London Boat Show 2018: Who’s there from Suffolk and Norfolk?

Just 20ft long and powered by a two-man crew, The Dad's Boats paddle boat will feature at this year’

Just 20ft long and powered by a two-man crew, The Dad's Boats paddle boat will feature at this years London Boat Show. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

A who’s who of the best firms in sailing, motorboating, holidays, spare parts and boat sales is looking forward to a busy time at the London Boat Show in January.

Greg Munford, chief executive of Stalham-based Richardson�s Boating Holidays and president-elect of

Greg Munford, chief executive of Stalham-based Richardson�s Boating Holidays and president-elect of British Marine Boat Shows, which runs the events at London and Southampton. Picture: EDP Library - Credit: Archant

The London Boat Show is a vital date on the calendar for East Anglian firms determined to make – or increase - their mark on the international boating market.

It’s the place to be seen for companies big and small, which means Norfolk and Suffolk show goers may find themselves talking to stand holders from businesses just a few miles away from home.

They include familiar faces such as Stalham-based Richardson’s Boating Holidays and Brooms Boats from Brundall, along with smaller companies ensuring their name gets known by as many people as possible.

Think of businesses such as Dad’s Boats, the two-person pedal powered craft from Ludham.

Stephen Pittkethley, director of Dad’s Boats, says: “The UK’s biggest boat shows [London ExCeL and Southampton] are important to us. If you’re not there, people wonder why not.

“We are a microscopic company in the boat-building world, so we feel we need to raise our profile and the shows help us to do that,” he adds.

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Look out for companies flying the nautical flag for East Anglia such as the family Jeckells businesses, which was established in 1832, and the sea and inland luxurious cruising motor yachts from Broom Boats, sold by Tingdene Boat sales at all 10 of

its locations.

Richardson’s is the largest operator on the Norfolk Broads with more than 300 boats, aiming to offer everyone a chance to enjoy the Broads with a variety of boats and budgets.

The company heads to the boat show for the fourth time not just to extol the joy and the modern day ease of its boating holidays, but to promote the Norfolk Broads as a destination for everyone.

The company invites showgoers to step on board its boats while telling them how and why the Broads are such as great holiday destination.

“We believe in helping our customers to get the very best from their holiday – and there aren’t many better places to do that than in the magical waterland that makes up the Broads National Park,” says Greg Munford, chief executive of Richardson’s Boating Holidays.

The show is a chance for those already smitten with life afloat to explore inland cruising motorboats, from narrow beam models up to 32ft by Viking Mouldings, along with the family cruisers used on the coasts and waterways of the UK and Europe by Shetland Boats of Pakenham, Suffolk.

For those sailing rather than motoring, it’s a chance to meet experts in the sailing world such as sail makers John Parker and Peter Kay, who announced a new partnership with international sail making brand OneSails five years ago.

Now the lofts at Suffolk Yacht Harbour in Levington offer sail making services for yachts of all sizes, cruising or racing, including new sails using OneSails 4T FORTE and Millenium construction processes as well as the Vantage1 fibre range exclusive to the British lofts.

Since 1990 John Parker and Peter Kay have supplied sails for championship winning boats ranging from International 8 Metres to Ultra 30s, and had notable successes including multiple regional, national and international championships.

Boat owners busy with jobs on their craft – and there’s always something to do – will meet boat part suppliers such as Beccles-based ASAP Supplies, winners of the Excellence in Customer Service Award (11 employees + category) at the Lowestoft and Waveney Business Awards gala.

It offers more than 14,000 quality branded marine equipment and boat parts from over 70 well-known brands, with a free weekly van delivery service to IP and NR postcodes.

ASAP news at the show is about its new branch opening in February 2018 in Fareham, Hampshire. Book tickets online to the London Boat Show 2018.