SIBS reports on its 2022 sunshine-infused show

As early bird tickets are released for next year’s Southampton International Boat Show (SIBS), organisers say 83,000 people attended – fewer than originally predicted due to the day’s closure for the Queen’s funeral – but 14,000 of those got out onto the water.

There were 685 individual stands and berths, over 650 craft on display across the show, and some 300 boats berthed in the marina. The show also welcomed 126 new companies and hosted 167 UK and World debuts.

“There has been a fabulous atmosphere at this year’s show and the feedback we’ve received from exhibitors from across the industry has been exceptional, with many indicating very strong sales,” says Lesley Robinson, CEO, British Marine.

One of those is Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding who sold two Duchy 35s, two Duchy 27s and two Duchy Sport vessels from its award-winning Duchy Motor Launches fleet. Drascombe sold four of the five boats on its display this year.

Other feedback included Ribeye boats which had a ‘sensational show’. “There has been an amazing vibe on the stand and it has been great to see existing and new customers face-to-face. We look forward to being back even bigger and better next year.”

RS Sailing & RS Electric Boats detailed the fact that the current financial situation didn’t put people off coming. “People have made the effort to come down to the show; the weather has helped. There are more stands, a higher quality of products and we’ve definitely seen more electric and automotive stands at the show, including the RS Electric, which is a real game changer. From a sustainability point of view the shows commitment to be more sustainable will only make it more popular. It really has got it all.”

Spirit Yachts‘ MD Karen Underwood also noted the change toward electric. “Our electric drive, modern classic yachts were extremely popular as people look to find more sustainable sailing opportunities. It was also encouraging to see the show taking steps to lower the carbon footprint of the event,” she says.

Sunseeker says there is great confidence in the industry, and that its range, coupled with a strong product plan for the future, is leading the way. “We are thrilled to announce record sales so far during the 2022 Boat Show Season,” the company says. “The Sunseeker family thrive when they are together as a team. Nowhere is this demonstrated more than at boat shows when we get to spend time with our valued clients. Our head-turning displays at both Southampton International Boat Show and Cannes Yachting Festival has seen us achieve great success across the range.”

Fairline welcomed the show being back to its pre-pandemic levels with large visitor numbers. “Sales for new and used boats both in the UK and med are strong and we are very happy,” says the company. Princess also welcomed the return to normality, saying “it was fantastic to see visitors enjoying everything that makes this particular show so special.”

The Wolf Rock Boat Company‘s Nick Bailey was delighted to see its five new brands to the UK being so well received while Chris Clarke from Ultimate Boats says “there has been great interest in our M class here at the show, the boat has been in and out of its berth all show. It has been incredible and without a doubt we will be here next year and we’ll be looking to expand our presence at the show.”

Both Premier Marinas and boatfolk reported success.

“The Southampton Boat Show has been a perfect platform for us to build relationships with our berth holders and meet new customers. Our ten marina teams have also enjoyed getting involved,” says Premier, while boatfolk thanks “its customers, visitors, brand ambassadors and British Marine for giving everyone a great boat show. It has been fantastic; vibrant, sunny and lots to see.”

According to Suzuki‘s Mark Beeley (head of ATV and marine): “The Southampton International Boat Show really is the British marine industry at its best. We all come together here and showcase what we do, to the public. We’ve had fantastic footfall, just another awesome show. Nearly 100 people a day have taken part in our Suzuki RIB experience and enjoyed getting out on the water, which is what it is all about.”

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

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