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Old 23-12-2009, 10:59   #1
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London Boat Show in January


I'm trying to talk myself into going to the London Boat Show next month.
Seems an odd time of year to have one.
Anybody been to the winter show?
Is it worth while?
My interest is mostly just curiosity and maybe some electronics.
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Old 24-12-2009, 07:00   #2
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So far I'm not getting much info from the Forum on this one.
Perhaps I should rephrase the question?
Are any of you planning on going to the boat show?
I'm thinking of going the 9th or 10th and maybe 11th if it's to busy on the weekend.
Some local knowledge would be helpful...do you know of a nice hotel close to the venue?
Maybe bum around at the show one day?
It may be more fun with a bud.
Merry Christmas
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Old 24-12-2009, 07:41   #3
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Hi James,

Depends on how desparate you are for a boat show. I've been to the London Show quite a few times and I find it a pale immitation of the Southampton show in the fall.

There are usually very few boats in the water and even fewer you can visit. Mostly it's the two big halls where you get to see a few sailboats, rather more motorboats, dinghys and RIBs.

You can do it all easily in one day, which is just as well as the tickets are reasonably expensive and only available on a day basis.

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Old 24-12-2009, 08:01   #4
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London Boat Show

Hi James: when I was outfitting the boat I went over to London 3 years in a row for the January show... Virgin Air was offering $600 specials, leave Thursday night, arrive back on the US east coast Tuesday morning, hotel included. It was a pretty good deal and I enjoyed the show; found stuff I couldn't find here, plus it was a way to get a boat injection in the dead of winter. Southampton is probably better, as is Metz in Amsterdam, and Dusseldorph, but London was fun and a good weekend getaway.

Wish I could meet you there, but with 2 kids in college I won't be going this year.

Best, Bob http://www.sv-restless.com
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Old 24-12-2009, 08:08   #5
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For those of us in the Queen city (Toronto, I mean, not any of the other Queen cities around the world), the January boat show is a must. Gives us hope that the sun will return.

Dunno anything about the show in London, but I do know I plan to spend a couple of evenings on the Exhibition grounds here.

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Old 24-12-2009, 08:20   #6
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Hey thanks guys.
As hard as it is for me to believe, I have never been to a boat show...I'm now 51 years old and have owned different boats most of my life.

The kids will be gone all of January, so I was already planning on going to Leb. to work on the boat for 10 days or two weeks.

Figured I'd divert to London first for 2 or 3 days, and also maybe talk to some companies that make retractable pool covers...those telescopic arched structures (for a pool I'm building for a friend).

I've emailed 6 different companies from the USA to England to the Czech Republic and not one has replied.....guess my mistake was telling them I need it shipped to Yemen.

I think I'm going.

Haven’t seen you around for a while Bob, hope all is well.
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Old 24-12-2009, 08:39   #7
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I have been 4 times on LBW. And it is worth a visit especially if you never been on one. Also there is a lot of good deals going on, so if you need to buy something for your boat it is good time to buy (have a friend on the phone so he can check prices online).

Tickets are half price after 4pm and one day is going to be open until 9pm so if you get this day in you can get a lot of show for your money. But on the other hand is not going to make a lot of difference if you need to fly there.

There is a very good and new Hilton Hotel in the nice business area called Canary Wharf Hilton; it is about 5-10 min from Excel. And you have a good connection for city centre.


Hope you have a great time!
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Old 24-12-2009, 12:25   #8
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James, we've been to the London show twice while wintering at St. Katharine's Dock. And sure, the Southampton show is 'better' - that is, if you get a good weather day and not a bad one. But the two Lond shows I attended were much enjoyed, and each time I went on multiple days.

Here are some suggestions and typical benefits I found when going (tho' these were in 2004 and 2005, so things of course could have changed):
-- take your non-British driver's license or boat document with you, and you will be allowed at the gate to register as a 'foreign yachtsman' with attendance fees waived. They'll give you a plastic neck-cord pass which you can wear from then on.
-- this same pass also gives you access to a lounge where there was free internet and refreshments plus lots of overstuffed chairs; great way to catch your breath
-- there seemed to be lots of line and fender specials both years; fenders would be out for you, but perhaps not getting a good deal on line?
-- because it is a major show, many of the marine mfgrs' key players attend and mingle; I found very knowledgeable folks there that helped me get A's to some complicated Q's I had - e.g. the International Paint's European Sales Manager was at their booth and he started with them as a chemist . Very savvy guy. This was equally true for the electronics mfgrs.
-- both years the British Navy offered an open house on one of their modern frigates and the hospitality (as well as the in-depth tour) was first rate
-- similarly, the RNLI had one of their newer boats available for boarding. If talking to the crew and hearing some of their sea stories doesn't convince you that those boats are 'all-weather' craft, then looking at the serious wheelhouse chairs for all hands, with multiple safety belts each, just might.
-- I found the show venue to be first class and of course absent any weather concerns, from boarding the DLR onward...except for going out on the river dock to look at the Frigate and RNLI life boat.

Having said all that, the show's had some poor financial results the last few years so I'd definitely look at the program before making a final decision. After all, Dusseldorf is (I'm told) an outstanding show.

Jack
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Old 24-12-2009, 13:23   #9
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Hi - I've been often to LIBS and Southampton, and even some years ago was a dinghy exhibitor at Southampton.

It depends what you're after. if you want some serious afloat boat porn, then Southampton's much better, but if you want lots of electronics and other gear and folks to talk to, then go to London. (And anyway, we're always still cruising in September these days!). From the trade POV, they reckon people go to look round at Soton and buy in London.

London has historically become very big, so if you want a really serious look around you need more than the couple of hours the evening pass gives you. (I'm fascinated by Whoosh's foreign pass - we'll take our kiwi driving licences next time!) But it was much smaller last year and maybe again this year. I've never been to Dusseldorf, which is only a week or so later, but I believe it's an even bigger and more serious show. But if you're also visiting the city itself, London has to be better.

I've never needed to stay at a hotel so can't advise on that. You should be aware that the Dockland Light Railway (DLR) is undergoing some big engineering works in January so you should either be as close to excel as possible or allow time to use a replacement bus for part of your journey out there. The excel area itself is not yet a good place to be except for hotels and the exhibition centre (regeneration not really happening at street level so far) so it depends on whether you also want to be in London and explore at all.

We are probably going but haven't fixed a date yet - either the Thursday 14 (late opening) or the Saturday 16 Jan. So you might get to meet someone - the usual thing is to meet at the Guiness stand. But it's a v difficult place to meet strangers as it gets so crowded. So if you've made a decision, let us know!
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Old 27-12-2009, 09:22   #10
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Ok...I'm booked to arrive late on the 14th and will stay until the the19th.

Sarah and Pip I would love to meet up with you at the show or where ever.
PM me once you get your schedule sorted, dinners on me!

Jack...I had a look and your site and have to say its really well done....I've only got through the water maker bit so far, but it is such a well done bit....thanks so much...I'm looking forward to exploring the rest of the site.
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Old 27-12-2009, 14:31   #11
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Thanks for the kind words, James. Hope the show is good fun for you.

Jack
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Old 30-12-2009, 08:14   #12
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Old 30-12-2009, 08:22   #13
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Having attended many LIBS and SIBS, I can say that southampton is far superior especially in latter years. Go if you happen to be in London, but I wouldnt travel just for it.

Dusseldorf is big if you want to focus on boats, its poor for electronics and bits. Paris boat show is actually very good , better then london in my opinion
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Old 30-12-2009, 08:34   #14
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Are you going this year Norman...maybe meet up for a beer?
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