Poole based marine specialists, Coleman Insurance Brokers are ever-present at the YachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show and have reported back on the feeling of confidence and significant positivity that is being felt by many of their clients and exhibitors within the marine sector.
The Southampton Boat Show boasts a reputation as a world class event and is the UK’s biggest festival of boating, celebrating the fun and lifestyle that being on the water has to offer. It takes place from Friday 15th September until Sunday 25th September and is currently in its 49th year.
Yacht & Commercial Craft Development Executive Tony Pauffley attends many of the leading Boat Shows in Europe but advised that Southampton is one of his favourites and an important event in the boating calendar.  Tony commented, “It’s a brilliant event to network at and to reconnect with many of our marine clients and industry contacts. It’s always incredibly interesting to chat with everyone about the marine market and issues and opportunities that are out there.”
‘Full order books and limited brokerage boat stock…’
Tony continued, “Many exhibitors are currently brimming with confidence and there is much buoyancy in the market– something that we could not have predicted when looking ahead at the end of 2016 in to 2017.  The uncertainty that has been felt in the wider economy, post Brexit, hasn’t translated in to the mood that is now being felt in the marine industry. The only caution looking forward is whether customers will be prepared to wait on the long order times that have arisen due to full order books and a lack of brokerage boat stock.”
Sunseeker – ‘the most successful year since the recession’
Sunseeker chose the Southampton Boat Show as the venue to launch their new Predator 57 Mark 11 and 76 Yacht.  Spencer Brown, Sales Director for Sunseeker Poole Ltd proudly advised, “We’ve had the most exciting and successful year since the recession.  We are achieving great levels of success due to our current model range and its appeal to buyers.  Of particular note is our family of Flybridge models.
“Both new and brokerage markets have been very alive in 2017 and this year has seen many satisfied customers and sales successes.  The Predator 57 Mark 11 has definitely revived interest in what has always been a very successful model, giving it a fresh aesthetic appearance – it’s now got much bigger windows in the saloon area of the boat and superior interior styling.  It’s certainly got the wow factor!”
Spencer added, “We’re now moving in to 2018 sales production and looking to achieve great local sales, as well as abroad. We will be looking forward to the launch of the Predator 50 in mid-2018 and predict that this boat will have much appeal for UK boaters.”
The Boat Club – ‘hassle-free alternative to boat ownership’
The Boat Club, based in Lilliput, Poole and Antibes in France was present at the Boat Show for the first time in its 4 year history.  MD and founder Chris White advised, “It’s great to be here and to be chatting to visitors and potential clients and getting our name out there.  The Boat Club is a hassle- free alternative to boat ownership and a brilliant solution to lose the associated costs of boating, allowing you to enjoy unlimited access to a fleet of 10 boats.
“The Boat Club membership gives our clients use of our online booking system and allows users to book up to 4 sessions in advance and re-book as sessions are used, with unlimited re-bookings available. We have boats for every occasion…whether you want to cruise up the River Frome to Wareham or take a blast over the bay to the Isle of Wight. Members simply book their boat, turn up on the pontoon and they’re ready to go.  Extras, such as paddle boards or a luxury Rick Stein picnic package can also be booked.
“At the Boat Show we’re offering an incredible 75% exclusive discount to new members and this is obviously grabbing much attention with visitors.  We’ve already signed 5 new members, just 5 days in to the Show, it’s great!”
Dorset Cruises – luxury charter and artisan gin cruises!
Dorset Cruises who are based in Poole Quay with their vintage 1938 motor yacht were at the Boat Show promoting their ‘luxury charter and experiential events company’. Of particular interest to Boat Show visitors were their artisan gin tasting cruises which give people the opportunity to come on board and experience local artisan gins, such as Lilliput, Conker and Twisted Nose Gins.
Dorset Cruises Events Manager Jade Alcock enthused, “It’s great to be here spreading the word about our unique yacht and upcoming events.”
Beds on Board – ‘announcing exciting new partnership with MDL Marinas’
Lymington based online company Beds on Board is often referred to as the air b and b for boats. Co-Founder and CEO Jason Ludlow commented, “We’ve used the Southampton Boat Show as an opportunity to launch our new partnership with MDL Marinas who are also here exhibiting. Our new partnership provides MDL members with a safe and easy way to rent out their boats to overnight guests, without being disruptive to the marina environment and gives them a managed solution for renting their boats on bedsonbaord.com.
“Beds on Board was set up in 2015 in response to accommodation demand and figures that showed that the majority of boats were unused up to 95% of the time.  Since then it’s seen boats listed in over 80 countries, with tens of thousands of new people being introduced to the marine industry and thousands of owners offsetting their annual berthing costs.”
Jason concluded, “All boat shows are good for our business and provide excellent opportunities to network with other businesses.  The Southampton Boat Show is always busier than the London Boat Show with much more going on and it’s great to see boats on the water. It’s exciting times for Beds on Board…
Bang & Olufsen – ‘seeking out the brand’
Kevin Dawson of Bournemouth based Dawsons Bang & Olufsen advised, “Footfall is slightly down for us this year, the rain hasn’t helped.  However, we’ve had a good show so far – I’ve had a really good meeting with Princess who I’m looking to develop an ongoing relationship with and supplying Bang & Olufsen to their M Class Yachts.  The Show is fantastic for networking, making connections with the marine industry but also connecting with residential customers who have sought out the brand.”
Azimut Yachts – ‘increasing our footprint in the UK market…’
Azimut Yachts have their UK base in Hamble. Sales Executive Mark McAllister said, “The Show has been really busy for us.  We are known to be more Mediterranean based but Azimut have identified a real opportunity to increase our footprint in the UK market as it’s seen as a good market to expand in to.  We’ve sold 2 boats to date at the show, 5 days in.  We’re enjoying show-casing the Atlantis 43 Sports Boat, the Azimut 50 and the Azimut 43 Magellano, which is doing particularly well in the UK market.
“We enjoy the Southampton Show as it attracts the big names and is the hub of the UK industry. It’s important that we are seen to be here.”
OceanBrothers – Rowing the Atlantic 2018
A stand attracting much attention at the Show was Ocean Brothers, half brothers Greg Bailey and Jude Massey, who were promoting their forthcoming Atlantic rowing challenge and aiming to raise £100,000 in aid of The British Skin Foundation, in memory of their late father who died of skin cancer. Setting out from Gran Canaria in January 2018, the brothers will row day and night and alternate two- hour shifts, in a challenge which is likely to last 3 months and cover 3,000 miles.
27 year old Junior Doctor Greg advised, “We can’t wait to go and get on with it. It’s a challenge that has really brought our family together and given us a common goal.  I’m not nervous about the challenge itself but slightly worried about any hurricanes and sharks!”
The brothers have received a message of endorsement from Sir Ranulph Fiennes who said, “Brothers Jude and Greg coming together and battling the full force of the Atlantic Ocean on this tremendous voyage for such a moving and deeply touching cause is an inspiration to any family suffering the loss of a loved one to skin cancer.  Go boldly in to dark night Ocean Brothers!”
Anyone wishing to sponsor the Ocean Brothers is urged to visit justgiving.com/oceanbrothers

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