The 53rd Southampton International Boat Show drew to a close on Sunday 25 September 2022, with organisers, exhibitors, sponsors and visitors alike heralding the show a great success.
Boasting more exhibitors, debuts and boats than ever before, a total of 685 individual stands and berths covered the show’s 70,000+ square metre footprint. Over 650 craft were on display across the show, with some 300 boats berthed in the marina alone. The show also welcomed 126 new companies and hosted 167 UK and world debuts.
“There has been a fabulous atmosphere at this year’s show and the feedback we’ve received from exhibitors from across the industry has been exceptional, with many indicating very strong sales”, commented Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine.
“The show has put a real smile on everyone’s face with a fantastic mix of products, talks, entertainment and refreshments, plus our stunning new VIP experience. We’ve welcomed everyone from boating newbies to seasoned sailors and watersports enthusiasts and the wide choice of sailing yachts, motorboats, accessories, paddle boards, kayaks and services has been incredibly well-received.”
Set against the stunning backdrop of Europe’s largest purpose-build show marina, the show was bigger and better than ever before, providing the perfect setting for marine businesses to showcase the very best the industry has to offer.
With three days of national mourning and the closure of the show for one day as a mark of respect for Her Majesty, the show did see an expected impact on visitor numbers. In total it welcomed over 83,000 people to the show over nine days.
"Despite the sad circumstances of recent weeks, we are delighted to have welcomed so many people to the show and it is apparent that there continues to be is a real appetite for all things marine and people looking to find different ways to get out on the water”, commented Lesley.
Alongside craft of all shapes and sizes, from paddleboards and kayaks to towering superyachts, plus a whole host of products and services from engines and life rafts to clothing and rigging, the show places a real emphasis on giving people the opportunity to get out on the water and give it a try.
“Through our Get Afloat, Try-A-Boat and Try-A-Boat+ experiences we’ve hosted over 14,000 visitors on the water, trying everything from dinghy sailing, paddleboarding and kayaking to RIB rides, yacht cruising and motorboating. Visitors have also been able to get out on the water onboard a selection of fascinating and historic craft including the Morgenter tall ship, F8 landing craft, motor gun boat 81 and the high-speed launch 102.
“I would like to offer my thanks to Rockley Waterports, Flexisail and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for making the on the water experiences such a huge success,” Lesley added.
A new addition to the 2022 show was the brand-new Quayside Club VIP experience and it proved a hot ticket for many show visitors. With some of the very best seats in the show, the exclusive waterfront lounge delivered 5-star hospitality throughout the show.
“We have been delighted with how well the new VIP experience has been received at the show,” commented Lesley. “The food, atmosphere and hosting staff has been exceptional, and we hope that in future years even more visitors will take advantage of it and add a real touch of luxury to their visit.”
“With the feedback we receive from visitors and exhibitors our thoughts now turn to planning for next year and we look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2023.”