On water adventures await at the Southampton International Boat Show

More opportunities than ever before to get out on the water and give it a go!

The Southampton International Boat Show is not just a boat show; it’s an immersive experience that brings the maritime world to life. This year, the show promises more excitement and adventure on the water than ever before. From the adrenaline rush of stand-up paddleboarding and the elegance of sailing on a classic tall ship, to the high-speed excitement of powerboating, the Boat Show is a playground for anyone with a love for the water as well as those looking to dip their toes in for the first time. And best of all, many experiences are included in the price of your show ticket! 

The Southampton International Boat Show provides visitors with a unique opportunity to get out on the water and try lots of different on water experiences in a wide range of different craft.  Last year over 9,000 visitors took to the water and experienced everything from paddleboarding and dinghy sailing, kayaking to powerboating, cruising on a tall ship and some even dipped below the waterline with a dive experience.

The Boat Show is a haven for enthusiasts and families alike, offering countless ways to dive into the nautical lifestyle and this year we hope to welcome even more people to these wet and wild adventures; there really is something for everyone.

What do we have in store?

Located in the purpose built show marina, is one of the show’s top attractions “Try-a-Boat“, where visitors can test the waters in a variety of craft. Provided by membership club Flexisail, visitors have the chance to experience everything from a brisk RIB ride to a leisurely sail, all of which are included in the price of your show ticket. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to compare and contrast experiences, guided by Flexisail’s team of qualified instructors who offer insights into the nuances of each boat, enhancing the experience for both novices and experienced mariners alike.

Another show favourite is ‘Get Afloat’ which offers an unforgettable experience courtesy of Rockley Watersports! Set sail on the ‘Get a Float’ sailing joy rides, promising waves of excitement and memories to cherish. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a first-timer, Rockley’s expert instructors will showcasing the beauty of dinghy sailing aboard two of RS Sailing Boats top dinghies, designed for both safety and thrills.

The team from Rockley are also in action over at the Watersports Lake, which following its very successful debut at the 2023 show, is back and this year it’s even bigger, offering over 30% more activity sessions.

Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or dipping your toes into the watersports world for the first time, Rockley’s expert instructors will provide all the guidance you need and support every stroke of the way. With top-of-the-line equipment provided and a focus on safety, you can paddle with confidence.

Remember to sign up early for Try a boat, Get Afloat or our Watersports Lake activities as they are very popular and don’t forget your towel!

For those seeking a blend of relaxation and adventure, the Ocean Scene cruise ship offers a tranquil 20-minute voyage around the Solent, providing a unique perspective on the coastline, allowing visitors to soak in the scenery from the comfort of a ship equipped with sundecks and bars.

Meanwhile, the majestic tall ship Thalassa stands as a testament to the enduring allure of traditional sailing, offering visitors a chance to step into the shoes of sailors from bygone eras. One of the fastest and most beautiful of the famous Dutch Tall ships, she’s rigged in a traditional way but with all the safety and conveniences of a modern-day vessel.

For an additional cost you can also book a late afternoon cruise on board this incredible vessel.  Book your tickets here. (VIP experience also available).

For those who prefer to go under the water, there is also the opportunity to have a go at diving and snorkelling for free in the Andark Dive Tank. All the equipment is provided, as well as an area to change into your diving kit. Under the guidance of Andark’s experienced instructors, complete beginners can experience diving for the first time, whilst seasoned PADI pros have the opportunity to try out the very latest kit.

All these experiences highlight the show’s dedication to showcasing the full spectrum of maritime life, from the thrill of exploration to the calm of a leisurely sail.

How to book

Booking your on-water experiences is straightforward. You can book your Watersports Lake, Try-a-boat and Mini Cruise experiences on the day at the show at either the booking area in the Watersports Zone (near the entrance to the show) or down on the marina pontoons and for the Thalassa afternoon cruise please book online when you purchase your show tickets.

Sit back and watch the pros

After all that action why not take a break, chill out and enjoy watching the high-octane action of the On the Water Stage Show.

This year our lineup of daredevils includes the exhilarating sport of wingfoiling, with National Champion Hugo Dobrijevic set to stun audiences with his aerial prowess. The stage will also host jaw-dropping performances from flyboarding maestro James Prestwood and jet-ski champion Jack Moule, offering a showcase of aquatic athleticism that promises to captivate and inspire spectators of all ages.

The show offers more than just waterborne thrills; it’s a place to relax and revel in the maritime atmosphere. Whether sipping sparkling wine or enjoy the exclusive Quarterdeck burger by two Michelin starred chef, Jordan Bailey at the Quarterdeck Bar & Restaurant while watching the adrenaline-packed show, or upgrading to the Quayside Club for premium views and VIP hospitality, the Southampton International Boat Show is an event that caters to all tastes and interests.

The Shipyard is the go-to spot for live music and DJ sets, providing a festival feel to your show experience. Look out for late night opening on Saturday 14 and Saturday 21 and watch our socials for details of this year’s lineup and show headliners. For those looking to unwind after a day of excitement, the refreshed Guinness Bar offers a perfect spot to reflect on the day’s adventures with family and friends.

With your boat show ticket you can enjoy all this alongside some 650 exhibitors and hundreds of incredible boats and watercraft of all shapes and sizes.

The Southampton International Boat Show is your gateway to a celebration of maritime culture, a showcase of aquatic sports, and a gathering of the community. We invite you to join us and explore, experience, and enjoy the rich tapestry of the nautical world. So, mark your calendars and prepare for an unforgettable journey on the water and beyond.

Don’t miss out, get your tickets today!