The prestigious Southampton Boat Show returns for its 49th annual outing from 15th to 24th September - and it's set to be the biggest and best ever, with even more family-friendly attractions during the ten-day extravaganza. Since its launch, it has become Europe's biggest outdoor boat show, attracting thousands of visitors, exhibitors and investors.

Credit: Wikipedia

Hundreds of the world's high-performance powerboats and leading sailboats will be taking part in the purpose-built marina, Mayflower Park, this September. Around 600 exhibitors will be displaying their products and visitors can buy everything from a stand-up paddleboard to a multi-million-pound luxury yacht.

New Attractions

New to the show in 2017, the Paddle River Experience travels along a waterway circuit through attractive lush greenery in Solent Park - you can enjoy an impressive view of the show from a different perspective.

There's canoeing and paddle-boating - adults and kids can take part in 'bell boating' on a twin-hulled open canoe that seats up to 12 people. Children aged three to 13 years can also experience the ultimate motorboat experience in Solent Park, where they can master the art of steering and having fun with an onboard water cannon. The Adventure River Canoe Ride will allow the youngest show visitors to try out canoeing along a winding course located in the main arena.

Ancasta will reveal the world launch of its new Beneteau Swift Trawler 35 and the UK launch of its Oceanis 51.1, Oceanis Yacht 62 and the Swift Trawler 50. Prestige will stage the UK debut of its Prestige 520 yacht.


Southampton Boat Show began in 1969 and became one of the UK's largest annual boat shows, rivalling London Boat Show as the best event of its kind in Europe. The organiser, National Boat Shows, is a subsidiary of British Marine which is a trade association for the marine industry including leisure, super-yacht and small commercial vessels.

The purpose-built marina, Mayflower Park, features around 2km of pontoons. It takes 10 weeks to construct and building work starts in July each year. Over the years, the boat show has featured some unique attractions, such as the luxurious man-made beach that was constructed for the 2005 event by importing tonnes of sand.

The 2005 show saw another 'first' when on-site communications and IT services were provided by Etherlive, the show's partner organisation. In 2010, the showground's IT communications received a major revamp, with all of the marquees, permanent buildings, porta-cabins and the large marina receiving WiFi for exhibitor and public access.

In 2014, one of the show's main attractions was a 30-metre high ferris wheel - the first time this had ever been done. In 2015, there was a chance for visitors to view life below the sea with the University of Southampton's specially-developed show aquarium, featuring rock pools and tanks filled with sea creatures from local waters and a selection of corals and anemones.

This Year's Show

Exhibitors will cover every aspect of the leisure marine industry and will include boat builders, engine manufacturers, sail makers, chandlers, navigation equipment, marine finance and clothing specialists. There will be hundreds of boats, brands, suppliers and products on display.

Visitors can experience the thrill of boating with the 'Try a Boat' sessions run by On the Water, who will provide a selection of vessels. The 'Get Afloat' initiative will offer youngsters aged eight to 16 the chance to try out dinghy sailing and stand-up paddle boarding.

The Global Challenge Sailing Experience offers members of the public an exciting adventure onboard a 72ft ocean racing yacht as part of a crew of 12, while the VIP Platinum Experience also includes cruising on a luxury motor yacht.

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