Preview of new ExCeL

Yachting Monthly was today given a sneak preview of the £165 million London Boat Show’s futuristic extension to the ExCeL exhibition centre in London’s Docklands.

We came in on the Docklands Light Railway and alighted at the Prince Regent station – one on from the old Custom House station. Just 50 yards from the Prince Regent station you enter a world of vast stainless steel and glass corridors, walkways and balconies. Giant jellyfish-like plastic domes illuminate the centre’s central boulevard. This will be the main entrance for the show which runs from 7-16 January 2011.

The entrance looks down on a watersports pool 24m X 60m in size and 1.1m deep. Here there will be demonstrations taking place all day. Opposite is the new boardwalk area with 15m height for boats to be shown with their masts up.

In Victoria Dock outside the centre will be spaces for second-hand boats brought in by brokerage companies.

National Boat Shows, organisers of the show, are expecting more than 130,000 visitors. Of these 64 per cent own a boat. On average £900 per head is spent with exhibitors.

The show will be linked to the Outdoors Show, which will be based in the west end of ExCel. Ticket prices will cover entry to both shows.