High demand for spaces ahead of Friday deadline

Exhibitors have given a thumbs-up to the London Boat Show‘s £165m revamp, with “very strong” industry demand before tomorrow’s deadline.

The 2011 show will see a brand-new entrance (see pic), a new Docklands Light Railway station, a watersports pool and, for the first time, fully-rigged yachts displaying full-length masts.

And a spokesperson for National Boat Shows (NBS), the event’s organiser, said that this had seen more companies applying for berths.

She said: “The 2011 Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show is gaining momentum as applications for space flood in ahead of Friday’s deadline.

“With applications in from key exhibitors from across the industry demand for the show is very strong.”

Paul Heyes, of Key Yachting, said: “We took three boats to the 2010 show on the boardwalk and were pleased with the outcome.

“But having now seen the plans and developments we are very excited and have applied for almost double the space. The changes are exactly what the show needs and Key Yachting would like to play a big part in the show’s future.”

The ExCel show will also feature a second-hand boat display, after a NBS survey revealed that most show-goers are more interested in used boats than new ones, which has been warmly recieved by exhibitors as well.

Ian Atkins, managing director of second-hand broker yachtworld.com said: “While many consumers attend boat shows to see and possibly purchase new boats, the most common barrier to buying a new boat is to dispense with one’s current boat. Anything we can do to help sell used boats will, in turn, help sell new boats.

“As for first time buyers, research indicates that less than three per cent of them purchase new boats. Providing an efficient, attractive, and cost effective means of showing and selling used boats will help move the whole market forward. Yachtworld has applied for space again for 2011 and we look forward to being involved.”