The Cruising Association’s return to the Southampton International Boat Show, 10-19 September 2021, was keenly anticipated by members and visitors.
There were plenty of reasons to visit the CA stand, with over 800 visitors dropping in to discover what’s new, demo the upgraded CAptain’s Mate, receive advice on cruising abroad, tap into our latest marine discount partners, check in on crewing service opportunities, enjoy our Thursday drinks social, pick up the anniversary edition of the 2022 Cruising Almanac and catch up on all things cruising with staff and members.
“Following 18 months of such uncertainty, it was just fantastic to be united with our members, visitors and marine partners once again,” reflected Lucy Gray, CA General Manager. “For us, the boat show really was a celebration of the incredible world of cruising and whilst it has been great to be able to operate in a virtual environment, nothing beats face to face relationships.
“The show outcome has been beyond expectation,” continued Gray. “The CA continues to affirm its presence at the heart of the world’s cruising community and we have been inundated with new members, boosted by the ongoing surge of interest in boating and being on the water.”
The CA welcomed 158 new members, spanning first-time owners to experienced boaters, who join other recent sign-ups from home ports including Antigua, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the CA’s partnership with Imray, there was a run on our definitive Cruising Almanac for north-west Europe with 107 copies supplied during the show.
The CA’s exclusive to members app was the main star, with demos showcasing the power and capacity of the upgraded CAptain’s Mate. Originally launched in 2012 to meet the need for up to date, accurate and informative data the next generation app has been almost five years in the making and provides an unrivalled breadth of content covering over 6,400 locations around the world.
The ultimate toolbox of knowledge, CAptain’s Mate is instinctive to use and has been strengthened further with enhanced filters and search functions enabling users to drill straight down to the information they need for that location, and the friends feature facilitates contact with other members in the vicinity. CAptain’s Mate contains a variety of content depending on the location – whether harbour, marina, anchorage or port – covering information including approach considerations to availability of and access to key facilities such as water and fuel, and, if available, supermarket, restaurant and other amenities and boat services, like crane and repair options. At the core of CAptain’s Mate are members’ valuable cruising reports, which provide that personal touch, sharing expertise and tips on their experience at each location, illustrated with photos.
The CAptain’s Mate app goes live to members in December 2021 and will be duplicated on the CA website for a consistent experience across all platforms.
Share the Knowledge
The CA’s expert Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS) hosted drop-in Q&A sessions on both Saturdays of the show, giving advice on some of the biggest issues facing cruisers, particularly as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
Throughout the year, RATS tackle a range of topics that frame debate around cruising, advising and campaigning with representation to national and international governments and agencies.
Daily show prizes were on offer donated by the CA’s marine partners Gill Marine, ICOM, ASAP Supplies, Adlard Coles, Imray Nautical, Bainbridge Marine, Ship Shape Bedding, AquaMarine and First Class Sailing. Each day a newly signed-up member also won a Navionics Boating app one-year subscription, and the open-to-all show prize draw to win a Gill OS2 Offshore/Coastal suit attracted 592 entries.
The CA Summer Prize Draw for members closed with 334 entries and well done to Alistair Kennedy who wins a £2000 boat clean and £100 cleaning bundle from GR Pro-Clean. The CA Winter Prize Draw opened on 16 September (closes 26 February 2022), with members in the running to win a Crusader Sails £2000 Super Zero Sail and deck stowage bag.
Save The Date
Next year’s Southampton International Boat Show will take place from 16-25 September 2022.