The 2018 London Boat Show closed on Sunday, attracting more than 52,000 visitors over the course of its shortened five-day run – a significant daily increase on attendance in 2017.
According to event organiser British Marine, the changes made to the show were a success amongst exhibitors and visitors alike, highlighting a renewed confidence in the future of the London show.
Many companies have already requested space for 2019, including Swallow Boats, Bayliner, Cobra Ribs, Compass Marine, Go Earth, Nfun Yachting UK and many more.
Significant interest has also been received from several companies that didn’t exhibit this year but would like a presence in 2019. Mastercraft Boats, for instance, now wants to exhibit at both the London and Southampton shows.
The 2018 London Boat Show offered a fantastic platform to launch 94 brand new products from 347 exhibitors. Eleven world debuts included the Princess V50, Hanse 348 and Rodman’s Spirit 42 Coupe, with the Sunseeker 76 offering visitors the chance to see the biggest boat at the show.
The show also provided more opportunities this year for visitors to get on the water for free – or learn and practice new skills on dry land. Powered by Rockley Watersports, the ‘chalk and talk’ sessions on the show’s new Beach Club gave visitors an insight into some of the latest watersports activities before trying them out on the Activity Pool.
Close to 500 people also enjoyed the wakeboarding experience located in the new Adventure Park.
A live programme of features continued at the Legends Theatre, presented by British Marine, with Sky Sports presenter Alec Wilkinson on hand to deliver a programme to a continually packed audience. Heroes across the sailing world who appeared on stage included Mike Golding, Dee Caffari, Alex Thompson, who also collected the prestigious YJA Yachtsman of the Year award at the show, and a joint appearance by female sailing icons Tracy Edwards MBE and Sam Davies.
HRH The Princess Royal gave the show a regal feel on the opening day as she toured the event and presented Hannah Stodel with the RYA Yachtmaster of the Year award.
Howard Pridding, British Marine CEO, says: “The 2018 London Boat Show has provided an essential platform to showcase the very best of the marine industry to a global audience. We’re delighted that the changes we have implemented have been such a success. Offering a new five-day format has allowed us to attract more new and first-time exhibitors than ever before.
“The atmosphere has been vibrant, and our new attractions gave everyone the chance to experience and interact with the show. With an average daily attendance of just over 10,000 we’ve enjoyed more concentrated crowds of visitors at the show than we’ve experienced for many years, particularly on the very busy Saturday.”
Howard concludes: “With the latest industry figures demonstrating a sixth continuous year of growth within the sector, this year’s show has continued along that terrific vein. We pay tribute to and thank our exhibitors who were the stars of the show.”