For our second report on big European boat shows in the last few days, we turn again to staff correspondent Alastair Walton:
The U.K.'s largest boat show is well under way in Southampton's Mayflower Park, where a huge purpose-built marina is created every year, just to host the hundreds of boats on display. Star of the show so far is undoubtedly the new Sunseeker Predator 130, launched by CEO Robert Braithwaite to the classic sounds of ITV's "Britain's Got Talent" finalists, Escala, playing on the powerful transom of this impressive new sports motoryacht.
Just three months ago, Boats.com had the pleasure of inspecting the new Sunseeker Predator 130 under construction at the factory, and what Sunseeker have achieved since I saw her twin 4,000hp MTU engines being lowered into an empty hull is quite remarkable. Chris Warde, from Sunseekers' Yacht Division, showed us around that sunny day in June, and was very proud to show us the finished article in Southampton, fresh from her initial sea trials in the English Channel.
Elsewhere in the show, colleagues from our sister site www.yachtworld.com were busy helping boat buyers with more modest budgets on the impressive Yacht Brokers Village stand. This innovative (and award-winning) concept displays 2,500 boats for sale from 26 brokers/dealers in relaxed and informative surroundings. The stand allows buyers to browse for their next boat with the assistance of knowledgeable staff and industry experts from YachtWorld.com and Boats.com to help.
Shane Rowe from A-Board Yachts, one of the brokers represented, said, "We have just had a customer sea trial a Finngulf 36 on the Solent this morning after seeing the yacht advertised on the Yacht Brokers Village yesterday! It looks like he will be completing a contract to purchase the boat later this week, and we would not have got this without the Yacht Brokers Village generating the lead!" You can find the Yacht Brokers Village stand in Solent Park - stand J035.
In addition to the hundreds of new and used boats for sale, the PSP Southampton Boat Show features and impressive array of superb attractions for all the family:
• Visit the Record Breakers Stage Show and experience the live show and take part in a live record attempt.
• Tour the STS Lord Nelson and see what life on a working tall ship is like.
• "Try-a-Boat" for free.
• See Search & Rescue demonstrations from the dock side featuring real life heroes from the RNLI and MCA.
• Visit Science Ship Callista, a research vessel complete with all the scientific gadgets you can imagine.
• Try a dive, with Andark.
• Get a taste of ploughing through the Southern Ocean at 30 knots in the Volvo Ocean Race Village.
• See if you can beat the times set by Boats.com staff on the Grinding Challenge.
The PSP Southampton Boat Show is open until 1800 on Sunday 20th September 2009