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Britain’s biggest boat show will return to the South Coast from 10-19 September 2021 with its largest and most sustainable edition yet

With additional land and a festival area, the 52nd Southampton International Boat Show will literally be bigger than ever before.

Organiser British Marine has also pledged to make it the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly show yet.

After the 11th-hour shock cancellation of the show last year due to the pandemic, it is a much-anticipated event.

Southampton International Boat Show Get Afloat

The 2021 edition will run from 10-19 September, 0930 to 1830 daily.

British Marine teamed up with Southampton City Council to secure a new entrance and festival area outside West Quay shopping centre.


The show, which usually attracts 100,000 people over 10 days, will see visitors pass through dedicated zones.

These include areas for watersports; dinghies; classic boats and day boats, leading into Mayflower Park where a purpose-built marina will showcase hundreds of power and sail boats, equipment and services.


Events on the water will include demonstrations and live commentary

Visitors can get afloat on dinghies, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, through Try-A-Boat sessions on rigid inflatable boats, powerboats and yachts, and the specially-adapted fully accessible powerboat Wetwheels for wheelchair users.

For a ‘small additional fee’ show goers can enjoy sailing trips on:

  • the square-rigged Tall Ship Morgenster
  • the sailing yacht Jolie Brise
  • and passenger cruiser Island Scene.

Bookings for Get-A-Float, Try-A-Boat, and the boat trips can be made at the central Festival Green area.

This is the area to find family entertainment, with music playing throughout the day and into the early evening.

Other attractions at the show will include on-the-water demonstrations with live commentary, and guest speakers.

Southampton International Boat Show on the water stunts

Flyboarder James Prestwood, ‘the man who can fly without wings’ will be performing his stunts.

‘One of my favourite tricks is when I fly 60ft up, wave to the crowd, and then just fall backwards in a drop flop,’ says James.

‘It always gets a good reaction from the crowd – you can literally hear them gasp.’

Lesley Robinson, British Marine chief executive officer, said: ‘We’re excited by the changes which will make it unlike any previous Southampton show.

‘Our outdoor setting, with Europe’s largest temporary marina capable of hosting over 300 craft, and a new show layout which connects the water’s edge with the historic Southampton City walls and Westquay Shopping Centre, has enabled us to push the boundaries this year, with a myriad of incredibly exciting features for all ages.’

The Hunter Association will be among the owners association exhibitors, welcoming visitors aboard a Hunter Channel 31.



Join Yachting Monthly’s team on stand E001 to take part in our reader survey and have a chat.

We will be announcing the winner of YM’s Brian Black Memorial Award, sponsored by marine electronics company B&G, for the best sailing adventure with an environmental twist on B&G stand J372.


Use the discount code YM21 to receive two adult ‘Any One Day’ tickets for £34, rather than the full price of £26.50 per ticket.

Concessions, hospitality and other ticket deals can be found on the show’s website.

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British Marine has pledged to make the 2021 edition the most sustainable and environmentally friendly in its 52 year history.

Visitors will be able to buy products made from recycled and recyclable materials, and discover the latest technological advances designed to protect the environment.

Specific advice and guidance will be available from The Green Blue stand – a joint initiative between British Marine and the RYA, that highlights sustainable and environmentally friendly products and services through its Green Blue Business Directory.

Lesley Robinson said: ‘This show is packed with products and services which are sustainable and help protect the environment which we love’, including:

  • Rope manufacturer Marlow, which makes its Blue Ocean Dockline using 100% recycled waste plastic bottles.
  • Henri-Lloyd’s new MAV Mid Hoody made from 17 recycled 1.5L PET bottles.
  • Halyard’s Wave filters which prevent oil or other pollutants being inadvertently pumped overboard.
  • Micfil Ultra Fine filters, which ensure cleaner fuel and oil, reducing emissions.
  • Ecoworks Marie natural hand and surface sanitisers.


Exhibitors at the show must sign up to a pledge which includes:

  • no single-use plastic water bottles on stands, outlets, or hosted events
  • to nominate a sustainability champion on their stand to oversee waste management and recycling at the show
  • to offer only sustainable and recyclable promotional goodies
  • and to only use compostable, recyclable or reusable cups, plates and cutlery.

‘These mandatory requirements for 2021 are in addition to actions implemented at the last show in 2019, which has already seen the ban of all plastic straws, reduced use of single use plastic for all show-related preparation and operations, encouraging the use of e-ticket and QR codes, and only using recycled paper if print materials are required,’ adds Lesley.

‘We’re proud that during the 2019 show over 7.5 tons of waste was diverted from landfill by exhibitor actions.’

Mike Golding

Mike Golding

For exhibitors that go the extra mile, there is also the opportunity to enter the show’s Exhibitor Sustainability Award.

The Green Blue’s ambassador Mike Golding will present this award on Press Day (10 September).

Entries must be sent to British Marine before 10 August, highlighting the actions being taken at the show and within the organisation.

RS Sailing and Spirit Yachts were joint winners of the inaugural awards in 2019.

Source: Yachting Monthly

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