A newly formatted London Boat Show took place from Wednesday 10th January to Sunday 14th January at the ExCel in London. This is an event which kicks off the 2018 European boating calendar and marks the start of the season. There were a host of celebrities, many stunning boats to impress and glittering sporting silverware to wow visitors.
Coleman Insurance Brokers, which always has a strong presence at the Show, was represented by their Marine Team. Tony Pauffley, Manager, Yacht & Commercial Craft at Coleman commented, “It’s great to be back at the Boat Show and, as always, our team took time out to chat with many of the exhibitors at ExCel.”
Tony commented, “The insurance market is experiencing a period of adjustment following the hurricanes in 2017 which resulted in large losses for insurers. As brokers, this has put our services in high demand and we’ve been super busy at the Show as we can add so much value to clients by shopping our markets and obtaining the correct cover at a competitive price. It’s been great chatting to many of our existing clients and potential new clients.”
Tony continued, “We’re looking forward to a positive and busy 2018. We enjoyed a record year in 2017, which was 18% up on an already successful 2016.”
Sunseeker rides on the crest of a wave
Sunseeker CEO Phil Popham met with Tony Pauffley and chatted positively about the firm’s current standing in the market and how Brexit had helped fuel “very, very strong growth”. Phil enthused, “We have our strongest order book ever, going in to 2018 with 25% of planned volume sold for 2019. It’s a good place to be. We’ve invested heavily in the last 3 years and have increased revenue by 50% and our employee base by 25%. We currently have 2500 employees but with expansion plans we are actively looking to recruit up to 100 additional staff. It’s difficult to recruit, however, as we’re competing with the building trade as we are seeking to recruit roles such as electricians, carpenters and plumbers.
“In 2017 we took on a record number of apprentices and we are looking to do the same in 2018. We currently have a total of 115 apprentices.”
Sunseeker are official partners for the FIFA World Cup 2018
Sunseeker opened their stand at the London Boat Show by announcing that Sunseeker is going to be an official partner for the FIFA World Cup which will be taking place in Russia in 2018. Popham commented, “It will be a huge branding and marketing opportunity. Being associated with such a big prestigious event is great for us. The whole sunseeker family…from employees, right through to clients will be able to benefit from this. We will be doing things in the build up to the World Cup and in Russia and it will provide ‘once in a life time’ opportunities for people associated with this winning brand.”
Sir Geoff Hurst, the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, was introduced to the crowd as Sunseeker’s opening event VIP guest. Geoff was a hit with the crowd and modestly denied that scoring a hat trick was a huge achievement! Geoff show-cased the replica Jules Remit Trophy (the original trophy was stolen in Brazil in 1983) to the crowd and he explained how the only people in the world allowed to touch the trophy without gloves on are players that played in the final!
Geoff told his captured audience, “As a fan and player I am optimistic about 2018. We have some good young players. I look at the team going in to the tournament and hope that we can be very successful. What we have to do is get out of the Group. We should do that – It’s a comparatively easy group and it will be a disaster if we don’t get outside of that first four.” Geoff then assisted to cut the ribbon, along with Sunseeker founder, Robert Braithwaite.
Princess Yachts – double digit sales
Kiran Haslam, Marketing Director, Princess Yachts enthused, “This year’s London Boat Show was a great success for Princess, with visitors, our VIP clients and the industry responding favourably to the new shortened show format. The show organisers brought a renewed energy to the Excel, and we were delighted to exceed double-digit sales onsite during the show and to see a strong footfall over all 5 days. Congratulations to the team involved, and it’s a great start to 2018 for Princess and the industry as a whole.”
Bang & Olufsen
Kevin Dawson, MD of Bournemouth based Bang & Olufsen Dawsons, a regular of the Show advised, “I’ve enjoyed meeting up with Pearl Motor Yachts who we are working closely with. They have instructed us to install B&O audio on a Pearl 80 Yacht. Boat Shows are always good for networking and staying connected to key people in the marine industry.”
UK’s oldest boat building firm….
The UK’s oldest boat building firm Broom Marine Group, which is celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2018, had a prominent stand at the Show. Sales Manager Greg Houlston said, “We are showcasing our new inland version of the 35 Coupe with an ‘on the water’ package price of £199,000 including VAT – a hugely competitive price.”
Greg proudly commented how all the Broom boats are built on its own 9- acre site in Norfolk and that the company has their own moulding facility, stainless steel fabrication department and its own upholstery division.
“We are also a 3rd party supplier to other boat builder manufacturers.
“In 2018 we are reacting to market demand and refocusing and re-energising the business to concentrate on boat production and marine services. We’re increasing the berthing capacity at our Broom Marina in Norfolk and even have a waiting list for berthing services!
“We enjoy a long-standing relationship with Coleman and have worked together to develop a Broom Owners Insurance package which is proving extremely popular.”
Showcasing a 400-500 horse-power marine propulsion engine…
Steve Reeves, Account Manager for Poole based Finning UK, reported a positive presence at the Show. Finning UK are the Caterpillar dealer for the UK. Steve said, “We are regulars at all the UK boat shows. This week we are show-casing our new engine C7.1 which is a 400-500 horse-power marine propulsion engine. The type of buyers that we attract are boat owners likely to have an engineering background with a good understanding and knowledge of marine engines. The latest model has an advanced fuel system which makes it a lot quieter than much of the competition.
“Its power to weight ratio is very good and is an excellent choice for 40-50 foot boats on a conventional drive.”
It’s a family affair….
Richard Bates, David and Freddie DeVere of Bates Wharf Marine Sales certainly had the claim of the largest presence at the Boat Show in terms of volumes of boats on display. Richard said, “We are offering the whole package for our clients, starting from the Bayliner up to the Beneteau Outboards. We are integrating people in to boating and getting them hooked to our brands right from the start.
“We are one of the greatest adverts for showcasing boats at the London Boat Show. We have 25 boats here which is an investment which will reap rewards in time. The Show is essential to us to meet potential new clients, have conversations and create and ultimately fulfil a marine enthusiast’s dream. We get lots of existing customers visiting us who had no intention to purchase,but they go away with a new boat as we’ve managed to inspire them. The good thing about the London Boat Show is that the weather never spoils the event!”
A real buzz and intimate Show….
The Yacht Market CEO and founder Richard Roberts was full of compliments for the newly formatted London Boat Show. Commenting, he advised, “1st impressions of the show on day one are 10/10! British Marine havehas definitely made a huge effort to get the Show’s buzz back. The new layout gives a certain level of intimacy – it’s better laid out and the lighting is improved, there has obviously been much planning involved. I’m delighted to be here with my team.
“We are the title sponsors of the Southampton Boat Show which we are looking forward to supporting again in its 50th year in 2018.”
D’Beere Yacht connecting at the Boat Show
Debbie Beere, Director and founder of D’Beere Yacht caught up with Tony Pauffley and advised, “It’s really good to be here as a team, to meet up with our colleagues within the industry, many of whom we’ve known for many years. It’s good to get our brand name out there and noticed, to look at the new products on the market and to keep in touch.”