Mini boat show at London's Excel

The British International Motor Show, at London’s ExCeL until 3 August, has a new feature worthy of note. Alongside 20 global car launches from the likes of Vauxhall, Renault, Ford, Honda, SEAT, Lotus, Bentley and Alfa Romeo, there’s a new Marine Experience. It’s a mini Boat Show organised by National Boat Shows, the same people that put the Southampton and London shows together.

There’s Try-a-Boat, which allows you to test out all sorts of RIBs, powerboats and sailing boats for free, with supervision and tuition thrown in. For the young’uns, there’s OnBoard, a programme run by the RYA in partnership with British America’s Cuppers Team Origin, and supported by the British Marine Federation, which gives 8-16 year-olds the chance to get into sailing. A fleet of nippy Laser Picos is ready to take them away.

Along the waterfront of Royal Victoria Dock there are plenty of boats to wander around, including the new Moody 45DS with its opinion-splitting looks and pocket-superyacht layout. She’s lying alongside the new IP460, offering an interesting contrast between modern and traditional ways with 45ft of yacht. There are plenty of powerboats too, if you like that sort of thing.

‘It’s a great opportunity for the marine industry to showcase itself in an amazing on-water location at a great time of the year,’ said Andrew Williams, Managing Director of National Boat Shows. ‘It gives us the chance to bring boating at all its many levels, to a whole new audience.’

Tickets are £10 during the week, £14 at weekends and £5 after 1700. Children under 16 cost £6 and £8 for weekdays and weekends respectively.

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