10 reasons to visit the Southampton International Boat Show 2023

The 54th edition of the Southampton International Boat Show returns to Mayflower Park, Southampton, 15-24 September.

The biggest UK marine festival and one of Europe’s largest on-water events, the show attracts thousands of visitors each year and boasts some 650+ exhibitors, hundreds of boats, plus an array of attractions and exclusive show features.

To whet your appetite here are just a few, of the many, great reasons to join us at this year’s show:

1 – Boats galore: With everything from stand-up paddleboards to kayaks, small dinghies to luxurious superyachts, if you’re crazy about boats or just dipping you toe in the water, it’s a perfect place to see many different types of boats in one place. The spectacular purpose-built show marina berths hundreds of the world’s most prestigious sailing and power boats, as well as high-end tender and chase boats. You’ll find cutting edge craft from across the global, witness World, European and UK launches of new craft; there really is something for everyone.

2 – Get wet if you want to: The ‘On the Water Zone’ is an action-packed area where you can give it a go for free. There is ‘Try-a-Boat’ where you can sail a yacht, take the throttle of a motorboat, or feel the power of RIB blasting around Southampton water under the watchful eyes of our qualified instructors. Or try your hand at single or double handed dinghy sailing, grab a friend and try out the double kayaks or have a go at stand-up paddleboarding with the whole family, with Get Afloat. You can even enjoy a mini cruise on board the ‘Ocean Scene’.

For a small additional price, ‘Try-a-Boat+’ provides the opportunity to stay out on the water longer aboard some of the most adventurous boats at the show, including the ‘Thalassa’, a 47m Dutch tall ship. Step aboard and back in time as you channel your inner pirate for this tall ship adventure, a firm favourite of kids of all ages!

More boats are being added to the Try-a-Boat+ line up all the time so please check the website for full details www.southamptonboatshow.com

3 – Specialist ‘Zones’: Mini ‘shows within the show’ zones make it easy to find exactly what you are looking for. In the ‘Watersports Zone’ you’ll get your fix of unlimited watersports action. From stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, wakeboards, and water-skis to group activities on the water. With expert guidance on all areas, whether you are just dipping your toe in or a fanatic, there is something for everyone. The ‘Dinghy Zone’ is the place to see all areas of sport and sailing dinghies, trailer boats cruisers, boat builders, high-performance equipment, sailing clubs, holiday providers and training options all in one place.  Whilst the ‘Classic & Day Boat Zone’ celebrates the boats and craftsmanship that stand the test of time. Classic boat enthusiasts and seasoned boaters will be able to find all the equipment they need to keep their treasures gliding across the water. From modern boats inspired by traditional designs and craftsmanship to beautifully restored classics you’ll find an array of beautiful craft.

4 – Hear from the experts: The Foredeck Stage is home to leading experts sharing their knowledge and insight on a whole host of boating related topics. You’ll be able to ask your burning questions and socialise with likeminded people. Each session lasts half an hour and is the perfect place for you to sit and relax and enjoy informative, amusing and inspirational talks from a variety of speakers.

5 – New Products and Technologies: Amongst the 600+ exhibitors you’ll find some of the latest innovations in boating technology, equipment, and design. The show provides the perfect showcase for manufacturers to debut their newest models and products, giving you the chance to keep up with the latest trends.

6 – Activities and Attractions: It’s not just about the boats, the show boosts a whole range of attractions to ensure you have a great day out. The spectacular watersports show is a must see with the jaw dropping flightboard display and gravity defying flyboard demo. Check out the brand new ‘Watersports Lake’, where you can try out SUP’ing and kayaking, canoeing and model boating, you may even bump into an Olympian or two! Plus, enjoy a whole host of delicious food and drink venues including the waterfront Quarterdeck Bar & Restaurant, the newly revamped Guinness Bar or the new ‘Shipyard’ with live music providing the festival vibe.

7 – Shop ‘til you drop: If you’re in the market for a boat, the show provides a unique opportunity to browse a vast selection of craft side by side and speak to experts to find your perfect match. Alongside the boats themselves and back by popular demand, is the UK’s largest pop-up chandlery, with more retailers and chandlery stands than ever before you’ll find everything from the latest clothing, footwear, beachwear and accessories to specialist chandlery items such as shackles, ropes, electronics and engines and everything in between!

8 – Great day out for all the family: The Show offers something for the whole family.  The kids will love the Treasure Hunt, searching for clues around the show and stepping on-board real-life pirate ship!   While for the grown-ups it’s a great place to catch up with old friends and family and enjoy all the show has to offer.

9 – Add a touch of luxury with Quayside Club VIP – Upgrade your visit with a VIP ticket and enjoy exclusive access to the Quayside Club Waterfront lounge. Situated in a prime location overlooking the marina, the lounge guarantees some of the very best seats in the show, where you can sit back and relax with a delicious welcome drink, enjoy the gourmet buffet lunch, take a coffee break, or enjoy your favourite tipple.

10 – Beautiful location: Southampton is a historic city with a rich maritime heritage. You can combine your visit to the boat show with exploration of the city’s attractions. From the SeaCity Museum – the home of Southampton’s Titanic story to adding a splash of culture with a trip to Southampton City Art Gallery.

Remember, the events, exhibitors and attractions can change from year to year so make sure you check the website to see what’s on when, so you can plan your day and make the most of your visit. Visit www.southamptonboatshow.com for all the latest show information.

What are you waiting for, get your ticket today.

Get your ticket

Adult tickets are on sale now from £26 with up to 2 children aged 15 and under are permitted free entry to the show with every paying adult. For a full breakdown of ticket costs and packages please visit https://www.southamptonboatshow.com/visitor-information/tickets/

Enjoy the show in style with Quayside Club VIP experience. For guests looking for the ultimate VIP treatment, visit www.southamptonboatshow.com/vip/ for more information.

The show is open from 10am – 6pm daily except the final Sunday when the show will close at 5pm.

To keep up with the latest news and announcements, follow the Southampton International Boat Show on: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.