‘Extremely positive’: SBS Boatlife 2023 welcomes 14,000 visitors

SBS BoatLife 2023 photo Jon Shrimpton Boatlife 2023. Image courtesy of Boatlife/Jon Shrimpton

SBS BoatLife has reported impressive crowds with 14,000 visitors attending its second event, which took place over four days at the NEC in Birmingham from 16-19 February 2023.

The show dates for the next edition of SBS Boatlife have now been confirmed as 15-18 February 2024 at the NEC, with further details to follow.

After the success of the inaugural event in 2022, the organisers added a number of new features for this year. These included the Marine Power Suzuki Angling Zone, GJW Activity Pool, Isuzu & SBS Trailers experiences, together with a host of dedicated ambassadors, multiple new brands and increased opportunities for visitor interactions.

Brands exhibiting RIBs and motor boats on display included The Wolf Rock Boat Company, which showcased models from Idea Marine, Iron Boats and Brig, alongside impressive exhibits from Moomba and Supra, Highfield RIBs and Suzuki Marine. A great range of Buster RIBs were on show, with brand new exhibitors The Aluminium Boat Company proving a pull as well as a UK debut from H20 Leisure with Centurion Ri230 and Scarab 285 powerboats.


The Inland Zone saw increased footfall, with the Oakums electric narrowboat proving a big crowd-pleaser. New & Used Boats enjoyed a global launch of their new widebeam canal boat, while Burton Waters showcased the UK debut of the superb Delphia 11 Sedan. In the sailing sector Rooster Sailing, Topper and Hartley Boats put on a colourful display across various ranges.

Freedom Boat Club UK also used the show to launch a new franchise location on the waterfront of Loch Lomond.

In total, there were 175 exhibitors in attendance and over 200 boats on display, including power and narrow boats, dinghies, RIBs and water sports. During the show, 10 demos were carried out, and 200 visitors enjoyed have-a-go sessions on the pool, while a total of 40 speakers appeared across the two stages (main stage and angling zone).


“What has struck me is the definite beginnings of the community that we always wanted to create,” says Richard Dove, MD of BoatLife Events. “To see this coming together in only year two is extremely positive. The team has worked incredibly hard on the show, and I am immensely proud of what we have collectively achieved.”

Several brands have reportedly asked to rebook for 2024, including The Wolf Rock, Seaward, SeaDek, Suzuki, Gibbs, Torqeedo and A Glaze.

“We are honoured to have been an important part of the event as the headline sponsor to support the growing show. We are looking forward to this being a fixed event in the boating calendar and seeing it go from strength to strength,” says Andy Wyer of SBS Trailers.

SBS BoatLife 2023

“The industry needs to get behind shows like BoatLife, it’s very important we don’t get too south-coast-centric,” adds Pete Reeve of Marine Power. “The show is extremely diverse in terms of prospect base, anybody who has any national aspirations should be getting involved. We are really, really pleased with the leads we have gained. We have had north of 100 good leads, and over 50 quotes from people I believe will transact this season. It has given us some real energy which we need with our team going into the season.”

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One response to “‘Extremely positive’: SBS Boatlife 2023 welcomes 14,000 visitors”

  1. Mike Cave says:

    Enjoyed the show , visited Thursday and again on Saturday, the highlight for me was the Angling Zone , meet up will a lot of fishing Facebook & instagram friends. Great atmosphere looking forward to 2024. Well done BoatLife 👍

This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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