Scotland’s Boat Show 2018 (SBS18) – the largest Scottish and second largest UK boat show – was held at Kip Marina, Inverclyde over the weekend, attracting visitors and exhibitors from across the UK, Ireland and even as far afield as Europe.
It featured a new expanded layout and more than 120 new and pre-owned boats on view to tempt all tastes and budgets.
Broker Michael Schmidt and Partner’s Roseann Sweeney said: “With almost 400 viewings and many boats already under offer during the weekend we are amazed at the success of this year’s show given the conditions and, with many leads still to be followed up, we are hopeful this could be one of our most successful ever.”
On the new boat sales front, first time exhibitor Arcona Yachts’s director Alasdair Marshall said: “With the demise of London Boat Show we wanted to see if a regional show would work for Arcona and so we made the journey to Scotland. We have had great numbers of people showing an interest in our boats and, because of this, we are looking forward to returning to SBS in 2019.”
Marine trade exhibitors reported buoyant sales throughout the show and even though the high winds of Storm Callum were blowing initially, the first reservations for trade stands at the 2019 show were confirmed on Friday afternoon by two companies who were at the boat show for the first time.
Riverside Inverclyde’s Head of Business Investment, Andrew Bowman said:
“Congratulations to Scotland’s Boat Show on another exceptional event despite the difficult weather conditions during the build-up. Scotland’s Boat Show further showcases Inverclyde’s ability to host large-scale maritime events and attract a wide range of inward investment into the area over the course of the show.
“Riverside Inverclyde is proud to have been a title sponsor of the show since 2016 to share the on-going regeneration projects across Inverclyde. Ri’s involvement has supported the overall development and growth of Scotland’s Boat Show, whilst ensuring that the show remains a free-to-attend event.”
As always, one of the most popular features was the RYA Scotland-hosted programme of free taster sessions in yacht cruising, motor cruising and rigid inflatable boat driving.
James Allan of RYA Scotland said:
“We had a really successful three days at the show. On-water activities were rightly cancelled on the Friday but, despite this, we still managed to fill nearly 150 on-water sessions over the weekend come rain or shine.
“Scotland’s Boat Show has become well-established and provides RYA Scotland with a great opportunity to show people how accessible boating is through the training providers and clubs in Scotland, while our stand was well-placed to offer advice and explain the benefits of RYA membership. We are already thinking ahead to next year!”
A welcome addition was the Riverside Inverclyde pavilion which allowed marine and leisure exhibitors a large undercover area which was very popular with visitors, prompting Marine Blast’s Ian Hurrell to call SBS18 “our best ever show!”. Riverside Inverclyde used the weekend to share the plans for Greenock Town Centre, including the Greenock Ocean Terminal development and the proposed West Blackhall Street improvements.
The Cruising Association presented three days of informative free lectures on the Sika Marine Stage on subjects ranging from ‘Sailing Around Britain’ to marine ecology.
Stef Goodwin of The Cruising Association said:
“Despite the weather, the varied presentations were very well attended and a popular part of the weekend. It was great to see all manner of boating enthusiasts enjoying the show and learning lots of tips and tricks from both industry professionals and like-minded cruisers.”
On shore, visitors enjoyed more than 40 designer, art and craft stalls in the extended Clyde Life pavilion while next door the Scottish Food and Drink and Taste Inverclyde pavilions were a huge success and audiences enjoyed a series of entertaining cookery demonstrations from the hospitality students of West College Scotland as part of the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People.
Above: The ‘Taste Tent’ had another successful event with most traders selling out of their produce
Taste Inverclyde’s ‘Taste Tent’ pavillion gave local producers Nutcrafter Creamery, The New Chocolate Company, The Start-Up Drinks Lab, Moonbow Bakery, Kaur Bakers and Duntarrin Farm the opportunity to promote their offerings with Riverside Inverclyde also sharing their plans for the Baker Street Food and Drink Manufacturing Hub. There was also an estimated 750 copies of Taste Inverclyde’s Food and Drink Guide 2018 distributed over the course of the weekend.
Andrew Bowman added:
“The addition of Taste Inverclyde as a sponsor to this year’s food and drink offering provided local manufacturers the opportunity to promote their produce for free, further supporting the ongoing growth of the sector in Inverclyde.
Adding to the mix over the show weekend were a line-up of pipe bands, rock choirs, and a host of other activities that had one visitor describe the show as an amazing showcase for Scottish boating and sailing.
Kip Marina managing director Gavin McDonagh said:
“We are again proud to be an ambassador for Inverclyde as a destination for visitors and exhibitors from all over the UK, and to promote Scotland’s world-class boating and sailing facilities.”
Gavin thanked the Kip staff for putting together another successful boat show, and sponsors and partners Riverside Inverclyde, RYA Scotland, West College Scotland, Sika Marine, Cruising Association, Chelsea Magazines and The Herald.
For more information about the show – click here.