Largest attendance yet for UK’s leading sustainable marine technology event, the South Coast & Green Tech Boat Show

Electric sailing propulsion took centre stage at this year’s South Coast & Green Tech Boat Show, with a strong showing of new products and systems – both outboard and inboard.

The three three-day event – which concluded on Sunday, April 21 at MDL’s Ocean Village Marina in Southampton – attracted 4,000 visitors and featured more than 70 exhibitors and over 100 boats.

A dedicated presentation area, The Innovation Hub, highlighting the latest green marine technology was sponsored by ePropulsion who were demonstrating their latest electric outboard motor – the lightweight and compact 500W eLite – recently launched as an alternative to small petrol outboards used for yacht tenders.

“It was clear at the show this year that demand for innovative, sustainable marine technology is continuing to grow,” reports Steve Bruce, managing director of ePropulsion. “Our new eLite motor has been exceptionally well received, while we’ve also seen increased interest in our more powerful X-Series and 1-Series systems.”

Inboard Innovation

Dufour, meanwhile, was introducing its new electric propulsion system – Smart Electric – which uses a hybrid electric motor powered by an array of lithium-ion Iron and phosphate batteries that can be charged through a 16kw generator as well as solar panels and a propeller that doubles as a hydro generator whilst sailing. Shore power can also be used to quickly replenish the batteries.

Dufour claim this integration of electric propulsion and traditional sailing functions will extend their yachts’ range by 30-50%, providing increased freedom and power security on longer passages.
“Smart Electric heralds a new era in sailing, where innovation and tradition merge seamlessly for an exceptional sailing experience,” says Chris Warwick from Dufour distributor, Universal Yachting, which will be supplying the system in the UK on Dufour’s 41, 44, 470 and 530 models.

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Season opener

For sailors in the south of England, the South Coast Boat Show is rapidly becoming something of a season opener. Falling in mid April, the weather is usually starting to brighten up as boats go back on the water.

For anyone with an interest in new boats, whether it’s buying, or just window shopping, it is also often the first time new boats and new models launched over the winter appear in the UK.

Hosted on the water at MDL’s Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, it is a much smaller affair than the autumn’s Southampton International Boat Show, but as a place to see a good number of genuinely interesting new and recent boats, it’s hard to beat. Stripped of the noise and bustle of the bigger show, you won’t find jacuzzis here, but coupled with the Green Tech part of the show, there are a good number of local retailers for things like outboard motors, sails, charter holidays and more.

New boats

A first at a show in the UK was the Grand Soleil 42 Long Cruise. Better known for their sporty performance cruisers, this Italian yard introduced the baby of their new cruising range in 2020. Sitting a notch or two above your average production cruisers, but less pricey than the top-end Scandinavian performance cruisers, this is a boat that promises rewarding but easy sailing and immense comfort and practicality for longer cruises – as the name suggests.

Multihulls were also in evidence, with two sporty, small trimarans in the Dragonfly 28 and the Corsair 880 on show. Still on three hulls but rather larger was the Neel 43. For catamarans, the Excess 11 is at the smaller end of the spectrum, but still offering performance and comfort aboard. Alongside this was moored the Nautitech 44 Open, the Lagoon 42 and a Fontaine Pajot Tanna 47.

There was plenty for monohull fans too, with boats from Arcona (385 and 435 Mk II), Hallberg-Rassy (340 and 44), Sunbeam (32.1), Dufour (37, 390, 41 and 470), Hanse (410 and 460), Beneteau (First 44 and Oceanis 37.1) and Pointer (22), although sadly the new Moody DS48 was still en route to the UK when Yachting Monthly were at the show.

The event was also graced by the Ocean Globe Race winning Maiden crew, fresh from their victory in Cowes, accompanied home by a parade of sail on the Saturday morning.

The South Coast & Green Tech Boat Show will return to MDL’s Ocean Village Marina in 2025.

For more information about next year’s show, keep an eye on

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