Our definitive guide to the Excel Boat Show

By Beth Allcock on January 17, 2013 10:56 AM |


From vessels and accessories for the beginner to the seasoned sailer, the London Boat Show at Excel offers a treasure trove of all things nautical.

Visitors to the nine-day extravaganza, which kicked off on Saturday and runs until Sunday, will be able to experience at first-hand a variety of newly-launched products as well as take their pick from an array of house boats and yachts in the Used Boat Marina.

Clothing and accessories are catered for with numerous outlets and for adventure-seekers, the multi-activity pool allows guests to take part in the action.

This year's event has already attracted celebrities including tenor Alfie Boe, David Dimbleby and four-time gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie.

And famous faces from last summer's sailing successes, including Iain Percy, Andrew Simpson and Pippa Wilson, will be hoping to replicate their form in the inaugural CNM Estates UK Star Class Regatta on Friday.

We went along to find out what our (fictitious) fortunes could buy us.

bookBoat.jpgFor £5

Collins Gem Knots Book
£4.99, Kelvin Hughes Bookharbour

■ A step-by-step guide to getting you clued up on the most important knots needed for sailing to ensure you don't get in a tangle on boating adventures.

"It's ideal for someone who is starting out," said sales assistant Robert Mutlow.

"It can get very expensive if you can't tie your craft onto moorings, so it's an important one to keep in your pocket.

"The best knot for mooring up your boat is the bow line or the round turn two half hitches and, to tie the fenders, which protect the sides of the boat, a the clove hitch."

For £50

Boarding Ring Anti Motion Sickness Glasses
£50, Guy Cotten


■ Stop pesky travel sickness putting a damper on your boating trips with these goggles.

Jacques Beuze, export manager at Guy Cotten, said the device, which has been on the market for the past two years, had been a good seller.

"We have had mail from people to say it has saved their sailing life," he said.

"Some have gone to sea after two or three months of sickness, used these and it's cleared the sea-sickness problem.

"The Frenchman Jeannin Hubert, who designed this, was looking into Ménière's syndrome [a disorder of the inner ear] and he ended up with this to prevent sea sickness.

"You don't need to take any tablets or anything that makes you drowsy. You only need to wear them when you think you need to be sick and only for a few minutes then take them off."

Fluid in the frames recreates the natural horizon thus ensuring there is no conflict between your eyes and your inner ear, which causes sickness.

For £500

The 3D Tender Inflatable
Super Light 200
£499, Gillingham Marina


■ Leaving you £1 change from your £500, this compact dinghy is easy to transport on all your outings.

It takes just five minutes to inflate, leaving you optimum time for fun on the water.

Workshop manager Colin Upwood said the complete kit included the tender boat, cover, pump, fold-up oars, seats and a repair kit.

"It's very light and that's the great thing about it," he said.

"It's only 13kg so you can put it on the back of your boat and although some have a wooden floor, this is just pumped up, so it's quite comfortable.

"It can carry three people safely and for kids, it's safe."

For £50,000

The J-80 Boat and Versa Dock
£50,000, Key Yachting

■ A boat suitable for both racing and family outings, the J-80 can cater to a wide range of needs.

"It's the biggest-selling sports boat in England," said Gemma Dunn.

j80Boat show.jpg

"And until the launch of the J-70, it was the biggest J Boat sold in the UK.

"It's an extremely popular boat for families. It is a yacht, but you can teach kids as it has a simple layout and it's not a scary boat.

"But most people are racers and buy it because they want to race against people in the same boat."

For £5million+

Sunseeker 28m

■ The epitome of luxury, the Sunseeker 28 boasts attention to detail and a unwavering charm that may just prompt you to pull out your cheque book and pen.

Launched last year, the British built vessel has attracted much attention in the Cannes Boat Show as well as this year's London show, where one has already been snapped up.

sunseekerBoat show.jpg

And with cabins, catering for eight guests, and also space for four crew members, it is a perfect boat for hosting grand get-togethers.

Sales broker for Sunseeker William Burns said: "It's high-end luxury, you can see by the materials used in the yacht.

"Imagine being in the south of France, it's the perfect vessel to cruise around the French Rivera.

"It's a new design too. If you look at designs of previous ranges in comparison to this one, the cabin space and layout is giving a lot more volume - there's nothing out there like this."

Talking of buyers who have already snapped up the yacht, he added: "It's a mix. We sell all over the world and it's a lot of people who have had yachts with us in the past or those who have gone through two to three boats leading up to this.

"A lot of our clients tend to bring their own interior designers in and we do a lot of bespoke work.

"It's not just one style, you get so many different materials and it makes the boat unique to the customer.

"You don't want to be buying a standard product, it is a luxury yacht."