London has long nurtured a love affair with boats, from its first royal yacht built by the Dutch East India Company in 1660, right on through to the fabulous world premieres of Sunseeker’s Manhattan 66 and Sport Yacht 68 at the 2017 London Boat Show. Hosting for the 63rd year, London puts on a proper show. All the top names will be there, and so should you.
The show commands London’s ExCel Centre from Jan. 6-15, guaranteeing an exciting preview of everything new on the water for the upcoming season. To mix it up right, the Royal Thames Yacht Club, the oldest continuously operating yacht club in the world, celebrates midweek with a Boat Show Cocktail Party at their gorgeous digs in a combined event with the Royal London Yacht Club.
The Sunseeker World Premieres
Two stunning designs by British boatyard Sunseeker are gathering crowds in the first days of the show., with 28 of the Manhattan 66 models sold even before launch. Stylish lines with a deck plan that proves spacious beyond its size are confirming the early success of this innovative boat. The Manhattan 66 is joined by the Sport Yacht 68 in making its world premiere, surrounded by a handsome portfolio of Sunseeker’s other models. Stop by the Sunseeker Champagne Bar throughout the show for a bubbly sip.
The Dream Lodge and Boating Lake
Regardless of the weather outdoors, the temperature and conditions are always perfect at the Dream Lodge and Boating Lake tucked inside the ExCel Centre. With boats moored at the dock in the live planted marina park, the setting is divine for a day on the water. Kayaks, electric tenders, paddleboards, seabobs, waterwalkers, and motorized SUPs invite attendees to give it a go, while toys, games, and activities suited to the yachting lifestyle delight with demonstrations and instruction. Outfitted with a bar and dining options, even spectators enjoy the setting.
The London Stage
Also inside the ExCel Centre, the London Stage buzzes with news, music, and style. From world record-holding sailing celebrities and Olympians, to live music, a boat show brunch, live chats, and fashion shows, the stage is the learning center for the show. Fashion shows featuring marine-focused clothing and gear from Henri Lloyd, Maindeck, Clover Lewis, WAXX, Helly Hansen, Galibelle, and Chatham Marine will explode down the runway, combining athletic and dance moves with runway chic. It’s also where standouts receive awards and dream destination presentations take place.
Party Night at the Show
Regular show hours tick away from 10 am to 6 pm daily, but Thursday night the show keeps the doors open until 8 pm for a blast embracing all of the elements that make this show serious fun. Hosting the first Boating Party of the new year, festivities include live music, a special fashion show, celebrity chefs, and an essential Guinness Bar, with exhibitors celebrating the event across the venue. This is also awards night, with the Yacht Harbour Association Marina of the Year Awards at 5 pm, with after party at the Which Marina stand E017. Y & Y Awards at 5:30 highlighting 2017’s best performances, products, boats and clubs. Bubbles and toasts follow.
More Fun Around the Show
For a small donation, the Bumper Boats give kids a rollicking good time while benefitting Macmillan Cancer Trust and sponsored by Sunseeker. For a high tech virtual reality experience, guests can try out the headsets at a live streaming 360 event from Sphinx Creative and Airborne Live. In addition to the main event, the Telegraph Travel Show and the Telegraph Cruise Show, both running Jan. 13-15, share the ExCel Centre, helping narrow down dream destinations and cruising options. Entry is included with purchase of a London Boat Show ticket.
One last note for the adventuresome folks: The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is looking for a few good sailors. Stop by the stand at G083 to view an outrageous video of what it is like to complete in this 40,000 nm, 16 race, 8 leg event, completed on a 70-foot ocean sailing yacht. You don’t have to be an experienced sailor to be chosen, so training is provided and everyone is welcome to apply. Will you be stepping up?