Southampton Boat Show 2015 Report


Southampton Boat Show

Bustling pontoons were a positive indication that ‘we’re back!’ at Southampton 2015

After the sunshine and late summer heat of Cannes, a return to a typically autumnal S.Coast UK was refreshing, if not occasionally a little damp. In typical Southampton Boat Show style, pretty much all four of the seasons were experienced by those manning the pontoons, but blissfully, the ‘big’ days were basked in warm sunshine which brought the crowds out in force. No doubt the official figures will show that slightly more people visited the show than exist on the planet, but the Southampton show generally felt buzzing this year with good levels of interest being received by all parties we spoke to. A number of agents were even reporting ‘walk on’ sales being made which is something we have not seen since the glory days of pre-2008.

Southampton Boat Show

The storm clouds drifting away behind the Southampton Boat Show pontoons… in more ways than one.

Whilst Grabau International were not displaying this year at Southampton, we were there throughout most of the show, meeting a number of clients and industry friends & colleagues. As a proud and loyal member of the Association of Brokers & Yacht Agents (ABYA), we were also resident on the YBDSA (Yacht Brokers, Designers & Surveyors Association – of which ABYA is one half, the Yacht Designers & Surveyors Association (YDSA) being the other) for one of the days. Whilst the industry remains self-regulating, the work of the YBDSA is vitally important to ensure that the consumer can be assured of professional and knowledgeable service, whilst at the same time, providing the professional with an invaluable resource of information and second-opinion when needed. If buying or selling a yacht, ask whether the broker or surveyor is an ABYA or YDSA member and if not, send them here for further information.


The YBDSA stand minus the notoriously camera-shy Grabau International team

During the moments when the weather was not playing ball with our Italian suede loafers, the Boat Show halls provided a fantastic place to lose many hours investigating all manner of marine-related matters. As always, the World Cruising Club were in attendance promoting their ever-expanding range of cruising rallies. For those who have not yet sampled the delights of a WCC Rally, they really do have to be experienced. Run with military precision by the hard-working WCC team, the only thing that they cannot yet fully control is the weather, although they are looking into that.

Also to be found within the bustling halls, were the team from DIY Yachting. Matt & Liz are hugely experienced sailors and yacht managers and offer some very interesting yacht management and chartering solutions for those owners who are looking for a ‘more efficient’ way to own their yachts. Whilst charter may not be the first activity that comes to mind when buying a larger yacht, VAT usually is. With a degree in law and a background in banking, Matt is a great resource in terms of ‘what works’ and perhaps what doesn’t. DIY Yachting can be found here.

With the sun shining once more, it was time to head out to the pontoons where an ever-impressive array of sailing and power craft were on display. Once again, Amel impressed with their beautifully-designed 55 and X-Yachts (yes we know that they are our competition!) were looking frustratingly pin-sharp with their XC-38 and XC-45. It was also fantastic to see Najad back, displaying a beautiful 570 which looked a fraction of her six years vintage. Those seeking something a little more left of centre field, Pogo were displaying their awesome 12.50 for those that like to cruise VERY quickly and RM had their hard-to-miss 890 and slightly less ‘orange’ 1070. The RM’s are extremely clever yachts with a refreshing ‘clean sheet’ approach to design and construction.


The rather appropriately named RM 890 ‘Marmalade’ – we like it!

Casting a glance over to the world of clockwork boating, Contest brought along one of their quite simply sublime 52MC’s. Not exactly ‘cheap’, but fantastically well engineered and a real demonstration on what this dynamic company can now produce. One was almost tempted to order one to match one’s 57CS (also on display at the show).


More class (for a motor yacht) than old-school Bentley at Le Mans – The Contest 52MC


With two down, there are now two to go before Grabau International can retreat back across the cattle grids to the Lymington HQ.Salone Nautica in Genoa (30th September – 5th October) comes next where we will be premiering  the exciting new Italia Yachts 12.98, along with displaying the 9.98, 10.98 and .European Yacht of the Year’ 13.98 and then the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis (8-12th October) where we will be displaying the Saturn Yachts 48CC and the Italia Yachts 13.98. Stay tuned for further reports from each of these prestigious shows.

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