It’s no secret we now attend boat shows for different reasons than we once did. Perhaps the biggest key to the modern show experience is the chance to see the latest thinking in boat design. Nowhere offers a better opportunity to see the latest new boats in their natural environment than the Southampton Boat Show.

There are still bargains and discounts to be found at shows around the world, of course, but in a world of online chandlery and speedy delivery they are no longer the only place we go to purchase new sailing kit for the year.

However, where buying a new set of foulies online is all well and good, there is still much to be said for seeing the options, different ideas and new styles up close, and comparing like-for-like.

For most, the biggest draw will always be the new boats, whether that be with a view to buying in the future or looking for ideas to make your current boat that bit more user friendly.

Southampton Boat Show excels at offering attendees the chance to get onboard and see the latest new boats in the flesh. Featuring Europe’s largest purpose-built marina, you get to see them in their natural environment too, not propped up in the middle of a stuffy hall.

For the 2019 show there are a number of new launches set to be on display. Here’s our pick of the best six new launches this year:

Discovery Yachts Revelation 480

Something of a lovechild between two builders following the renamed Discovery Group salvaging the Southerly brand. The Revelation 480, is a sistership to the Southerly 480 with a Discovery makeover. As such she has been built without the Southerly hallmarks of a raised interior helm position, raised saloon and swing keel. 

Correction: In the August 2019 edition of Yachting Monthly, we incorrectly stated that the Revelation had the same raised interior helm position, raised saloon and swing keel of the sister ship Southerly 480.

J Boats J/99 

The new J/99 is a J Boat through and through. As such, performance has been somewhat favoured over creature comforts so she does lack some of the luxury below that you might find in a more defined cruiser. As Graham Snook noted in his test for Yachting Monthly (May 2019), ‘She may not be the most comfortable cruiser, but she will give her owners quick passage times and what you lose in comfort you gain in easy, fast fun.’

Designed with shorthanded sailing in mind the J/99 offers much in the way of  control from the cockpit – something
often lacking in boats designed for both cruisers and racers. She is a bit plastic below, but it’s practical and everything works as it should.

Solaris 44 

This Solaris 44 follows a fairly recent 2011 model but this issue is a fully new boat – no new deck, but same hull here. Her wide beam runs well aft giving her a slightly wider transom than her predecessor, though her 4.18m beam
is not particularly wide by modern standards. She comes with the fit out you would expect from a Solaris who aim more towards the luxury end of the market. 

The boat can be used for cruising and racing, opting for the mainsail traveller totally recessed and winches on the coaming to deploy the asymmetric spinnaker. The deck layout comprises a roomy sail locker, large cockpit lockers and an independent stowage space for
the liferaft.

Lagoon 46 

The design team at VPLP has made a number of changes to the successful formula of the old Lagoon 450 to produce the new Lagoon 46. Her mast has been moved much further aft on the coachroof leaving space for a self-tacking jib, and
the resultant increased forward triangle also offers more choice in downwind
sails. The boom has been shortened
and the main has a higher aspect,
reducing pitching.

The flybridge helm has been centred and sits directly behind the mast, which means that the footwell protrudes slightly into the cockpit below – something that has been disguised by turning it into a deep frame for the sliding aft windows of the saloon. There’s a sliding stool in the cockpit, and a hydraulic bathing platform.

Beneteau Oceanis 30.1

With the 30.1 Beneteau have ignored the rulebook,’ so said Graham Snook in his test of the latest yacht (Yachting Monthly, July 2019) to come from the renowned French Marque. ‘She has surprised with the attention to the details that have gone into her. She is just what a starter boat should be and has lots of features that make life on board more pleasing – neat cubby holes, USB chargers and locker lights.’

Graham notes that she is a boat designed to perform at her best in lighter winds – when most owners are likely to be on the water. He reports an overall fun boat to sail with a cheeky side that offers a little more than you might expect from a first glance.

Ticket discount

YM readers looking to attend this year’s show and see the new boats for themselves (or pick up some new kit, or just meet up with old mates at the Guinness Bar) can get a special discount on tickets.

To get the special rate just click here or go to www.southamptonboatshow.com and enter YM27 into the promotion code box when ordering tickets.

Ticket type: Adult Any One Day (flexible entry). Offer ends 23:59 on 12/09/2019.
Visitor terms & conditions: https://www.southamptonboatshow.com/terms-conditions/