Southampton Boat Show Review 2017

Southampton Boat Show Review 2017

Having been at the show from set up to the very end we thought we would post a quick review of some of our highlights


These varied a lot and please remember we only looked at some of them so if your favourite boat is not listed we are sorry.

REDBAY: Most people know them for their stormforce range but they had stunning leisure boat on display that was grabbing a lot of attention. This also had the new Suzuki twin 350 outboards. Please see pictures.

Island RIBs Not only were they there showing off their latest boats but this boat stands out for build and ride quality. Yes there was more bling at the show but as you will see from the pictures it is not bad looking and had the best build quality we have seen.

Stinger: What can you say apart from wow. It looks stunning, good reputation and again was drawing in the crowds

Ribcraft: Though they had a lot of boats at the show the 5.85 and 4.8 are still 1 of the 2 best RIBs we have ever been on at that size. Great work, but we suspect with an old favourite now back in production they will not have it all their own way for long!

Fishing Boats

All the usual suspects were there and though there are so nice boats over 18 feet the market leader Warrior was clearly doing well with their range of performance fast fishers. This year they had a few nice tweeks ie more wife friendly.  With them launching a new boat next year (offshore 795 ) we can only see them winning more market share.

On the bigger side there seems still to be no market leader and hence the Merry fisher, Orkney stands etc were busy.   The Orkney classics were also still very popular ie the coastliner and still for us the market leader. This mid-range market is clearly where a lot of buyers were unsure as to what to buy and hence there seemed to be a lot of brochure collecting and discussion re the ample choice available.

There was also a lot of chat about inboard engines with specific note on turbo problems on some make.  The Nani engine seems to be the one with the best reliability compared to a few other makes but this could just be gossip.

TIP: Please research this as a mistake will cost over a thousand to sort let alone the time it will take to get it fixed.


This must be the most competitive market at the show with boats ranging from 18k upwards with some amazing toys on display.   Our star of the show will be a surprise as it was probably the cheapest boat there and yet we thing it will sell in the hundreds every year. Arba Nautika are based in Croatia and make what look likes an update Shetland 535. This is small enough to tow , has a flared semi cathedral hull and simply looks stunning with a on the  water price including engine trailer etc of only 18K.

Boats Misc

The show had a growing number of 50’s styled boats on the pontoons that do seem perfect for our inland lochs. One even had a electric roof that we hope had a way of stopping going down every few minutes or it would only be good for very short people!!

Missing boats

The most obvious range that was missing was the Carson range by Probond Marine.  Their ribs at the smaller side will give the Ribcraft 4.8 and 5.85 competition with the larger range taking on the likes of Delta, Redbay etc.

The show itself

Numbers were down and some stands did not even turn up but…….. there were people their clearly looking to buy and for us on the CubiSytems stand the quality was stunning ie people had done their research so overall we are delighted.

This is clearly the UK’s biggest show and had by far the widest range of boats for sale and hence is still worth the trip if you are looking to buy.  It is also still the best place to try several boats and check the built quality. 

TIP: Some boats are devaluing far more than others so our tip would be to check 2nd hand prices.

For those of you in Scotland we will see you at Inverkip between the 13-15 of October and this time though some boats will not be there for RIB fans the Carson 9m with 900hp will be and its little sister the 5.5.  Please also remember that there will be a lot of good handling boats at the show with great build quality due to where they are being used.

Before we go we would like to say a few thanks to people and companies that have helped us.

FOOD: The Crispy duck stand for making Dave A that bit fatter

August Race:  This is for the most helpful people at the show and were a joy to work with.

Best New Engines. Wow there is a lot of choice here with Tohatsu new 15 and 20 EFI and the Suzuki 350 twin prop for us loses out to the 5hp EPuslion electric outboard for kicking Torqueedo of their perch.  At last we have good competition in this area.

Best Taxi home: Thanks to Island RIB’s . simply stunning and again were very helpful during the show. Alex and Brian you win the bacon role for best build quality as well.

Best Engineering: Sorry this can only go to 1 man and that is Mike of the Mersea trailer group who decided to suspend trailers above his desk.  Now that is confidence!!

Funniest sign: SAXX selling boxer shorts with a note that says give your ball s a hug!

Happiest person on a stand: Loads of people could have won this but with a lot of bias thrown in Jonny North wins again of Suzuki. Does he ever not smile?

Stars on our Stand:  Oban Duncan wins this who came 2nd in the Honda Youth Challenge and our pride of Scotland. She is simply great fun to be around . 2nd place goes to our pals from the RNLI that we seem to bump into at every show! 3ndplace goes to Sue Wright who runs the Shetland owners forum who we simply love to bits. This woman has done loads to stop people getting ripped off when buying these boats and is a huge credit to the marine sector. 

Most unfunny Jokes: Sorry but this goes to DC of Ashton Marine. Scottish banter is clearly lost on the English.

Hope to see some of you again at the Scottish boat at Inverkip on the 13-15 of October