Early attendance is down on 2013 figures but advance ticket sales are up… Today’s official press day saw dozens of world, European and UK boat and product launches at the London Boat Show 2014.

TV presenter Suzi Perry unveiled a hot pink Turbojet 325 from Williams Performance Tenders, which is being auctioned for charity in aid of Breast Cancer Care.

Suzi said: ‘Today’s supposed to be the most depressing day of the year, this should brighten things up a bit.’

The highest bid currently stands at just under £6,000 but organisers hope to raise £25,000 for the charity. Click here to find the auction on eBay.

 

 

Spymaster launched its Underwater Drop Camera, which can provide video and illumination at a depth range of up to 60m, with images depicted on a portable high resolution video monitor. Musto showcased its photoluminescent technology, which now features on three more of its collections following positive feedback from Volvo Ocean Race sailors.

The company also launched its new ultra-lightweight and waterproof ‘Dynamic’ range, with ‘vari-stretch’ panelling that will be on sale from April and includes a smock, jacket and salopette.

Musto also launched the Dynamic Pro Shoe, developed in partnership with Clarks shoe specialists, which features a rubber sole for maximum grip, a water-draining system and light, breathable fabric, saltwater resistant eyelets and anti-odour treated mesh.

Boatability

The Rivertime Boat Trust in Berkshire announced ‘Boatability’, a new joint venture with Bisham Abbey Sailing and Navigation School to enable disabled people the opportunity to participate in physical activity on the water.

British luxury motorboat manufacturers Fairline launched the Targa 48 Gran Turismo and reported that sales were on the up.

CEO Kevin Gaskell also revealed details of the Fairline Esprit, which he described as a ‘glimpse of the future of sustainable leisure boating’, with emphasis on re-using and recycling materials and reducing weight to lower the carbon footprint and enhance engine capability.

Garmin showcased a wealth of new products to the public for the first time, including the GPSMAP 800 and 1000 combination chartplotter and fishfinder units, with 8- and 10-inch displays respectively.

The Garmin Helm free mobile app and new scanning sonar were among the company’s latest launches, along with a software update for the GPSMAP and echoMAP series of combination chartplotter and fishfinder units, which can now share supplemental maps and user data such as waypoints, routes, and tracks.

Cruising inspiration

Over at the Adventure Cruising area, Jeremy Wyatt of the World Cruising Club provided practical advice to visitors considering taking part in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC).

Top tips included buying a comfort fit lifejacket – ‘If it’s comfortable, you’ll wear it’, being aware of the responsibility issues of taking crew, how to find quality crew members on the World Cruising Club website and guidance to ‘definitely sail with them beforehand, either on delivery or on a night sail – you want to trust them to wake you up’ and to consider personalities – ‘it’s important you like them.’

Long-standing Old Gaffers Association (OGA) member Tom Cunliffe gave a talk on the history of the association and presented yachtswoman Barbara Runnalls with the OGA Gaffers Globe Trophy 2014.

Grandmother-of-two Barbara, from Lancing, near Worthing completed a three-month circumnavigation of Britain single-handed on a her gaff cutter Moon River last summer.

As part of the OGA’s Round Britain Challenge, Sussex Yacht Club member Barbara set out in May from Shoreham and sailed to the West Country, round Land’s End, to Wales, Ireland and then Scotland. Barbara even managed to have a minor knee operation without missing out on any sailing days.

She said: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed it, I made the most wonderful friends and enjoyed the sailing, it was a lovely sense of achievement. We had a wonderful welcome wherever we went.’

Attendance figures

This year’s London Boat Show, which marks the event’s 60th year, will run until Sunday, 12 January at the ExCeL centre.

Visitor numbers to the first two days of the show are down on 2013 figures but advance ticket sales are strong and look likely to top last year’s overall turnout by the end of the week.

A show spokesman said: ‘Yesterday’s attendance was 8,840. This was 9% down on last year’s number. This puts the attendance after two days at 19,272, 8% behind the figure of last year’s 20,994.

‘Advance tickets continue to sell well and are 4% ahead of last year.’

Find out more at www.londonboatshow.com

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