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 are 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 any NCP car park 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

sailing dating

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 make a short break and visit the Isle of Wight too, capital of sailing.

“In Southampton you’ve got 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 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 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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Ensign Etiquette

Ensign Etiquette UK

Ensign etiquette derives from UK flag etiquette.  It is a combination of law or ‘what you must do’ and maritime tradition i.e. expectations of behaviour within the sea-faring community.  On a vessel the most senior position for a flag is reserved for the Ensign – this is as close to the stern of the vessel as possible.  It is the largest flag and it indicates the vessel’s nationality.

In British maritime law an ensign is to be flown to designate a British vessel, either military or civilian. The ‘red duster’ or Red Ensign has been in use for British civil and merchant shipping since 1707.  It is a red flag with the Union Flag in the upper left area (next to the staff) known as a canton.

ensign etiquette

Prior to conventions being adopted a variety of different coloured ensigns with varying designs existed for England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, as well as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and many other dependencies. In the U.K. a White Ensign is flown by Royal Naval ships.

ensign etiquette

A Blue Ensign is flown from various other military boats, affiliated clubs or official boats.  Additionally, permission is given for some ensigns to be ‘defaced’ with emblems on the right hand side of the Ensign, this area is known as the ‘fly’.

ensign etiquette

Maritime heritage prevents the use of the Union Flag (primarily a land flag) as an ensign on civilian craft – only military craft may do so and there are detailed rules and conventions about when this might be.  In the 17th Century Charles I ordered the Union Flag to be restricted to His Majesty’s ships “upon pain of Our high displeasure”.  This was because merchant mariners used to display it nefariously to avoid paying harbour duties by passing themselves off as Royal vessels.

A UK registered vessel should wear the national maritime flag, the Red Ensign, unless entitled to wear a special ensign.  Wearing anything other than an authorised ensign is a violation of British and International Law. A UK flagged vessel must wear her ensign as required by the Merchant Shipping Act, this includes when entering or leaving a foreign port and on demand. It is recommended that the Ensign is worn at all times in daylight, especially when near to or in sight of land or another vessel.  In port it is a tradition that the Ensign is taken down at sunset and raised at 0800 hours the next morning.  These originally naval traditions are still accompanied by the respective ceremony of ‘sunset’ and ‘colours’.

A courtesy flag (or courtesy ensign) is flown by a visiting ship in foreign waters as a token of respect.  A courtesy flag is often a small (i.e. smaller than the ship’s own national ensign) national maritime flag of the host country.  Most countries use their national flag at sea and it is therefore not uncommon to see a foreign visitor flying a Union Jack as a courtesy flag when visiting UK waters.  This is wrong; the correct flag is always a Red Ensign.  There is no legal requirement to fly an alternative courtesy flag; it is a courtesy that acknowledges that the vessel will respect the laws and sovereignty of that country.  However, if one is not flown or it is tatty or faded, it may cause grave offence and in some countries can lead to a fine.  A courtesy flag is customarily worn at the foremasthead of multi-masted vessels, the dockside yardarm or crosstree of the mast of single-masted vessels, while the house flag would be outboard.  It may be flown from the jackstaff of vessels without masts.


Copyright Cap’n Redders (Ian Redwood 5th January 2017)



1. “British Ensign”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 31 December 2016. Web 05 January 2017.
2. “Maritime Flag”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 January 2017. Web 05 January 2017.
3. “Flag Etiquette”. Royal Yachting Association website Web 05 January 2017.

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London Boat Show 2016

London Boat Show 2016 London ExCeL

The London Boat Show 2016 is about to sail into London’s ExCeL this week.  Starting on Friday 8th January (preview day) and running through until Sunday 17th January, the boat show aims to remind us of the longer warmer days just around the corner and what’s new in the marine industry today.  Visitors to the boat show this weekend (9th and 10th January) also have the added bonus of being allowed entry to the Telegraph Travel Show and the Telegraph Cruise Show included in their ticket.

Of particular interest to Downton Abbey fans will be a visit from Robert, Earl of Granthan himself.  Actor Hugh Bonneville who plays the Earl in the long running series will be opening the Sunseeker stand on Friday 8th January. He said: “I am really delighted to be joining Sunseeker to celebrate the opening of their stand at the London Boat Show; particularly with the momentous launch of its 131 Yacht.”  The 131 yacht is the largest ever Sunseeker vessel to make its debut at the London Boat Show.

london boat show 2016

New to the London Boat Show 2016 is Mediterranean Bay, a purpose build pool which will be the focal point for instructional tuition with sailing schools.  On offer will be a variety of on water seminars looking at, amongst other things, boat handling, sail reefing and capsize drill.

Not to be missed by the traditionalists is SB Melissa.  Built in 1899 SB Melissa was a commercial sailing bardge operationg out of Essex.  In 1975 she was converted into a house boat, but has now been lovingly restored into the beautiful sailing bardge she once was.

london boat show 2016

Tickets for the London Boat Show 2016 can be bought online from the official London Boat Show site.  At the time of going to press cheaper tickets are on sale for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, so you can bag a bargain.


Auckland Regatta 2015

Auckland Regatta 2015

The Auckland Regatta 2015, which began in 2008, is organised by both the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. The 2015 event, that lasts three days, will take place from the 20th of March to the 22nd of March in the waters around this New Zealand city.

Auckland’s Top Yachting Event

Billed as the leading yachting event in Auckland, the regatta has been “designed by sailors, for sailors” and the Auckland Regatta Trust runs the event. Among the types of racing at the Auckland Regatta 2015 will be windward-leeward sprinting and vessels competing on harbour courses of greater length.

On the day before the event starts registrations and a briefing will take place. There will a regatta party on the 21st of March, and prizes will be handed out from 5pm on the final day. The Ross 930 Squid Vicious was the first entry for the 2015 regatta, while, in the Multihull Division, Charleston was the first entry this year.

The Sailing Divisions At The Auckland Regatta

Among the sailing divisions being incorporated at the Auckland Regatta 2015 will be A, B, C and D Divisions, an IRC Division, Open and 8.5 Multihull Divisions, Farr-related Divisions, including MRX Pacific Keelboat Challenge and an 1020 Division. There will be Passage Divisions at the regatta for non spinnaker and spinnaker, a Sports Boat Division and Ross 930 and Young 88 Divisions.

There will be a race a day in the Passage Division, with the first day seeing a shorter race than the next two days. The event’s Friday race will take place from 3pm over a harbour course. The Auckland Regatta 2015 aims to get the most out of harbour racing, and a new passage racing division has been introduced as a result.

The Pacific Keelboat Challenge

One of the most eagerly anticipated events at the Auckland Regatta 2015 will be the Pacific Keelboat Challenge. This event will feature four teams from Australia, and one from New Caledonia. There will be 10 top yacht clubs taking part in the Challenge, with the winning crew being handed the Pacific Keelboat Challenge Trophy.

Auckland Regatta 2015

Related Articles: Bay of Island Sailing Week 2015

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 be 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 villians 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

Cowes Week 2014

Cowes Week 2014

Cowes Week 2014, which takes place August 2 to August 9, promises to be spectacular, with many exciting events planned. The event kicks off on Saturday with a performance by The Blades Aerobatic Display Team, and throughout the day there is a variety of musical entertainment, as well as endless options for food and drink. Sunday is Family Day, with a choice of kids’ activities, including flag making and face painting, just to name a few. In the evening enjoy a screening of The Goonies at the outdoor cinema. Special family tickets are available. An unusual on-going event this year is the Boss Up a Mast fundraiser, where you can nominate your boss to be harnessed atop a mast, until a certain amount of money is raised for the event’s charity, UKSA. Thursday is Ladies’ Day, celebrating the participation and success of women in sailing, and sports in general. A ladies’ lunch will be held, as well as presentation of prizes to female sailors throughout the day. In the evening, the Ladies’ Trophy will presented at a VIP drinks reception. Exhibition racing commences, and the event concludes Friday with a performance by the RAF Red Arrows. Of course, the grand finale is the fireworks display, which has been a tradition since the very early days.

Cowes Week is the longest-running regatta in the world, held annually on the Solent, a strait which separates mainland England from the Isle of Wight. Started in 1826, it now involves up to 1000 competitors participating in some 40 different races. Anyone, from Olympic champions to first-time sailors is welcome to participate, which is sure to provide plenty of entertainment for spectators

Shoreside Activities

There are plenty of great spots to view the action on the water, but there are lots of other possibilities on shore as well. Stroll through the town and explore galleries and boutiques; or take a break in one of the many pubs and restaurants and just soak up the atmosphere.

On the Water

If you want to be closer to the action, there a number of options, from family-friendly spectator boats to luxury charters, with food and drink provided.

Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a first-time spectator, Cowes Week 2014 is sure to leave with memories to last a lifetime, or at least until next year’s event!

cowes week 2014

Related Articles: Images of Cowes Week; Cowes Week 2013; Cowes Week Sailing Regatta

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 the Saturday, and the highest visitor attendance of the week, to high winds and torrential rain on the 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 show ground.  One of my particular favourites was the Sea Kitchen Theatre at the Southampton Boat Show.  Fabulous talks on all manner of subject 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.  Lets 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 are now proud to be partners with the Wonderbag.  The Wonderbag is a heat-retentive cooking bag that can be used on board 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 specialise 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:

2014: 11 – 20  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 use.

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

Premier Marinas usually run a park and ride service from their Swanwick Marina.  You leave your car at the marina and they will take you by bus to the boat show.  Swanwick Marina is about 6 miles from the Boat Show which is approximately a 20 minute ride.  The drop off point is only a short distance from the boat show entrance.  This year they were offering a park and ride ticket which includes entrance to the show for a reduced rate.


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 are 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 have details of other city council car parks.

The Podium car park is very close to the entrance.  This is privately owned but doesn’t raise it’s 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, at all costs, the NCP car parks, they do 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.

Park and Ride

Premier Marinas operate a park and ride service from their Swanwick Marina.  Park your car at the marina, which is about 6 miles from the show, and they will coach you to Southampton.  The drop off point is a few hundred metres from the show entrance.  You can buy a ticket to park and it will include entrance to the show.  The coach ride will take approximately 20 minutes.

 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!  In the confines of the Boat Show there is the Holiday Inn, and further down 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 hostalries  in the town namely The White Horse, Berties Restaurant, both 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.  Last year you could not come and go from the Boat Show.  Once you left  they did not allow to re-entry  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 show ground.  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 show ground.  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.  So before or after visiting the show you will have plenty of restaurants to pick from.  West Quay is also near to the original town 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 trapse 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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A Sailing Artist – Seascapes

It never ceases to amaze me when I realise the talented members that I have on the Lovesail site. Brendan Chandler is one such member.  Here is a little piece about this sailing artist and a gallery of his wonderful seascapes.

I began sailing as a boy about 50 years ago in Cork. After a career in The City, I began ocean sailing 12 years ago, and now a sailing artist. 

I have always been fascinated by the sea and whilst living on a yacht in the North Atlantic my fascination kept growing. I now have a second career, delivering sailing yachts on ocean passages and spend months each year at sea, studying the sea, waves, their colours shapes and sizes all of which change from minute to minute.

As a Buddhist, I am conscious of and frequently meditate on the impermanance of everything and watching the sea hour after hour is a reminder of impermanance and the source of my obsession with waves and my attempts to capture the changing forms and colour.

The Buddha said ‘Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form’ and when I look at the ocean which combines emptiness and form I am awed by the emptiness of the oceans and have tried to capture this in some of my paintings.

I have never had the good fortune to study painting or art until my obsession led me to approach Jeremy Rugge-Price, a wonderful Suffolk sailing artist, an ex-mariner who is also obsessed by the sea, last year. He seems to have adopted me as a student and we spend hours discussing the sea and waves as he teaches me how to capture the essence of the waves.

My friend, the artist and art teacher Brigett Hill taught me what she considered some of the basics of painting.

The artist Megan Anderson sailed with me from the Azores to the UK this year and we spent many hours observing and discussing the sea, the waves and the colours of sea and sky. After our safe arrival in UK, despite ‘blowing out’ the mainsail we spent some days in the 15th century Scottish castle she lives in teaching me the art of ‘glazing’.

Recently I began to paint what I thought would be a series of 4 paintings depicting the same area of sea in each of the seasons. So far I have completed 6 in with seas in green, blue, turquoise, silver, orange. Four of the series are on display here and I have come to realise that each of these could be painted with a variety of skies and with an infinite number of sea states so it seems that I have enough subjects to keep me painting seas for several lifetimes.

I hope you enjoy my efforts.


Many thanks to Brendan for allowing us to reproduce his fantastic work.  If you have a talent that you would like to showcase on the blog, them please get in contact with me via the contact page found at the bottom of the Lovesail Homepage.


sailing artist