Boats and books among the many launches

The 42nd Southampton Boat Show kicked off on Friday before the crowds enjoyed a busy weekend.

The stars of ITV’s All At Sea, Dawn Porter and Nick Hancock, opened the ten-day show in Mayflower Park, arriving on a Second World War RAF rescue launch, alongisde a Royal Navy Motor Gunboat and the Grace Spitfire ML 407 as part of Battle of Britain commemorations.

Hancock said: ‘I have never been to a boat show before and I’ve been amazed by the scale of it all.

‘There’s so much to see and do and of course lots of things to take away. Luckily my wife is with me today so it’s unlikely that I’ll buy a boat, but I may stretch to some nice sunglasses.’

Andrew Williams, managing director of the show, said: ‘The opening of the 2010 PSP Southampton Boat Show has been an action-packed event this year.

‘Dawn and Nick, the World War Two boats and the Grace Spitfire have kicked off what promises to be a very special show; this year we’ve attracted more exhibitors than in 2009 and there are around 70 more boats on the marina.

‘We’re looking forward to a successful and highly enjoyable show for exhibitors and visitors alike.’

The Southampton show is held in one of Europe’s largest purpose-built marinas and has over 1,000 boats on show until September 19.

One boat on show is Calypso, an eco-friendly Contessa 32, developed by boat builder Jeremy Rogers.

She has many green features including a hybrid diesel/electric engine and is made with Kebony, a sustainable alternative to teak.

Mr Rogers said: ‘It’s been a very interesting process and we’ve had lots of interest in the boat already.

‘As for what happens next with Calypso we are doing further testing on the engine and trying to make her in to the ultimate green machine and educate other boat builders and users about making their boats greener.

‘We also have plans to incorporate some of the environmentally friendly elements into future boats that we build.’

Among the other things launched at the show was the RYA’s sail trim handbook, which became the fastest-selling title in RYA history, after a Q&A with author Rob Gibson.

Mr Gibson said: ‘I’m delighted with how well the book is selling, it’s obviously something people want to read about.

‘I see many people out on the water who’ve spent money on their boats and sails but are not using them properly, so I wrote the book to share some of my top tips.’

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