Just add water…The Southampton Boat Show is so much more than a flashy show of beautiful new boats- which there are plenty to see- and new gear, it is a real festival of all things water sport. In fact, this is the 50th year for the show. Happy anniversary Southampton Boat Show!
As many of you know, I love sailing and we are now a sailing family.
Also read: Our sailing family sailing adventures
However, I wasn’t brought up sailing. My dad hates even the thought of sailing, I get seasick very easily. Yet, at uni, when I had the chance to try this sport, I fell in love.
Once I embarked on adult life, I wanted to sail more, but didn’t quite know where to start. Life was busy, having a boat seemed so unattainable. I first visited the Southampton Boat show 20 years ago, then after made an effort to go every year. I was dreamer among all the boat owners, but, actually, there are many like me: curious about the sport, not having grown up with it in the family and looking for ways in.
Southampton is a prefect place to start exploring. You can try boats, talk to experts and meet amazing people.
The kids won’t be bored either. We had an awesome time a couple of years back when Hugo was 3 years old and Max just 3 months old.
Also read: The Southampton Boat Show with kids
Through the years we’ve come away from Southampton taking our own baby steps towards sailing more:
We joined the RYA (https://www.rya.org.uk ), got cracking subscription deals to sailing mags, tried dinghy sailing, Dadonthebrink signed up to an RYA day skipper course. I’ve been out on day sails with Sunsail for corporate events. After chatting to a fellow dreamer at one show, I joined a crew finder site, which led to a 5 month adventure of a lifetime sailing trip on the East Med. A sailmaker, I met at the show, talked me through some of the details to look out for when buying our own little sailing boat, Mariposa. (He even looked at rigging photos for me to point out any issues- there were none, thankfully). So, you see, Southampton holds special little space in my heart for helping keep my dream alive.
…and not everyone will end up sailors, some will be dinghy sailors, kayakers, SUPers, motorboaters. Some just having a fab day out. There is inspiration for everyone on how to get on the water, enjoy nature, our oceans, rivers and lakes that’s for sure.
New in Southampton for 2018
This year the Boat Show is catering for everyone from superyachts worth upto £10m to smaller and more affordable canoes, kayaks and paddleboards, which start at £300. Alongside bigger vessels are models from leading British dinghy specialists, RS Sailing and Hartley Boats, plus pleather of watersports brands.
The very latest lifeboats to join the RNLI fleet is on the water for visitors to explore. The charity’s B-class Atlantic 85 lifeboat is one of the fastest in the fleet.
Wonderful new attractions for 2018 include the Heart Stage, hosting musical acts and some special guest appearances.
On the University of Southampton’s expedition boat experts are at hand for the Science of the Sea Experience. Visitors can learn more about our blue planet.
The Boat Show also has its very own passenger boat, the Ocean Scene mini cruise, which takes hundreds of visitors on trips out on the Solent.
TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show takes place at Mayflower Park/Town Quay, Southampton from 14-23 September 2018.
Have you been to the Southampton Boat Show?
We are giving away a family ticket, to one of my lovely readers, just leave a comment of what you are most interested in. Leave a comment on Instagram and Facebook to increase your chances.
The draw will take place on Friday 21st September, 18:00, with random number generator. No cash alternative. The tickets allow entry for 3 adults and 2 children per adult.