50,000 need to visit

The most expensive boat on show at the second Sail, Power & Watersports Show at London’s Earls Court, is the Bavaria 47 at £148,500. And in many ways low cost boats is the leitmotif of this upstart show which many had predicted would never see its second birthday.

But show director James Brooke is so confidant his exhibition is here to stay that he announced the dates of the third version at the opening of the second: 25-29 November 2009.

Undoubtedly the Earls Court show’s second version is a smaller than the inaugural show: the escalators are blocked off because the upstairs galleries are not being used and only the main hall on the ground floor is being used by exhibitors.

This means that the number of exhibits are down, but while this is not good news for those paying £14 a ticket it has created atmosphere as everyone there is packed into the main hall.

The show guide at £3 lists the exhibitors and also the boats which are to be auctioned every day. This is the most innovative feature of the show. Day One had a Maurice Griffiths (former editor of YM) designed Waterwitch 24 lying in Falmouth (starting price £1,710), an Alan Pape ketch lying on the Hamble (starting price £40,500) or a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42 lying at Poole (starting price £22,485).

Southerly, J boats, Grand Soleil, and Bavaria all have boats here, but this is a show to enjoy smaller yachts, like Folkboat, Westerly (represented by the Westerly Owner’s Association) and Dolphin Boats.

The biggest exhibit is a real life 60ft whale, which is preserved in formaldehyde and boxed up like some freak sideshow from Victorian times.

James Brooke hopes this and the other exhibits add up to pulling in a hoped for 50,000 by Sunday. If not he will be left feeling Moby Dick.

First opinion here