July 24 2014 Latest news:
Duncan Brodie, business editor
Friday, June 27, 2014
More than 2,000 visitors attended the first East Anglian Boat Show which was staged at MDL’s Woolverstone Marina near Ipswich last weekend.
The event, held in conjunction with the British Marine Federation East Anglia and the Royal Yachting Assocation’s Active Marina Programme, featured a wide range of boats and marine products alongside family entertainment and refreshments.
With 38 exhibitors present, ranging from local businesses to major boatbuilders, visitors were able to browse a selection of new and used boats, ranging from 20ft to 45ft vessels, as well as marine equipment and clothing brands.
The RNLI also held onshore demonstrations, including sea safety, lifejacket checks and boat maintenance and there were plenty of activities to keep younger visitors happy, including model boat racing and a bouncy castle.
Exhibitors included Broom Boats, which showcased its newest model, the 430, which was unveiled at the Düsseldorf Boat Show earlier this year.
Greg Houlston, sales and commercial manager at Broom Boats, said: “This is the first year that a boat show like this has been held in the region and the team at Woolverstone Marina coped admirably with the challenge. The location and date work well for us as a brand and fit in well with the existing UK boat show calendar. The show has great potential to be a real asset to the region.”
Other exhibitors included sail, cover and awning manufacturer Dolphin Sails. Sales and marketing manager Jon Sturmer said: “We had an enjoyable and successful weekend, with a good mixture of enquiries for both sails and covers. We also saw a lot of interest in our cruising chute furlers and tensile awnings. We would certainly look to return next year.”
Phili Harris, managing director of electronic chart navigation software specialists Meridian Chartware, which was also among the exhibitors, said: “We secured a number of promising leads at the show and exhibiting helped raise our profile locally.
“We want to let boat owners know that there are local companies based in the region that can meet their needs. The show was very well organised and staff at the marina were a great help.”
And Glen Wallis, business development manager at another exhibitor, marine insurance specialist GJW Direct, added: “We enjoyed a fantastic show at Woolverstone Marina, with lots of new enquiries and visits from some of our existing customers.
“The show provided us with a great opportunity to showcase our services and what we offer as a company. Members of staff at the marina were very helpful and made sure we had everything we needed.”
Many of the onsite businesses at Woolverstone Marina also exhibited at the show, including yacht brokerages Precious Marine and Clipper Marine, sail and cover upholstery specialists Sail and Cover, engineering and electronics company Seapower Marine, and boat repair and construction specialist, Nigel Waller.
The show also saw Audi Ipswich, Mercedes-Benz of Ipswich and quality used car provider Proveeda showcase a selection of luxury cars.
Trevor Barnes, marina manager at Woolverstone Marina, said: “We were delighted with the success of the first East Anglian Boat Show.
“It was a brilliant weekend that gave visitors the chance to explore a wide range of boats and marine products from some great brands, whilst also offering fun activities to keep younger visitors entertained.
“It was great to welcome so many visitors to the marina and we are already looking forward to next year, when we hope the show will be even bigger and better.”