Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Incredible Shrinking Boat Show

The first boat show I went to at ExCel had a simple layout: sail boats were the halls on your left as you entered and motor boats the halls on your right. Now all types of craft fit into the right hand halls without feeling squeezed, and the left is for outdoors, bikes and adventure travel.

The internet has shrunk the need for the boat show, while the audience seems to be aging: the left hand halls also had a noticeably younger feel, with stands for students and gap year ideas.

Some segments of the market continue to flourish, such as the top end where you can buy a blingified hovercraft (above) which no super-yacht (below) should be without.
Some things never change, with the Guiness bar stuck in the centre where no sailor can miss it:

 There was a pool to race model yachts:
Outside there was real racing with the likes of Olympic medallist Ian Percy, but the snow flurries drove most quickly back indoors:
Which was a shame as I really ought to go and see the restored SS Robin:
Two things caught my eye, one an author and the other built from recovered wood, but I'll post those separately.

4 comments: said...

I was down in London and hoped to get there - but work kept me away, so thanks for posting a little about it!

Bursledon Blogger said...

humm, there are three pubs serving Guinness between here and the Elephant Boatyard, think I might stay home - mind you I've always fancied the idea of one of those mini hoovercraft - not quite sure what you'd do with one though -

JP said...

I don't think either of you missed much. This post was within a whisker of being "why I didn't go to the boat show this year".

I've seen those hovercraft (without bling) on the Thames and they are VERY NOISY INDEED.

The boat that most interested me was almost the total opposite - a junk rigged yacht.

Baydog said...

Interesting sails on the Starboats, butt I don't think they'll catch on