2018 was our second year exhibiting at the Southampton Boat Show and we were in a more prominent location in Mayflower Park and closer to the Marina.
Generally we feel that visitors were thinking about buying boats in the future rather than buying boats now. More visitors were considering keeping their future boats in the Med rather than the UK and those that were enquiring now were looking at buying boats currently in Croatia, Greece and the Eastern Med with the plan to keep them in these locations. Unusually this was true for the lower value and older boats that we usually finance.
We met lots of our customers and it is great to share a beer with them often meeting them for the first time and renewing friendships with those that we already know.
Boat dealers we spoke to did not sell much at the show due to such reasons as the weather, exchange rates and the looming elephant that is Brexit.
No doubt Princess, Sunseeker and other luxury brands will report record sales which is perhaps typical of their wealthy client base who appear to be insulated from the more common troubles that affect most of us mortals.
On a social front the title sponsor, Yachtmarket.com were very generous providing Sundowners each evening. The Exhibitor Party was heaving under any dry spot available, drinks tokens must have been subject to Quantitive Easing because there were lots being handed out.
We had a great evening with the British Marine Boat Retailers and Brokers dinner at Banana Wharf.
And successfully managed to cycle safely home each evening with only 1 drenching.
So all in all a thoroughly enjoyable show which was well organised by Charlie Merchant. Thank you Charlie for doing this and to Olivia, this was her first employment ever as she only finished A levels this summer.