Southampton Boat Show is a success

Southampton Boat Show had 40 candles on its birthday cake this year and not one of them blew out in the financial storm raging around its head.

Lombard Marine Finance reported that loans to buy sailing boats were up by 30 per cent even though the numbers visiting the show – 121,389 – were down five per cent on last year.

Richard Hewett, director of Clipper Marine, the UK main dealer of Bavaria Yachts, said sales were up 5 per cent on last year’s show. The new Bavaria 43 created a lot of interest and ‘spurred interest’ in the complete new range. ‘We didn’t have high hopes bearing in mind the economy, but a lot of people were saying that whatever the problems they faced they were going boating anyway,’ he said.

Peter Thomas, director of Hanse Yachts UK, said the company sold £1 million worth of boats. The company sold six Hanse 400s and six other Hanse yachts from the 320 – 420 range. ‘We had a reasonable show all things considered, but we have done better in previous years. We can expect to sell twice that number when the economy is healthier,’ he said.

Robin Campbell, sales director of Oyster Marine, said : ‘We were amazed. Interest in all our range was up 50 per cent on last year’s show. The main interest was in the new Oyster 54 and 56, interest in the Oyster 82 was inevitably quieter.’

Nick Griffith of Ancasta: ‘Sales levels have met our expectations however volumes of enquiries both from existing and new customers have greatly exceeded expectations. We are delighted.’