The ‘Dinghy Zone’ at the Southampton International Boat Show is bigger and better than ever before. This year sees extensive ranges of boats from all the leading manufacturers, plus the chance to get the first glimpse of some exciting new product launches. Whether experienced helms and crews, or newbies looking to purchase a first boat, the dinghy zone is the place to see, try and buy all the kit, accessories and clothing required.
Throughout the show there will be interesting and thought-provoking talks from leading dinghy sailors, useful advice from the experts, and visitors can even get out on the water to try out some of the dinghies to see what style of boats suits them best. With the same friendly and all-inclusive atmosphere that can be found in dinghy parks and sailing clubs all over the country, the show’s dinghy zone is the place to meet up with friends old and new, share stories, experiences and laughs over a cold drink, or a refreshing hot cuppa.
RS Sailing will be showcasing 10 of its dinghies, with a yet-to-be-announced preview of a new model on its stand. From the RS Tera, ideal as a starter boat for youngsters learning to sail, through to the RS Feva which is ideal for adults and youngsters to sail together or on their own, right up to the multi-crew RS21 modern one-design racing keelboat, there really is a dinghy to suit all ages, abilities, and aspirations. For those looking to learn to sail, there’s the stable and comfortable RS Zest, RS Quest, RS Venture and the newly launched RS Toura to choose from. Competitive racers will eye up the highly popular and versatile RS Aero for single-handed sailing, or for a two-handed boat, the 2000 (formerly the Laser 2000) with its gennaker and self-draining cockpit, combines exciting sailing and with easy handling that inspires confidence whatever your ability.
The iconic Topper was designed in 1977 by Ian Proctor and is still a popular dinghy for all ages and abilities. Fun, friendly and competitive, the Topper Class can claim to have developed some of the best young sailors in the world and has given others the taste of independence and freedom on the water. This year the stand will be buzzing with the extensive Topper and Topaz range showing a selection of eleven different styles of dinghies, from the smallest craft Topper WWS and Topper Taz designed for young people and beginners, up to the Race X R2 Xtreme. There are also the family all-rounders including the popular Argo Sport and Omega Sport on show.
Hartley Boats will have dinghies from its well-proven training ranges, used predominately at clubs and teaching centres, through to cruising and recreation craft, and ultra-fast one design racing dinghies on its stand.
The Fusion dinghy offers a popular and flexible choice for many people. Designed for single-handed or two-person sailing, the Fusion offers multiple options from the basic version with mainsail – ideal for adult and junior beginners – right up to the Fusion PRO GEN fully equipped with mainsail, jib and gennaker. It will be on show alongside the Maverick, a boat that can claim to do it all! From providing a comfortable sitting position for sailing, the Maverick can also be used for stand up sailing, or converted into a windsurfer or SUP for one or two people.
Amongst all the dinghies on show, there are also plenty of opportunities to stock up on the latest trends in high performance clothing from leading brands including Rooster, stylish deck shoes from Sebago, and numerous stands around the shows selling essential chandlery, ropes, fittings and accessories. For something unique, take a look at Stitch It and Fix It’s range of handmade items upcycled from old sails, offcuts and ends of rolls of fabrics ensuring nothing goes to waste.
So, whether looking for a starter dinghy, a stable boat for family fun, or a highly competitive class of boat suitable for international racing, there’s something for everyone in the dinghy section at the Southampton International Boat Show.
Fancy giving it a go? Then sign up for a ‘Get Afloat’ session with Rockley Watersports and get on the water and give dinghy sailing a try. Find out more at https://www.southamptonboatshow.com/get-afloat/ Find out more about the Dinghy Zone at: https://www.southamptonboatshow.com/dinghy-zone/