We spent the day at the London BoatShow yesterday and had a good time. I've heard about the show for years when I've read about boats: "This boat premiered at the London BoatShow of 1969 and immediately sold 11!"
So, my expectations were a bit high, and we left a bit disappointed. The Southampton BoatShow had more boats on the water to go through, and more vendors and stalls to wander. The Earl's Court Show was smaller, but it was amazingly uncrowded and relaxed. The London show was fun, but in the middle and pretty crowded.
However, there was a great Practical Boat Owner Magazine seminar about anchoring, a life-sized demonstration. My son and I also toured an in-commission British destroyer, the HMS Exeter.
We also boarded an Ovni 435 and enjoyed looking through her. Then we saw a British Hunter Mystery 35, which was much more interesting that we thought it would be. It's a cool combination of a 35 foot daysailor (long open cockpit) and a coastal cruiser interior. Great interior details and design.
Finally, my son's favorite was the Cornish Shrimper 19 coastal cruiser. It's a great traditional design in modern materials, with the best galley of the show (in a 19 foot boat). If only it had a shower stall!
Here's a link to a photo gallery of our visit:
We had some great conversations with other sailors, and learned more about boat ownership in Britain. We're looking forward to our RYA evening courses and cross-channel cruises this spring and summer.