To help you find exactly what you are looking for the Southampton International Boat Show is made up of zones. Each zone is a mini ‘show within the show’ dedicated to a particular type of boating or activity.
Here we take a closer look at the different zones and what you’ll find as you navigate your way around the show…be prepared, we have so much to tell you!
In the ‘Watersports Zone’, located at the entrance to the show, you’ll get your fix of unlimited watersports action. You’ll find everything 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 watersports super fan, there is something for everyone.
Plus, new for 2023 is The Beach Haven & Watersports Lake, brought to you by Haven Knox-Johnston. This dynamic new addition to the show promises a blend of action and relaxation. In the heart of the Watersports Zone, visitors will be able to try their hand at a whole host of different watersports as well as chill out on the city centre’s only sandy beach.
The Watersports Zone will be crammed full of the top watersports’ brands, from Two Bare Feet and Lorima, to Paqualife and Scubajet, to mention just a few. But with over 600 exhibitors, whether you’re looking for the essentials to get started or the very latest tech and gadgets, with so many brands in a single location, it’s a great place to compare different products and find what’s right for you. You can see, touch, and often test the newest watersports equipment on the market. This can give you an idea of what’s available, how different pieces of equipment work, and what you might need to get started.
Plus, the show is also a great place to find some great deals on essential kit, with special boat show promotions, offering discounts on equipment and gear you might snag yourself some bargains.
With a whole host of watersport professionals, experts, and enthusiasts attending the show it also makes for a fantastic opportunity to get advice and guidance about lots of different watersports, the skills required, tips on how to get started and what it’s like to participate in them. With all this knowledge at their fingertips they can also help recommend the best equipment to start with and where to get the appropriate training.
And, if you fancy getting your hair wet, then check out the Andark Dive tank, where under the watchful eyes of Andark’s instructors, you can try a dive for free.
The ‘Dinghy Zone’ is the place to be to see sport and sailing dinghies, trailer boats, cruisers, boat builders, high-performance equipment, sailing clubs, holiday providers and training options all in one place.
From youngsters looking for their first boat, fun family cruising dinghies to the very latest in cutting edge technology for dedicated racers, you will find dinghies of all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re looking to buy or want to find out about rental options we have boats to suit all budgets. Look out for leading brands including RS Sailing, who will have nine dinghies on display, Hartley Boats displaying their range of dinghies from training and beginner’s boats to cruising dinghies and sophisticated one-design racers or look out for the brand-new ‘Cool Grey’ racing Topper.
If you’re looking for helpful advice and inspiration, there will be a whole host of dinghy experts on hand offering advice and top tips to help you find the right dinghy for you. In the Dinghy Zone you can see, try, and buy, it all.
With more chandlery options than ever before you will find everything you need from ropes, foils and sails to bungs, blocks, shackles and burgees, you’ll have access to an unbeatable range of chandlery and essential boating supplies. You’ll also find a wide range of clothing products and accessories suitable for all abilities. From technical clothing including high performance sailing smocks, trousers or dry suits, to casual clothing including polo shirts, shore jackets, deck shoes and more. Look out for Rooster’s Aquafleece robe new colourways range – which will be your favourite?
So, if you love dinghy sailing you’ll find it all and much more in the Dinghy Zone.
Classic & Dayboat Zone, powered by Classic Boat Magazine
From luggers to day boats, gaff rig clinker classics to sleek launches with electric propulsion systems, opportunities to learn classic boat building skills, getting hands-on with ropemaking and knot tying to meeting the stars of “Swallow and Amazons”, there’s something for everybody in the ‘Classic & Day Boat Zone’.
In this zone we celebrate 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 in this zone.
Alongside admiring the sleek lines of stunningly designed and built classic boats, you can also get hands-on, watching and learning the age-old traditional boat building skills required to make these craft. The staff and students from the International Boat Building Training College, will be building a classic boat throughout the show demonstrating all aspects from steam bending wood through to carving and routing.
If you’ve ever fancied making a monkey’s fist, a lanyard or rope fender, or just learning how to tie knots, then look no further than the skilful Sue Pennison of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. Sue will be demonstrating the art of knot tying and canvas work, giving visitors the chance to get hands-on creating their own masterpieces.
Also look out Swallows and Amazons’ star Sophie Neville, who played Able Seaman Titty and was the inspiration for many youngsters as she was filmed sailing and rowing the sturdy 14-foot standing lugsail craft “Amazon” in this highly popular classic film. Sophie will be at the Show talking about her experiences as a child film star, the process of raising funds to purchase these classic craft, their restoration, and the opportunities to now sail in these classic boats.
And remember, classic doesn’t always mean ‘old fashioned’, so, whether it’s getting to grips with knot tying and rigging, learning some fettling and boat building skills, understanding the latest in electric and hybrid propulsion or satisfying a shopping urge, there really is something for everyone – whatever your age or interest.
On The Water Zone
A show favourite, 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 from Flexisail. 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. All the equipment is provided and the team from Rockley Watersports are on hand to offer lots of help and advice and keep you safe.
If you fancy something a little more laid back, then 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!
If you’re looking for something a bit more indulgent and extra special, then book yourself a place on board “Spirit of Poole” a 50ft Racing Trimaran. Sailing twice a day from the show, with a maximum of just five passengers per trip, you’ll enjoy an incredible 2-hour sail on this VIP experience of a lifetime – it really is one not to be missed.
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
Step into Mayflower Park and discover a world of leading brands, innovative boats and unforgettable experiences. You’ll find exhibitors galore with stands packed with clothing, chandlery goods and unique accessories. See the latest in engines and technology, useful gadgets and boats galore.
Visit the Foredeck Stage, this year located in Ocean Hall, to hear from 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.
There are also some great spots to rest, relax and refuel including the Quarterdeck Bar & Restaurant and TheYachtMarket.com Sparkling Wine Bar, as well as the show’s famous Guinness Bar, which this year gets a bit of a makeover and promises to be bigger and better than ever. Drop by for a pint of mild stout, alongside other cold drinks, tasty street food and sweet treats. Plus, new for 2023, just for fun, get your face or logo printed on your pint!
NEW FOR 2023 – The Shipyard
Bringing the festival vibe to the show is the brand-new Shipyard food court and music stage.
With DJ sets and loads of live music, you’re sure to hear something to get your toes tapping and with a whole host of scrumptious street food stalls, it’s the perfect place to sit back, grab a drink and enjoy great food and music and reflect on a fantastic day at the show.
You can also catch up on some live sports on our new big screens located in the Shipyard and around the show. If you’re a rugby fan, we will be bringing two exciting clashes from the Rugby World Cup to the big screen in the Shipyard. On Saturday 16 September (16.45) watch Wales take on Portugal, then on Saturday 23 September (16.45) watch as England takes on Chile, so you can watch all the Rugby World Cup action without having to choose between the boat show and the match.
The Shipyard is also home to the show’s VIP lounge, The Quayside Club. Upgrade your visit with a VIP ticket and enjoy exclusive access to the Quayside Club Waterfront lounge. 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.
You’ll also find the British Marine Members Lounge and the Media Centre, alongside a number of exhibitor stands including Ribcraft, Jetski UK and more.
On The Water Stage – breath-taking stunts and heart-stopping action
Expect to be wowed and impressed! With high-octane stunt demos, our world class team of extreme sports professionals is set – yet again – to amaze and entertain the whole family in an adrenaline-packed shows. Simply head to our On The Water Stage and see them unleash their incredible high-flying and mind-boggling tricks.
Marvel at the incredible backflips, rolls and tricks of professional jet skier, world champion and daredevil Jack Moule
Watch with bated breath when renowned Flyboarder James Prestwood speeds over the water, performing backflips, spins, twists, supermans, dolphin dives, slaloms at heights of up to 60 feet in the air in an epic display.
Plus, joining the amazing ‘On the Water Stage’ line up for the first time is the incredible jet ski car, you have to see it to believe it!
Grab a seat in the Quarterdeck Bar & Restaurant or watch from the marina and enjoy the action!
As Europe’s largest, temporary, purpose-build show marina you’ll find more than 300 boats of all types, shapes and sizes from all over the world on display at – making it the perfect place to find your ideal boat.
With halyards clacking against masts, flags fluttering in the breeze, and sunshine (hopefully) reflecting off shining decks, there’s nothing more exciting than spending time on the pontoons at the boat show. You can fully explore a wide variety of different craft from all over the world, inside and out and side by side. From massive superyachts, to foiling powerboats; seaworthy blue water cruisers, adventure and explorer powerboats, seaworthy fishing boats, tenders and toys, the options are endless.
You’ll also find a whole host of attraction boats, including the tall ship Thalassa, Royal Navy P2000 Patrol Boat, Solent Rescue Arctic 24, Police CPI Boat, UKOPRA race boats and 5oft Racing Trimaran, to name just a few.
With so much to see and do you’re sure to have an action-packed day at the Southampton International Boat Show. And remember, you don’t have to pick a favourite, you can visit them all!