Multiple boats sales, sea trial requests and quality leads at the 2023 South Coast & Green Tech Boat Show have left exhibitors delighted, with over 90 per cent already signed up for next year’s show.
The show at MDL’s Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, which came to a close on Sunday 23 April, showcased its most impressive line-up of global power, sail and electric boating brands yet, as well as featuring an extensive selection of supporting products and services such as ancillary gear, finance and insurance.
“We’ve exhibited at the SCBS from the very beginning and each year it grows in stature,” says Chris Warwick form Universal Yachting, UK distributor for Dufour Yachts. “It’s a must do show for us and this year we were delighted to be able to bring our Dufour 32, 37, 430 and 470 to put on our largest display to date.
“Everyone we’ve spoken to commented on how they liked the relaxed feel of the show and how they were able to spend more time exploring the yachts in detail without the hustle and bustle of bigger shows.
“Buying a yacht is a big decision so it is important for us that the setting is convivial for a positive experience, and being able to spend quality time with potential owners in an on-water environment makes this show unique. We had a great show with huge interest which resulted in two sales and many more enquiries to follow up. We’ve booked again for next year and are already looking forward to it.”
Representing Beneteau Power and Sail, Lagoon and Protector Boats at the show, Ancasta’s Global Marketing Director, Will Blair, comments: “Despite the changeable weather, it was a genuinely good show. The majority of pre-booked appointments went ahead, and we also met many new customers resulting in a good number of sales, sea trials and ongoing conversations with people eager to get afloat this season.”
“As one of our home turf shows at the beginning of the season, it's always a great opportunity to show off our extensive inventory,” says Brett Sawyer of Approved Boats.
“We had eight boats on the water highlighting the Galeon 500 and 400 Fly accompanied with our latest and exciting brand of Aquila power catamarans which was well received, and we’ve taken many leads and a handful of offers throughout the show.
“We had a busy weekend with an improved footfall from last year. We’ve had good sales at every South Coast Boat Show we’ve participated in, and that trend continued this weekend.”
With sustainable boating no longer a separate conversation, the Green Tech Boat Show was incorporated into the show for the first time. Complete with a fascinating schedule of talks and presentations in the Innovation Hub, which included the Future of Boating Panel Discussion, this move proved very successful.
“It was great to attend this year’s Green Tech Boat Show at its new location in Ocean Village,” says Rory Trahair, Co-CEO of Vita Yachts and panel member.
“A few years ago, there would have been no electric boats on display. This weekend, five per cent of the boats were electric, and I have no doubt that this will increase considerably over the coming years as both commercial and recreational boat users realise the benefits, both environmental and financial, of transitioning to electrification.
“The installation of a new AQUA superPower charger in Ocean Village on the Friday of the show is testament to how far electric boating has come. Electric boating is not the future, it’s very much the present.”
Alasdair Marshall, Director of SE Yachts, adds: "A superbly organised show as always, with a good flow of people and a positive vibe. Combining the show with the Green Tech show was great as it meant we could talk more about the electric propulsion that we offer on the Arcona Yachts’ fleet. We've got some very strong leads, and some offers on the table from people we met with at the show, so we're delighted with how it went and look forward to 2024.”
RS Electric Boats also found the Green Tech Boat Show’s move to the central south coast location a positive one. CEO Jon Partridge comments: “The electric boating market has certainly moved on since the last Green Tech Boat Show in Plymouth in 2022, and bringing the show to Southampton has made it more accessible as well. Consequently, we’ve seen greater interest in the green tech side of things than ever before. It was a fantastic show for us, extremely positive, with a real international feel as we welcomed people from around the world and had many conversations leading to genuine opportunities.”
MDL’s Sales and Marketing Director, and show organiser, Tim Mayer, adds: “The South Coast & Green Tech Boat Show aims to provide a solid platform for brands and marine businesses to meet and present to the boat buying public. We’ve received fantastic feedback from exhibitors so far with many sales confirmed.
“The fact that 90 per cent of exhibitors have already pre-booked for next year speaks for itself, showing we’re really hitting the mark when it comes to creating the right event environment, and we intend to maintain the momentum in the years to come.”
A highlight of the three-day event, the Green Innovator Award was presented to winner ePropulsion in the Innovation Hub on Saturday 22 April. Voted for by the public, this is the second time ePropulsion has won the award which aims to distinguish products and services that are pioneering in sustainability, innovation and design.
“We are delighted to have won the Green Innovator Award for the second year in a row and to continue our participation and support for the Green Tech Boat Show,” says Steve Bruce, Managing Director of ePropulsion UK.
“This year we were very pleased to see many more exhibitors promoting a wide variety of products and solutions focused on improving the boating experience without causing harm to the water that we all want to enjoy.
“We hope the award will continue to encourage greater innovation in the leisure marine sector and see the show become the 'go to' UK event for the public to see and hear what is possible now and how best to implement those changes.”
The 2024 South Coast & Green Tech Boat Show will be held 19-21 April, to enable it to include the Ocean Globe Race prize giving, following the yachts’ return from the epic race which starts and finishes from MDL’s Ocean Village Marina.
The show will return to its original May dates in 2025. For more information about next year’s South Coast & Green Tech Boat Show keep an eye out here.