Try, learn and buy at Europe’s largest on-water event
With hundreds of exhibitors, over 650 craft on display and a purpose-built marina, Southampton International Boat Show now offers visitors even more opportunities to get on the water with a myriad of different types of craft available during the ten days of the show.
From standing on a SUP, tacking and gybing in a dinghy, experiencing the high-speed, high-octane thrill of a powerboat, to the majestic charm of a classic sailing yacht, or cruising around the Solent, the show’s ‘On the Water’ zone offers action-packed fun for all the family.
FlexiSail, one of the UK’s leading boat membership companies, is partnering with show organisers, British Marine, to run this year’s Try-a-Boat attraction. FlexiSail’s modern and extensive range of craft – from 40-foot sailing yachts to classic traditional inshore cruisers, powerboats, RIBs and access-friendly craft – provides visitors with the opportunity to try, free of charge, a wide range of different boats.
“Many people don’t know if they would prefer sailing to motorboating, so this is the ideal opportunity to try it all,”FlexiSail’s Nikki Walker.
For those who want an even more memorable experience, Try-a-Boat+ provides visitors with the opportunity to stay out on the water longer and experience life aboard some of the most adventurous and historically unique boats at the show. These include tall ship Morgenster; the 1932 High-Speed Launch 102 which is the last surviving high-speed air/sea rescue craft and was inspired by T E Shaw (better known as Lawrence of Arabia); an F8 landing craft and the stunning Motor Gun Boat 81, which took part in the Normandy landings. Prices start from £20 for Try-a-Boat+ experiences.
Looking for the real splash-factor? Then Get-Afloat in partnership with Rockley Watersports is the place to go. Whether you’re over eight or over eighty, Rockley offers dinghy sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding – alone or on a mega-sup – under the watchful eyes of experienced instructors making sure everyone is perfectly safe. All equipment including wetsuits and buoyancy aids are provided, with on-the-water instructors giving helpful hints for first-timers or top tips to sharpen up existing watersports skills for more experienced visitors.
“We’re really excited to have the opportunity to get people onto the water at the show. Just bring a towel and find the booking area located between the Watersports and Dinghy Zone areas on arrival at the show to book your one-hour Get-A-Float session. And if you’re really hooked, most of the craft used by Rockley will be available to purchase from retailer stands at the show.”Rockley’s MD Pip Woods