Ship Phoenix

This replica brig, which has appeared in many films, will be berthed at the Boat Show marina for photo opportunities.  It’s not clear but the literature does say it’s free to explore so fill your pirate boots.

Daily Tribute Concerts

Each day there will be live music in the form of a tribute act to entertain the crowds.  From 4:30 until 6:30 every afternoon you can listen to Frank Sinatra, George Michael, Michael Buble, The Beatles, Madonna and Elton John to name but a few.  The venue has not been given yet but I’m sure they shouldn’t be too hard to find if you listen carefully!

Southampton Boat Show 2014 Eye

A giant Ferris wheel will lift visitors 100 feet into the air for spectacular views across Southampton Water.  Provided the weather is co-operating you should be able to see across to Hythe, over the city and maybe you may catch a glimpse of the Isle of Wight.  If this is the same wheel that was present at Cowes Week then it is definitely worth the £3 ride.

Ride on an ORC!

Hang on a minute I hear you cry, an ORC is a brutish mythical creature used by the villains in Tolkien’s fantasy writings. Well yes, you are most correct, but there is another ORC and this one is slightly different but probably equally as scary! Ride on a Royal Marine Offshore Raiding Craft (ORC).  Free but needs to be booked through the Try a Boat desk.  I’m sure this will be a very popular activity, particularly on Ladies Day!

Old Favourites

Back by popular demand are the usual suspects.  Get Afloat for youngsters to try their hand at dinghy sailing and stand up paddleboarding.  By young I mean 8-16-year-olds and it’s free on a first-come-first-served basis.  The RYA are again running their popular Active Marina Experience for refreshing your sailing skills and picking up handy tips.  These workshops need to be booked too as spaces are limited.

For more information on Southampton Boat Show, 2014 just visit the Boat Show Website.

southampton boat show 2014


Related Articles: Southampton Boat Show, The Boat Show – Insider Knowledge on Parking, Eating and Accommodation

southampton boat show 2013

Southampton Boat Show 2013

Southampton Boat Show 2013, Starts 13 September running until 22 September

Southampton Boat Show 2013 will expect to draws crowds in excess of 100,000.  This year there are some new attractions to tempt the visitors.

Battle of the Classes Pursuit Race

This proved to be very popular at the London Boat Show at the beginning of the year.  This is a pursuit race format with boats chasing a lead boat and boats in front to gain ground.  The lead boat will try and stay ahead.  When the final gun goes off their positions will be established to see who has won.

If you would like to take part then register your interest at The event is free to enter, open to all monohull dinghies and limited to 100 boats with 2 from each class of boat. All participants will receive free tickets to enter the Southampton Boat Show. Competitors must be at least 8 years of age.


Watch and Learn Traditional Boatbuilding Techniques

Members of the Wooden Boatbuilders’ Trade Association will gather with a varied display of boats, showing different types of crafts and their different methods of construction.  Two small dinghies will also be in the demonstration area so visitors can see the differences in traditional and modern construction.  There will also be an area devoted to rigging and rope making.

Time table for Demonstrations:

All Day

General boat build in progress

one traditional build
one modern wood construction
Rigging demonstrations from wire to modern synthetic ropes
Do it yourself material selection tests – and prizes for the best essay on materials for boat construction


Rope making (approx 12pm)


Rope making (approx 2pm)
Demonstration on modern glues and coatings (approx 3pm)
Making a typical clinker lap joint – participation by youngsters (approx 4pm)
Please Note
Specific demonstrations such as steam bending will be timetabled at the Show so see the board at the entrance to stand A099 near the main entrance


For more detailed information about the Southampton Boat Show 2013 visit PSP Southampton Boat Show

For local knowledge on how to get to the show, where to sleep, eat, park, please read our related article The Boat Show

southampton boat show 2013


London Boat Show 2013


Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or boat owner, or you’re merely looking  to dip your toe into some form of aquatic activity, the London Boat Show 2013 is a great day out – and has something for everyone .

This year there are over 500 companies exhibiting at this exceptional 9-day event.  You can see the latest state-of-the-art superyachts and powerboats in the indoor marina , or you can view the smaller craft in the indoor harbour as well as the Used Boat Marina.  Whatever your interest or your budget, your needs are catered for with hundreds of boats on view – or even to buy at the London Boat Show 2013!

There’s the Knowledge Box where you can pick up tips from talks by marine and sailing experts, or if you’d rather take part in an event you can get involved with the canoeing and kayaking activities taking place in the Multi-Activity Pools.  If you’d rather sit back and watch the pros then you can see British Freestyle Jetski Champion, Jack Moule in action.

london boat show 2013

Plus there’s the chance to see the Fine Arts Sails World Regatta, which is a collaboration of internationally acclaimed artists and over 18 Olympic and World Champion Sailors.

For all you members, “Lovesail Erica” will be there so if you’re visiting the London Boat Show 2013 and would like to meet up, probably for a well-earned drink (!) then get in touch with Erica through the site.

And if you’re not a member of then maybe you should be! is a global online dating and social networking site for people who love being on the water.

Sailing, yachting and boating enthusiasts, as well as crew from all over the world, meet up on this friendly site to arrange sailing trips, social events, and dates. And if you’re looking for crewing opportunities, or searching for crew, then this is the place for you.

To find out more about visit our site.

southampton boat show images

Southampton Boat Show Images and Highlights

Southampton Boat Show Images

southampton boat show imagesThe Southampton Boat Show saw a mixture of weather patterns this year especially over the last weekend with blazing sun and 18 degrees on Saturday, and the highest visitor attendance of the week, to high winds and torrential rain on Sunday.   Attendance figures for the Southampton Boat Show were down slightly on 2011 to 109,722.  Retailers reported good sales.

Here are some images from the Southampton Boat Show in case you could not get down to Mayflower Park this year.  Just a reminder that the London Boat Show runs from 12th-20th  January southampton boat show images2013 at the ExCel Centre in London Docklands.  Also running at the ExCel Centre from 17th to 20th January 2013 is The Outdoors Show, The Active Travel Show and The London Bike Show.  One ticket should gain entry to all four shows.

The Pontoon was a hive of activity this year with lots of boats to look at and board.  One of my favourites was the Amelie Rose the replica Isles of Scilly Pilot Cutter that appeared in the ITV programme The Hungry Sailors.

southampton boat show images

My picture does not do her justice.  If you can hunt her down do so, as she is so beautiful.  She is a working cutter so there are many ways to experience her from taking RYA qualifications to traditional boat building courses.  Also down on the Pontoon was the Free Do and Try.  Visitors new to sailing could sign up and have a go, and those with some experience had a chance to participate in free workshops to improve their skills.

Whatever your boating interests, there was plenty to satisfy you down on the Pontoon at the Southampton Boat Show.

Back on dry land, there were lots of attractions around the showground.  One of my particular favourites was the Sea Kitchen Theatre at the Southampton Boat Show.  Fabulous talks on all manner of subjects could be heard here throughout the day, from Sarah Donohue talking about her life as a Power Boat Racer to cooking with celebrity chef Mark Sargeant.  Running talks throughout the week was Katy Davidson

southampton boat show imagesfrom Mangez-Moi.  Katy is very knowledgeable about all things oyster.  She wants to raise awareness about the health benefits of oysters and to highlight the plight of the native oyster which is functionally extinct in the wild.  Katy’s talks were very informative, funny and she was a joy to watch.  southampton boat show imagesHer enthusiasm for the oyster was contagious and I for one, an oyster virgin, decided to give them a try.  Oysters from different Oysterages were given out for visitors to try and also compare and I can confirm they were delicious.  Let’s hope Katy will be attending the London Boat Show in January so more visitors can sample all the delights that oysters have to offer.

Once the oyster tasting had finished it was over to the Burley Fudge stand to try some crumbly (crumbly is the best) fudge.  southampton boat show imagesThere were many flavours to chose from including chocolate (my absolute favourite), rum and raisin, strawberries and cream and good old clotted cream fudge.  After dessert, it was decided that lunch would not be complete without a drink so it was off to the Guinness Bar for refreshment and to meet up with some members from the site.  southampton boat show images


Always a good place to meet friends and make new ones, the Guinness Bar is a firm favourite with many a seasoned Southampton Boat Show visitor.

Suitably refreshed I had to make my annual visit to the GN Espace stand for a chat with Julian and Ralph.  Always at the forefront of galley equipment, I like to catch up with what is going on in the field of cooking on board.   GN Espace is now proud to be partners with the Wonderbag.  The Wonderbag is a heat-retentive cooking bag that can be used onboard to save gas used during cooking.  It’s a bit like a slow cooker.  Food is heated up in a pan on the southampton boat show imagesstove and then the pan is placed into the bag where it continues to cook without the need for additional energy.

Last of all but by no means least is a stand that always seems to have a presence at the Southampton Boat Show.  Latitude Kinsale is a family run business that specialises in unique handcrafted 3D nautical charts that are custom made to order.   Using selected charts from any part of the world, they create a relief 3D chart showing the depths and contours around the coastline.  They look terrific and would make a great gift idea for a birthday, wedding, anniversary, retirement or the “C” word!  Not only can they be hung on the wall they can be made into furniture.  Any chart can be chosen sosouthampton boat show images it could be where you live, sail or a special place where you have fond memories.

So all that remains is to tell you the dates for next years Southampton Boat Show 13th – 22nd September 2013.  Also take a look at our article entitled The Boat Show which gives you information on how to get to the Southampton Boat Show, where to park, where to eat and where to stay.  All from a local perspective.


The Boat Show

The Boat Show – Inside Local Knowledge

The Boat Show in question is the Southampton Boat Show.  The Boat Show is an annual event hosted by the vibrant port of Southampton in Hampshire, UK.  I live just 10 minutes from this wonderful city and would like to impart my local knowledge to the readers regarding the boat show, how to get to the Boat Show, where to stay, where to eat and the best places to park.

The Boat Show – Dates:

2021: 10 – 19  September 10:00 – 18:30

The Boat Show – Venue:

the boat show

The Boat Show incorporates 3 main areas, Mayflower Park, Herbert Walker Avenue, and West Quay Road.  Stairs and raised walkways carry visitors over the two roads and to each area of the Boat Show.  There is disabled access to each area if the stairs cannot be used.

Entrance to the show can be found in front of The Quays Swimming and Diving Complex.  For mapping purposes use –  SO15 1AJ this is the show entrance, but you cannot park here.  See below for details on where to park.

How to Get to the Boat Show


Southampton Central is the nearest mainline railway station to the Boat Show.  It is approximately 1 mile from the station to the Boat Show, but it is an easy, flat walk through shopping areas.  Alternatively, there are usually plenty of taxis waiting outside the station if you would prefer not to walk.

Trains from Waterloo, Portsmouth and Weymouth have direct lines through to Southampton Central.  If you are travelling from the West you can change at Salisbury and any Northern routes can change at London Waterloo, Basingstoke or Reading.  When leaving the station leave by the South entrance and turn left towards the pedestrian crossing just after the footbridge.  Cross over and follow the path ahead which runs up the side of ToysRus. Head across the car park towards Furniture Village and then walk around FV to the left towards JD Sport and Decathlon.  Walk around to the left of Decathlon and then follow the path ahead, past the car park entrance, until you see the entrance of the show.

Park and Ride

There no longer seems to be a park and ride scheme in operation for the boat show.


There is a National Express Coach Station between 1/2 and 3/4 of a mile from the Boat Show entrance.  The station address is National Express, Harbour Parade, Southampton, SO51.  See the map below for the location of the coach station.

the boat show


Southampton is easily accessible from both the M3 and M27.  The AA is very good at providing signage for the show and indeed their yellow signs are in place weeks before the event, so I won’t give you alternative directions for travel into the city, just head for junction 3 of the M27.


There are approximately 10,000 car parking spaces in Southampton but with approximately 100,000 visitors coming into the city to attend the Boat Show over the 10 days, some inside knowledge would be helpful.  If you can, try and park in one of the city council car parks.  Their prices are reasonable and they will not be increased during the duration of the show, unlike some of the privately-owned car parks in the city.  All the city council car parks are open for 24-hour stays and most charges apply from Monday to Saturday 08:30 – 17:30 and Sundays 12noon to 17:30, however, there are some exceptions so please check.

The city council car parks nearest to the Boat Show are:

The Quays South; Albion Place; Castle Way; Bargate Stree; Harbour Parade; The Quays North.

Southampton City Council has details of other city council car parks.

West Quay Shopping Centre car park is very close to the entrance and in my view is the best.  This is privately owned but doesn’t raise its prices and I’ve parked here a few times.  Currently, they are offering all-day parking for just £5.  It is, however, the main car park for the shops in the West Quay Shopping Centre so it can get very busy.

AVOID the NCP car parks, they have been known to raise their prices just for the 10 days of the Boat Show.

Parkopedia have a very good website detailing all the car parks and their charges.

Places to Stay

Living so close to Southampton I have not needed to stay overnight for the Boat Show.  However, along the West Quay Road in Southampton, just along from the Boat Show there are a great many hotels.  The best of all is the Devere Grand Harbour Hotel.  Within crawling distance of the Boat Show, this is the place to stay if you have money to burn!  Within a stone’s throw of the Boat Show, there is the Holiday Inn, and opposite the entrance a Premier Inn and a new Moxy hotel.  Further along West Quay Road, there are numerous cheaper hotels such as Novotel, Etap and Ibis.  I know all the hotels near to the Boat Show get booked up very quickly so you need to book well in advance and you may see a price hike too.  You could consider staying a little out of Southampton in one of the surrounding towns.  Romsey is a lovely market town with Broadlands Estate, home to Lord Mountbatten.  There are a few hostelries in the town namely The White Horse in the centre, and The Dairy, or The Mortimer Arms Inn a little further out.

Places to Eat

There are plenty of food outlets inside the Boat Show, and if you are planning to spend all day at the show then this will be your easiest option.  The organisers of the Boat Show, in their infinite wisdom, do not allow re-entry to the show.  Once you have left they did not allow to come back in.  The vast majority of the food outlet can be a little pricey but do try and find the Mayflower Park Kiosk.  This is a small cafe that usually serves the visitors to the park, but when the Boat Show comes to town the cafe is swallowed up inside the showground.  However, their prices remain reasonable and they do a roaring trade during the duration of the show. There is a small playground for young children too.  The cafe can be found over in the furthest section of the showground.  When you come down the last set of stairs and onto the tarmac turn left and head between the Beneteau and Jeanneau stands towards the food outlet area, walk just a little further on and you will see the cafe tucked away on the left next to the playground.

The Boat Show is very close (2 minutes walk) to the West Quay Shopping Centre in Southampton, 90 stores over 3 floors and a food terrace on the 3rd floor.  There is the new West Quay complex right next to the show with restaurants and a cinema.  So before or after visiting the show, you will have plenty of restaurants to pick from. West Quay is also near to the old city shops, so there is a wealth of eateries.  A cheap option would be the Ikea Restaurant.  You can’t miss the big blue and yellow building close to the Boat Show, and the restaurant is close to the main entrance so you don’t have to traipse around the store to reach it.  They have a fantastic view of Southampton Water and the Cinema!  My favourite is the John Lewis Cafe.  This is in the West Quay complex on the top floor and has a great view too, at least it did before Ikea popped up! Kuti’s is a pan Asian Thai restaurant located at the Royal Thai Pier (sandwiched between the showground and the Red Funnel ferry terminal).  This is a very popular place to eat so booking in advance is recommended.  One last place to try would be Ocean Village.  A 15-minute walk from the showground.  If the weather is good you can sit out here overlooking the marina.  Admire the many boats and watch all the watery activities.

I hope you have found this article helpful, please re-post for others to share.  Related articles: Southampton Boat Show 2013 – What’s new this year, Southampton Boat Show 2014 

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