Yachting Industry shows resilience at 2011 PSP Southampton Boat Show

One of Europe’s premier on-water boat shows, the 2011 PSP Southampton Boat ...

Yachting Industry shows resilience at 2011 PSP Southampton Boat Show

September 26, 2011

Written by Chelsea Smith

One of Europe’s premier on-water boat shows, the 2011 PSP Southampton Boat Show, drew to a successful conclusion on Sunday 25 September 2011.  The PSP Southampton Boat Show reinforced its reputation as an exceptional showcase for the UK leisure marine industry with over 111,017 visitors (9% fewer than 2010) attended the Show over the 10 days, keen to experience activities on and off the water. Encouraging sales were also reported despite the tough economic conditions.

Yachting Industry shows resilience at 2011 PSP Southampton Boat Show - Credit PSP South Hampton Boat Show OnEdition 2011

Yachting Industry shows resilience at 2011 PSP Southampton Boat Show - Credit PSP South Hampton Boat Show OnEdition 2011

Both the British Marine Federation (BMF) and its subsidiary National Boat Shows (NBS) are delighted with the success of the Show, which has brought visitors to the stands of over 580 exhibitors. The Show has again provided an excellent platform for the British leisure marine industry to display its quality and diversity. Exhibitors chose Southampton to host over 11 world product and boat launches and numerous UK launches and European debuts announced on Public Preview Day.  The Show also hosted the Minister for Business, Mark Prisk who launched the UK Marine strategy and the BMF has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to help the industry particularly with bank finance and in developing a better Supply Chain process.  All this demonstrates the importance of this Show, the benefits it offers and the effectiveness of the strategies adopted by many companies in managing current economic conditions.

Visitor feedback has also been very positive, which reflects that the Show offers the ideal mix of products, features and activities available to all.  2011 has seen an array of brand new attractions including the Great British Oyster Festival in association with The Shellfish Association of Great Britain, Michelin star celebrity Chef Shaun Rankin demonstrating in the Sea Kitchen Theatre and the impressive HMS Bulwark which welcomed almost 8,000 visitors aboard, along with Show favourite’s Try-A-Dive and Try-A-Boat.

“The Show looks tremendous and the Show’s attractions coupled with all the many boats, products and services on display offer visitors a great day out.  The arrival of HMS Bulwark on Thursday has added some additional excitement and another reason to visit.  Through Try-a-Boat, Get Afloat, the Platinum Experience with Princess and Suzuki’s RIB experience almost 10,000 people have enjoyed getting out on the water to have a go themselves, which all helps to introduce people to boating,” said Murray Ellis, Managing Director of National Boat Shows.

“The new elements to the Show, as well as great Show highlights, have left 2011 on a high in a time of continuing and extremely challenging economic conditions. The atmosphere and dedication by all those involved is unparalleled and something to certainly be proud of.”

David Pougher, Chairman of National Boat Shows added: “Business has been done here at the PSP Southampton Boat Show with steady sales across the range of boats, equipment and services on display.  While many exhibitors may not have broken any records, visitors have certainly been buying at a level to what they can afford. The marine industry is experiencing the same challenges as many other industries within the current climate and by providing the best possible platform the Show has given marine companies a much needed boost.

“Following the success of this year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show, we look forward to working towards an even more impressive Show in London from 6-15 January. The positive feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike gives us the drive to ensure the 2012 Tullett Prebon London Boat Show is an unmissable event and an excellent showcase for the UK leisure marine industry.”

Exhibitor comments

All types of business have been done.   Show sponsor and international boat transportation firm, PSP, has reported its best Show yet after a whirlwind week at the PSP Southampton Boat Show, having done a roaring trade with a high number of enquiries and has completely filled its vessel bound for the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.  Frank Dixie, PSP: This has been a great Show for PSP – in fact I think it’s our best Show yet.  Fourteen members from PSP’s Global Alliance attended the Show from around the world, providing an invaluable opportunity to exchange news and discuss new developments.”

Marco Marine has had a fantastic PSP Southampton Boat Show selling over £1 million worth of yachts.  Managing Director, Richard Poulson: “We sold six Dufour 375’s and one Dufour 405 to Neilson Active Holidays for their 2012 Mediterranean flotillas.”

Sebago has announced a 27% increase in sales compared to last year (at time of print) and expects this figure to rise to 40% by the end of the day (Sunday).  Adie Callaghan, European Marketing Manager for Sebago: “This is our 25th consecutive year with Sebago at PSP Southampton Boat Show and we are delighted with the visitors and sales we’ve had this week.  Not only has it been a great brand-building exercise to raise awareness among new customers, but we’ve exceeded our expectations in terms of sales on both apparel and footwear.

“The PSP Southampton Boat Show has cemented its position as a prominent show in the international boating calendar.  Sebago continues to consider the event as one of its most important marketing platforms of the year launching here our new Triwater range for Spring 2012.”

Chris Jeckells, Managing Director, Jeckells the Sailmakers: “Whilst the weather has not been too kind, and footfall has been down as a consequence, Jeckells the Sailmakers has had a reasonably good show and we have found that the quality of visitors to our stand has in general been good. It is of particular notice that people are buying from Jeckells as we are an established company and all our sails are manufactured in the UK. Our order book to date is not far off last year’s, and still with two days to go.”

Lester Abbott, owner of Southerly: “The weather could have been better but the Show has been fantastic.  It’s been a record Show for us and we are very happy.”

Ralph Olingschlaeger, GN Espace: “Best Show ever.”

ABC Marine chose the Show to launch its new range of Smartliner fishing boats and it’s proved to be the ideal platform having five confirmed orders and numerous demonstrations arranged for their demo week following the Show.  Paul Johnson of ABC Marine: “The level of interest in the range has surprised even us and we were always expecting a good response.”

David Morris of Elan UK: “We had a great location outside the Holiday Inn for the 210, which is going down a storm.”

Mark Payne, Marine Eyewear Company: “2011 has been a great Show.  It has been very well advertised and promoted; I have seen it on TV many times.  The infrastructure and the people who run it are top class.”


•The 2011 PSP Southampton Boat Show was opened by the prestigious  1st Batallion Coldstream Guards Corps of Drums

•The Great British Oyster Festival in association with The Shellfish Association of Great Britain, the first in the UK to offer visitors the opportunity to taste different varieties of oysters

•Celebrity chef, Shaun Rankin, cooked up a storm in the Sea Kitchen Theatre carrying out live demonstrations in a schedule of hard-to-resist gastronomical treats

• Just under 8,000 visitors enjoyed a tour of the impressive HMS Bulwark, the UK’s newest class of amphibious assault warship

•President of the RYA, HRH The Princess Royal crowned Mike Golding’s IMOCA 60 Gamesa and presented The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the Ocean Youth Trust

•Ladies Day on Thursday was a great success and helped raise funds for The Rose Road Association. The ‘Best Dressed Lady’ competition with the Southern Daily Echo was popular among visitors as was Ladies Day ambassador Shelley Jory-Leigh; business woman, British Power Boat Champion, BBC Radio Presenter and Newspaper Columnist

•Business Minister Mark Prisk met marine companies and toured the Show before launching the Marine Industries Growth Strategy

•Angela Knight, Chief Executive of the British Banking Association listened to concerns from marine companies and provided advice on accessing credit and dealing with banks

The 2012 Tullett Prebon London Boat Show runs from 6-15 January 2011 at ExCeL London.

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