Fifty years of Southampton Boat Show













This year TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show celebrates its golden anniversary. Over the last 50 years it has been the launchpad for boating legends, seen the evolution of ground-breaking technology and tracked the rise of global marine brands, and shows no sign of stopping!

Taking place from September 14 to 23, this year’s Show will boast an expected 100-plus debuts and more than 500 exhibitors, of which 81 will be new to the Show for 2018, and will showcase pioneering environmental research.

The Show will also mark the 50th anniversary of the first single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili on display. Plus, sporting stars and celebrity supporters of the event over the last 50 years will be welcomed and there will be a touch of the late 1960s in the new Guinness Bar and refreshments area. What’s more, any golden couples from Southamptonncelebrating their 50th anniversary during the Boat Show will gain free entry to the event.

Visitors will be able to see the best of the past alongside the latest and most innovate craft and technology on the market.

The birth of a boat show - 1969

Royal Southampton members Norman Kemish and Arthur Gale launched the first Southampton Boat Show which ran for a just six days.. There were about 50 exhibitors, compared to 500 plus today.

The early Boat Show was a far more modest affair than the 2018 event will be and was contained solely within Mayflower Park with the army, based on the other side of the water at Marchwood Military Port, supplying the small pontoon where just a handful of boats were moored.

Entrance on the first day was ten shillings (50p), while tickets for the remaining days cost three shillings (15p).

Yachts and Yachting said: 'The first Southampton Boat Show may have lacked quantity but quality was as good as any to be found anywhere in the world and, with what is responsibly claimed to be over 60 per cent of the British pleasure boat trade situated within a 25 mile radius, the Southampton Show stands every chance of becoming a popular annual event.'