Spring 2006
Contents 7Mar2006

Commodore’s Report
Achieve Inner Peace
AGM, Prize Giving, Party
Annual Dinner
Boat Show 2006
Christmas and New Year
Ferry Meadows
Ice-Box Sunday
Last Working Party
Lunch & Frostbite Cruise
Mascheranda Menu
Masheranda Ball
Open Weekend
Place for Books
Start of Season Party
Thoughts for Today


Boat Show 2006 at Excel
    I hadn't 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 underground 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. Clothing & 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 to £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 Kevlar. 
     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 attention.
    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 from 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 trying to 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 watched 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 like 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 with 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.
    Mike (what are we going to do with all that fibreglass one day?) Baker