Thanks to Suzanne and Alan Whitewood for their report from the Southampton Boat Show, in their own words – Ed.
Making a change from having an on-the-water show opening, this year’s 43rd PSP Southampton Boat Show saw the Drum Corps of the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards march through Mayflower Park before the official opening by Frank Dixie MD of PSP, who joined celebrity chef Shaun Rankin for the ceremony and Jo Dixie who cut the ribbon.
Cookery demos for those who wanted a change
Shaun, who has a restaurant in Jersey, followed the opening ceremony by the first of his cookery demonstrations in a specially created cookery theatre at the Show.
For those visitors who want a change from the hundreds of boats on display, the cookery theatre and oyster fisheries demonstrations acted as something quite different.
Southampton-based transportation and logistics firm PSP, title sponsors of Southampton’s annual Boat Show, has an Island link as in May they transported two catamaran ferries that used to ply the Ryde-Portsmouth route from the UK to Sochi in Russia, where they will be used as ferries in the Black Sea area.
New products launched at show
Numbers of new products were launched at the Show. Cowes based Sea Safe Systems showed their IZIP for the first time to the public.
This lifejacket allows the wearer to add a personal touch, as own choice fabrics can be selected for the outer layer.
After being opened in Cowes for a short time BoatshedCowes.com, which is part of the Boatshed.com franchise, joined in the opening day celebrations. Franchisee Richard Reis welcomes those searching for a boat to his premises based in Shooters Hill as well as those looking online.
New boating shoe launched
With boating safety in mind as well as the Sea Safe IZIP, Sebago launched a new boating shoe, Triwater, which has extra grip for wet decks and any water that does get into the shoe is easily drained.
Well-known sailor Dee Caffari MBE toasted the new Southerly 47. For the third year running Piper-Heidsieck is the official Champagne supplier of the Show as it is for the London Boat Show and Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.
When disabled sailor Geoff Holt MBE needed to upgrade his powerboat, because he had the idea of giving other disabled people the chance to steer a vessel rather than being a passenger, he wrote an article about this.
Sean Strevens of Cheetah Marine, Ventnor made contact with Geoff over this. In May 2011 Sean met Geoff, who led the design and specification details of this new craft. While some 22 different charities take disabled people sailing, there is a gap in the powerboat sector.
Wetwheels launched at show
Three months after contracts were signed, Geoff was able to be at the launch of “Wetwheels” at the Show and thanked sponsors of the project which included PSP and Suzuki. With a capacity of reaching 50 knots, the boat can carry 12 people, with space for three wheelchairs.
With electronic controls a disabled driver can control the vessel, while a co-pilot has control of the throttle. “Wetwheels” will be based in Gunwharf Quay, Portsmouth and one co-pilot already signed up for trips is Shelley Jory-Leigh well-known powerboat champion.
Dame Mary Fagan, Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire performed the official Champagne toast for “Wetwheels.”