The London Boat, which ran from the 4th-12th of January at the ExCeL Centre, celebrated its diamond anniversary this year. With more than 400 exhibitors attracting 88,593 visitors, the show was a great success.
Despite visitor numbers being down from last year, sales were up, suggesting that the industry’s growth is returning to pre-recession levels. Some exhibitors have even reported record-breaking sales figures.
In addition to hosting exhibitors and stunning vessels on sale, the London Boat show offered much more. There was an interactive water sports pool that was very popular with the kids, launches of both products and initiatives as well as celebrity guests.
Of particular note, The Royal Yachting Association (RYA), the national body for leisure boating, launched new safety initiatives with the help of TV personality and sailor, Nick Knowles and Shipping Minster, Stephen Hammond MP. A key element of the plan is the issue of an annual Safety Advisory Notice – a clear, easily accessible digest of current, critical safety issues. This is the first safety awareness publication of its kind for the leisure boating community and will build on the RYA’s existing structure for offering advice on safety. The Notice will be circulated to a broad range of water users.
Other elements include the promotion of four key safety messages – look after yourself, have a plan, keep in touch, know your limits. These will feature on an updated safety page on the RYA’s website and will form part of an ongoing safety education campaign to its 100,000+ members and the wider boating public.
The RYA was not alone in launching new information and products to the public. Sunseeker, who operated a colossal exhibit showcasing and inviting visitors on board six yachts, found the London Boat Show the perfect place to unveil the latest addition to their product line.
The new Sunseeker 75 yacht was unveiled by James Corden and Robert Braithwaite, MD of Sunseeker. This stunning new yacht boasts three double suites, leather-wrapped cabinetry and wet bar on the rear deck.
Stewart McIntyre said: “This is Europe’s first Boat Show of 2014 and we can’t think of a better way of starting the year than debut this eagerly anticipated yacht and showcasing some of our latest models.”
While taking in the display’s details, we noticed that among the video clips playing at the entrance of the Sunseeker stand was one of James Bond in ‘The World is not Enough’ when he crashed a Sunseeker into Old Charing Cross Pier and the railings outside the Dome. It reminded us that back in 1999 Livett’s Launches worked with Eon Productions for 9 months to film that sequence!
The buzz surrounding the show mounted when Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history, drew crowds with his appearance alongside his J.P. Morgan BAR AC45.
Murray Ellis, managing director of National Boat Shows said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Sir Ben Ainslie and his catamaran to the 2014 London Boat Show.
Attendees relived the excitement and spirit of this year’s America’s Cup by getting up close to the four-time Olympic champion and his iconic catamaran.
Mr. Ainslie was not the only celebrity visitor to this year’s show. HRH The Princess Royal attended on January 8th to present the prestigious RYA’s Yachmaster of the Year 2013 award.
City banker Mr. Joseph Macdonald has proudly received his award for his thorough technical knowledge of sailing, his demonstration of sailing skills and his sheer enthusiasm and enjoyment for the sport.
Overall, the 2014 London Boat Show was an exciting, successful event. Organizers say that they were very pleased with results and exhibitor’s feedback and there will be much anticipation for 2015!