The third North Wales Boat Show opened on Friday 30th July to three days of (occasional) sunshine and (frequent) heavy showers.

Although reducing the number of casual family visitors, the inclement weather didn’t dampen the spirit, or number, of core boating enthusiasts who gathered from all over the North West, and beyond, for the annual event at the Vaynol Estate near Bangor.

Officially opening the show, John Goode said that he spoke for all those in the marine industry who wished show organiser, Ben Sutcliffe, continued success in his endeavours to create a sustainable, affordable showcase for marine businesses that wanted to reach the massive number of people with an interest in boating who live both locally and in the wider, heavily populated catchment area of the North West and West Midlands.

He went on to praise Ben for single-handedly doing more to raise the profile of the Welsh marine sector than many other more well-funded boating organisations or government bodies, adding that he was proud to be associated with a hard grafter who genuinely puts the interest of others – not least his dedicated small workforce and supportive band of regular exhibitors – far above his own.

These sentiments were endorsed, both on & off the podium, by our very own publishing director of IPC Marine Media, Simon Owen; Laura Harrison of Sunseeker London; and Hayley James of the BMF’s On the Water campaign – whose behind the scenes support for this regional show also deserve to be recognised.
No doubt the unfortunate weather that reduced the final attendance to just over 8,500 put a strain on the finances of the organiser, but the ever-optimistic Mr Sutcliffe reported that his exhibitors – now increased to 123 with debuts by several significant UK marine companies – had no such need for concern. Following an end-of-show straw poll he said was delighted that they had sold more equipment, services and boats (including a Fairline Targa 38) than at the last two events combined, and that around half of the exhibitors have already committed to attending next year’s show.

Extremely satisfied first time exhibitor Sunseeker London, who brought a new Sunseeker Portofino 48 from Poole with the help of Transboat UK Ltd, made it accessible to all visitors at the show and announced a positive level of boat sale enquiries. Richard Tilley, senior sales broker at Sunseeker London is keen to exhibit again next year and showcase a selection of new and pre-owned Sunseeker boats. “We have been very impressed with the level of interest of locals and other visitors, including existing clients, from further afield.”