Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Southampton Boat Show 2015

My last trip out on Sparrow was on the 23rd of last month - 3 weeks ago - I seem to have hit an impasse with regard to available time and weather and although I've been out to see her a few times to check she ain't sinking there's not been the time for sailing..  even the chance of an evening trip is sinking fast as the evenings are beginning to close in, and I feel like the season is getting away from me...

Next weekend is the Jolly Boys Outing - four days of uncontrolled mirth in the Solent on a Halberg Rassy 36 - beer will be consumed, curries partaken of, and I hope it will be a jolly time all round but it ain't getting any miles under Sparrows keel..

After that we are in to count down territory.... just four weekends of potential sailing, and on one of those I will almost certainly be on call (so unable to go) - it's been a poor season (so far - he said optimistically), weather and time have dominated...

On top of all that this weekend just gone was the only opportunity I had to go to the Southampton Boat Show, but given it was blowing old boots and forecast for rain it wasn't too much of a sacrifice to miss out a sailing opportunity..

The show, as ever, was the dogs nadgers... more boat porn than you can take in in a week, gadgets, idea's, buzz....  I love it, though I did baulk at £5 a point for Guinness (I saved the cash and went to the Dancing Man Brewery [clicky] afterwards...)

That's my youngests name... turned out it was also the boat builders daughters name...

Not my bag, but Sunseeker do out on an impressive display!

This is far more my bag...  pure unadulterated sex in the shape of a yacht...  Spirit Yachts - two of them...  this was the 46... reading elsewhere "the 11th of this successful model to launch. She may be one of the smallest in the Ipswich builder’s range, but the 46 is a veritable rocket. She is built for speed, weighing just 4.5 tonnes with carbon spars and rigging, and can reach 18+ knots, says Spirit".

Yours for a mere £467K....  I'll have two then....

...and this was the 52... the owner races this one....   more here [clicky]

There were a huge number of AWB's at the show (as ever - the big suppliers are Jeanneau/Benetau/Bavaria) and when push comes to shove these all look pretty much the same, but this one caught my eye...  I liked the open plan cockpit..  built for weather unlike that we were having in Southampton that day!

...the aforesaid weather..  it was a blusery old day down on the pontoons...

I subscribe to Practical Boat Owner magazine, and this is their project boat "Hantu Biru" which over the last three or four years has provided countless (enjoyable) articles to the magazine, but which when push comes to shove has resulted in one of the most expensive restorations known to man...

She's all done now and they're running a competition to win her..  I never even considered entering, honest "Sparrow"........ 

She looks superb - and so she should - all top end paint/GRP/sails/rigging/polish used..  about as far from my experience as it's possible to get...  what I want them to do is buy another project boat, but this time do it up on a budget...

Then last of all a stop by the small cruisers...  theoretically this is the same class of cruiser as "Sparrow"..  bit bigger perhaps...

Bay Cruiser 23 [clicky] - I like the 'enclosed' foredeck... side decks...  outboard in a well that can tilt up...  £40K sail away...

Shrimper 21 [clicky] this one had an inboard but outboard version is available..  from £34K..  Not a lot in looks between the two...  rigs different of course...  bermuda vs gaff/gunter

..this was the outsider this year - not seen this builder before - French boat by Grand Largue, this is the Meaban [clicky] model 6.8 mtrs, so a 22 footer..  unusual this one, traditional ply epoxy construction... gaff/gunter sails, you can even buy a kit and build it yourself..  45K Euro's (about £33K) ready to sail but that's Shrimper territory so I think I know which one I'd prefer??  More here [clicky]

Last of all.....  

.... "corrrr" he says in his best Terry Thomas/Leslie Phillips voice... 


  1. Good Stuff, clerly need to drop by the dancing man, but thin I'll wait till the boat show's gone.

    1. BB - surprisingly, the Dancing Man wasn't busy - I thought it would be packed given the show, and the prices on the Guinness bar.. :o)

      I went to the brewery pub, but I like the Platform along the road as well.

  2. Steve, when it comes to boat porn at this show the Spirit 52 is my centerfold : > )

    I love all the little ones, right up my alley. I especially like the Meaban.

    I have never heard the term 'dogs nadgers' before LOL ....... it's either rhyming slang (the mind boggles) or it's a close cousin of 'dogs bollocks' although that wouldn't fit the context.

    ..... anyway I seriously envy your boat shows - we used to have boat shows in NZ like this one, but the last one I went to in Auckland had not one sail to be seen anywhere (I kid you not). I had a whole aircraft hanger full of fishing rods with the rest of the show genuflecting to people who are squillionaires. Bloody awful actually. There is another show which is an 'on the water' show as they say, but there's never that much to write home about (or blog about).

    1. Alden.. www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=nadgers :o))

      Southampton is my boat show of choice purely because of the amount of stuff actually on the water - been to London and to be honest it sounds like the one you described even in spite of it being in the Docks and on the Thames where you would think the conditions would be perfect...

      Of the small cruisers I think I lean towards the Shrimper, but I'd put the Swallow boats rig on it... :o)

  3. That is interesting about the London Boat Show, I will give it a miss.

    Including the Southhampton boat show are there any other 'must sees' ..... Classic wooden boat shows or really good maritime museums... e.g. I think there is a museum that has the famous little Laurent Giles 'Sopranino' on show, and somewhere else there are a collection of dinghies including the Dyes Wayfarer dinghy...... do you have any suggestions or recommendations? Our daughter now lives in the UK so we will be over sometime and of course this boat nut will want to see everything.

  4. One of my laments is no one builds a modern small cruiser. They seem to be semi traditional ones like the shrimper or small uncompromising race boats. Not that I could afford one, but it would be nice to see a modern take on a 20ft cruiser.

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