Boat Show 2006 at Excel
been to the boat show
since it moved from Earl's Court to Excel, so this year Lyn & I
decided to give it a look see.
We went on Monday 9 January, the day of the
rail strike! Good start I thought but actually it made little
difference. If anything it made life easier, because judging from the
attendance, a lot of people decided not to go, which made getting
around very easy.
The show is massive but divided up quite well.
& chandlery, electronics, dinghys, windsurfing, large and small
power boats all have their own areas together with the pool and the
external berths out on the wharf.
Boat prices to suit everybody from £200
£5.9m; unfortunately there weren't many wood boats about,
seemingly everything nowadays is fibreglass short of HMS Grafton, a
Royal Navy frigate, moored outside which was steel and
I suppose the biggest
exhibitor was Fairline with an array of very large and up-market motor
cruisers that you would have needed to have won the Euro Lottery just
to get on their stand. I'm not a great lover of fibreglass but I have
to admit the new Huntress, once of Fairy Marine, did look "the biz".
Her manufacturers had managed to retain all her rakish good looks,
style and power in a package that certainly was attracting a lot of
An oddity at this years show was an increase in
'stretched' inflatables, some capable of carrying eight or so people in
'op en-air' luxury. Some of these had absolutely enormous Mariner
outboards larger than some inboards being exhibited at the show. Very
curious looking boats and probably aimed at the American market.
Most of the dinghies on display were examples
manufacturers rather than classes and again, no wood. Satnav for boats
has really taken off this year in line with their popularity in cars. I
was talking to one exhibitor about navigation the old way, in case the
electronics went down, and he smiled and said their sets were
relatively so cheap have two, one as a back-up!
Outside some very cold looking salesmen were
interest people onto their gin palaces but without much luck. Most
interest seemed to be with the larger sailing yachts.
HMS Grafton was getting ready to receive borders
over by heavily armed Marines who looked decidedly uncomfortable at a
boat show. I'm sure they would have been a lot happier doing their
thing somewhere else.
Lyn couldn't decide which motor cruiser she would
and settled for some very curious, bendy, silicon rubber cookware. No
don't ask, talk to her about it next time you see her.
We finally gave up mid afternoon and laden down
catalogues and brochures made a run for it before the rush hour
started. I really enjoyed the show, much easier to get around than
Earl's Court, well laid out and just about every aspect of boat
covered. I might even go again some time.