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  1. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    N Kent Coast
    Posts
    3,953

    Default Re: London Boat Show

    Quote Originally Posted by flaming View Post
    To see what I mean, this year there were 2 separate theatres giving talks. See if you can find one post on here references any content.
    In the past I found it a struggle to get to any of the talks as there was so much to see. This year I was determined to see Tom - his talk was packed out. Managed to get a few minutes of a couple more and wished I had seen more of both of them. The 'marine jobs' talk seemed to focus on shipping, and i found the scope too narrow. PBO talks most enjoyable.

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Sail on the Medway, Kent from Chatham Maritime Marina
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: London Boat Show

    This year I decided not to go to the show, despite being able to get in for free. Why?

    I first went to the Excel show about 7 years ago. It covered both halls and there was a marina outside. It has continually got smaller every year. In the days of Earls Court in the 1960's and 1970's it was the place to go for anything to do with boats. Southampton was the smaller show, at the wrong time of year. These rolls have now reversed.

    At shows looking at new boats is a draw for many, but I rarely bother looking as I am happy with my boat. Chatting with major suppliers of engines, masts, sails and electronics for advice is a wonderful opportunity. Never been to any of the "special events" or celebrity appearances. Chartering does not appeal. Chandlers and small suppliers are the stands I spend most time at.

    So what at the reduced London show was going to make me go? Over the past few years I have bought new sails, some electronics, an inflatable with outboard, oilskins, life jackets, foot ware, etc. So what else could I buy? The only major thing left to change is the cooker, but I know which one I want to buy. So there was no need to go. Last year I was in the show for 3½ hours, this year would probably have been under 2 hours.

    This show was also reduced in the number of days it was open. The cost of getting boats and equipment there and setting stands up, costs a lot of money, but for reduced selling days. If the perception is a shrinking show, this has less appeal for exhibitors. Less exhibitors means less attendance.

    Do I think the London show has a future? Not really. Possibly as an exclusive motor boat show. This may be the future of many shows, a direct split into shows for yachts or motor boats, but not both. Even the site of the Southampton show is not really large enough. So may be a completely new venue should be sought.
    If my foresight was as good as my hindsight, I would be a multi-millionaire.

  3. #53
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    London
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: London Boat Show

    Had a good time - and turned the event as an excuse to have a weekend away with my partner Shiela (AKA Bow Lady) and met with Andy a mate of mine and a show virgin. We found a few things: Narrow Boating might be a nice holiday for some, but if you are built like Andy and I are then having to squeeze down the interior sideways on to fit through what count for doorways would not work for us. We moved on to Richardson's Boating Holiday's offering where we felt more at home - though I still think the boat either has one too many toilet/showers or steps - the saloon area seems a bit cramped compared to the overall size of the boat being 45ft long but the materials were top quality and it was great not having to take out shoes off to look at it!

    Alan and Dave were spotted (friends of mine) and Alan who works for Kent based company dealing with all things upholstery and will be likely making my new seat covers and curtains so that was handy to bump into. Had a good chat with them about things and Independence being brought up to the Norfolk and so on, I think they both cringed at some of the things I have taken a risk with and await to find out like the fact this Saturday will be the first time the boat will have left her berth and out for trials. Also met several people who have watched the videos I have made and recognised me and even got bought a pint at the 'pop up pub' too which was nice.

    We wandered off and found ourselves on a Viking 27 - Andy thought I was joking about the double berth on the floor and having to crawl in through a curtain, again that was taken off the list of 'accessible boats' for us so what about some of the Sailing Yachts? Well we had a look on one that was £205,000 and I got to say you get a lot of boat for your money. Sleeping six people in three cabins (8 if used the dinette area) she was fitted out very well - great uses of space and. Andy use the 'Gorilla Test' to see how substantial the coach house roofs were from below pushing up to see if there was any flex - there was none so moved on to glass thickness testing in ports and concluded it looked good but he might want something more substantial for an Atlantic crossing and felt it would be better for the Med and sailing abound Croatia in.

    Next it was off to Prestige - join the queue and wait..and wait. Shiela heads off to be sensible and sit down in a comfy leather chair and then proceeds to film Andy and I. Myself dressed like, and acting very much as one of their salesmen as I explain the aft layout of the boat to anyone who would listen.



    A couple were hurriedly brought past the queue - they had expressed interest in buying but was a shame their financial affairs were discussed a bit too openly in front of everyone - they leased a boat and wanted to sell and lease the Prestige. At this point we were asked to board and Andy was up to the fly bridge like a bat out of hell with me behind - the steps took our weights and a top were four Chinese people, two men and two women "I want to buy it now" says a lady, shocked the salesman who had not expected this explains it was sold "get another then how long" asked the woman - clearly this is where the money is, no messing about with 'English polite business talk' and I liked her style always nice to see different cultures, and types of punter getting new boats it was a shame they were having to wait and be pushed to one side a little later while the English couple who wanted to lease were given the full 'gold service' treatment.

    Andy and I descended into the boat - ahh those interior steps down to the forward cabin were bending just a little to much for my liking under our weight - and while serious conversations about buying the boat were had just outside, there we are in the shower cubicle trying to get the damn thing worked out - you sort of have to unfold persepx screens in an ordder around you this duly done he could not figure out what order one has to fold them back to get out - I stood by and took a photo but he got out in the end.
    Imagshower.jpg
    Seriously the boat just felt 'cheap' inside even though it was not. It was like how a car manufacture cheaps out with a plastic choice and feel for switch gear - so the wood felt for all the world as if it was covered with a pretend veneer akin to the strips you iron on over the ends of your counter worktop. We then headed over to SeaLine - and were both surprised at the fit and finish compared to he far more expensive and larger Prestige we had just been on. It might not be to everyone's taste since everything was a super lacquered wood veneer's but it felt better, drawers and cupboards had weight and a quality feel about their closures too. Touch control light switches where you can set the mood - all good stuff and well done SeaLine.

    After this we had a wander at the small stuff and I found Williams' had a stand and Shiela was very surprised at their 285 Jet RIB - this being what I have atop Independence - she thought the Dinghy was just an inflatable with a couple of Oars but is now keen in the summer months to give this a whirl. In summary though I had wished to spend the time in the stands - you know everything from Fenders to Nav lights, and then on to the larger stands from Raymarine, Garmin etc to try out their tech. I was left a little disappointed.

    The larger stands were smaller than last year and I just felt there was a little less on offer for the actual boat owner keen to look and buy new kit. I popped over to Raymarine and had a play with their new Axiom displays, and talked to someone on the stand about things - who put down Simrad and Garmin saying he was a supplier and did not work for Raymarine but would not be on Raymarine's stand if they were not the best but since he also did not supply Simrad or Garmin products so that was not very impartial. In fact I came back later for a second try. I wanted to talk about their new systems and was in the market for a complete suite of new navigation products from Radar to at least two large Multi Function Displays, new VHF, new Sonar, Auto Pilot - the lot. I knew inside and out the Simrad offerings having spent hours researching them so wanted to compare what Raymarine offered maybe they could sway me?

    I find that generally those I had spoken to prefer someone who is perhaps unsure about what is on offer in the market but has an idea of what they want this way the salesman can show off their products and tell the prospective customer how great they are. I get it. But I asked about the VHF radios they made - did they have one that could have a wireless handset like Simrad offer? No they do not I told. That is fine then, but having asked that I was then asked "why would you want that anyway?" I replied so you can wander around the boat with it from helm to helm with no need for wires so only need one VHF set with multiple connected handsets. His body language changed in a flash. Maybe it was because I was telling them things I am not sure. Garmin were cool people to deal with, but I just don't like their touch only panels - I like to have some physical buttons and a rotary selector.

    I also talked to a supplier of mooring lines who has advised I could go with 18mm braided lines and could 'do a deal' because of the quantity I would be ordering so have his card - so it was productive in some ways, but not in all. Oh and those log cabin people I always laughed at - my mum wants one as a studio to write from so they proved handy to talk to - poor Shiela was tired of the walking around mind you and so we headed back to our hotel. Later that evening I contacted a fellow You Tuber who produces boating videos who had been down at the show (but who had not seen) and he was still in London, so Shiela and I headed over to his hotel, picked him up and then got the Emirates Cable Car over to the O2 where we had a chat and a drink and so overall was a good weekend to make some contacts, look at some boating stuff but alas I think so far as being a place to go spend money it left me wanting and was surprised at the lack of representation from companies who had exhibited in 2016/2017.
    Last edited by londonrascal; Yesterday at 23:34.

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    890

    Default Re: London Boat Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    Can anyone explain the relevance of the electronically operated grand pianos to boaters? And a Helicopter? Not to mention seven grand tree trunk table (Marked down to £5k) which must have weighed a load... Garden "huts"?
    Helicopter could be on your boat if you have a big one, as could the piano. The tree trunk and other similar things just fill the gaps because so many people keep moaning about the show and discouraging people from going that some of the boat companies do not now attend.

    Are you suggesting that there were not many boats and boaty things at the show.

    My wife liked the tree trunk and other similar things

    Dennis
    Only ever look down on a person when you are bending over to help them up.

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    890

    Default Re: London Boat Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
    This year I decided not to go to the show, despite being able to get in for free. Why?

    I first went to the Excel show about 7 years ago. It covered both halls and there was a marina outside. It has continually got smaller every year. In the days of Earls Court in the 1960's and 1970's it was the place to go for anything to do with boats. Southampton was the smaller show, at the wrong time of year. These rolls have now reversed.

    At shows looking at new boats is a draw for many, but I rarely bother looking as I am happy with my boat. Chatting with major suppliers of engines, masts, sails and electronics for advice is a wonderful opportunity. Never been to any of the "special events" or celebrity appearances. Chartering does not appeal. Chandlers and small suppliers are the stands I spend most time at.

    So what at the reduced London show was going to make me go? Over the past few years I have bought new sails, some electronics, an inflatable with outboard, oilskins, life jackets, foot ware, etc. So what else could I buy? The only major thing left to change is the cooker, but I know which one I want to buy. So there was no need to go. Last year I was in the show for 3½ hours, this year would probably have been under 2 hours.

    This show was also reduced in the number of days it was open. The cost of getting boats and equipment there and setting stands up, costs a lot of money, but for reduced selling days. If the perception is a shrinking show, this has less appeal for exhibitors. Less exhibitors means less attendance.

    Do I think the London show has a future? Not really. Possibly as an exclusive motor boat show. This may be the future of many shows, a direct split into shows for yachts or motor boats, but not both. Even the site of the Southampton show is not really large enough. So may be a completely new venue should be sought.
    I wonder if you thought about and analysed going to the show too much. Me and my wife just go along for a day out in dull horrible January and we had a good day out. Overthinking things is not my way
    Only ever look down on a person when you are bending over to help them up.

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Fambridge
    Posts
    10,427

    Default Re: London Boat Show

    OK, dispassionate analysis

    If you fancy a day out and you get free / cheap tickets and you haven't got to travel a long way to get there, it's a pleasant day out

    If you want to buy a RIB, sports cruiser etc. it's not a bad place to look at options

    If you're in the market for electronic gear for boats, it's still OK but not as good as (say) Southampton

    If you want to look at a decent range of gear for yachts and sailors, however, it is seriously lacking in quantity and quality of stands

    PS. I like the return of the inland waterways section and especially liked the return of the "canalside" pub mainly because it sold proper beer! (I'm not going to criticise the quality of the pint of Doombar, which wasn't great, as it was the last afternoon of the show and clearly, or not so clearly in fact, the bottom of the barrel).We were especially tickled by the authentic leaking lock gates on the inland waterways display!

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    1,746

    Default Re: London Boat Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Bru View Post
    We were especially tickled by the authentic leaking lock gates on the inland waterways display!
    +1, and the sunken one

    As said above, it's a good day out in January when there's not much else going on.
    Probably wouldn't bother if I wasn't relatively close, sharing the travel costs with a friend and had free tickets.
    Didn't buy anything, or even look at a great deal of stuff, but nice to spend a day around boats, boaty things and boaty people

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