London Boat Show 2017 // #LBS17

For my birthday, Dad organized a secret trip to London Boat Show without me knowing. He told me to be up for 0600 this morning as I needed to 'help him move some stuff for work'. I woke up this morning grumpy and we set off at 0645 for Cambridge. Or so I thought. As we passed the turning for Cambridge, I said we missed the turning and was told that there was a slight change in plan. The plan all this time was to get me up early and drive to London Boat Show without me knowing for the first open day of the show! To say I was shocked was an understatement!

Traffic was abnormally good and we got to the London Excel center with just a little over an hour and a half to spare. Not a problem as there was a Costa Coffee right outside the S7 exhibition center where LBS17 was held. We were first in line for the show but a crowd soon gathered as the opening time got closer. Sadly what was first in line was then last in line as we didn't realize you had to pay for your tickets at a booth behind the crowd of people. The booth was not there when we arrived an hour and a half earlier so we completely missed it. We both got quite annoyed and stormed off to the ticket booth. Just as we were telling the man what tickets we would like, I got a tap on the shoulder from a gentleman who handed us three tickets and said: "Before you pay, take these three spare tickets". I asked him how much he wanted for these £22 each tickets and he said: "Nothing, please take them and have a lovely day at the show". And that was that. What would have been a £44 entry fee for me and Dad just turned to nothing. So, to the generous man who had previously paid for these tickets and handed them to us for free, thank you. You truly made our day with your generosity and we are hugely grateful. As we left the event later this afternoon, we handed out last free ticket to a lady who was there with her husband and children. She was just as shocked and as grateful as we had been this morning. She asked how much we wanted and we simply repeated what that gentleman had told us: "Nothing, please take them and have a lovely day at the show". Kindness costs nothing and it felt nice to pass on that feeling to another person.
First in line...for now

We have never attended LBS but have gone to the boat show in Southampton for many years now. We really didn't know what to expect. Overall, it was fantastic. There was everything we hoped for and it was fantastic to see the latest boats from all the huge yacht builders. And of corse, we paid special attention to Sealine Boats who were near the entrance. We had a really good look round their newest model; the Sealine F530. The boat was phenomenal and it was so interesting to see how far Sealine had come compared to our 1991 Sealine 290 Ambassador. We looked aboard every model that Sealine had shown this year and each one of them was fantastic and as luxurious as we had imagined.
The Sealine stand
Aboard the new Sealine F530
Aboard the new Sealine F530
Aboard the new Sealine F530
Aboard the new Sealine F530
On the flybridge
Aboard the new Sealine F530
Sealine branded flybridge table
Aboard the new Sealine F530
Looking forward at the flybridge helm and sun pad
Aboard the new Sealine F530
Flybridge helm
Looking at the Sealine S330
The large choice of vinyl hull wrapping colours and styles
Sealine S330
Sealine S330
The Sealine fleet

We also had a good look round some of the other boats shown by other huge yacht builders such as Sunseeker, Fairline, Beneteau, Princess and many more. As ever, the Sunseeker fleet was outstanding. The boats are truly in a class of their own when it comes to styling and reputation. They were beautiful. As can be said of all of the boats at the show but there's just that something about Sunseeker that I really adore. Then we went to visit a familiar boat builder who was showing at LBS this year; Shetland Boats. We have had two Shetland Boats since 2007 which is what really kicked off our love for boating. It's thanks to Shetland boats and their Family 4 that we are now here, all these years later, with Bandit. Shetland really did kick it all off for us. We got to their stand and had a look at their all-new 245 model. It was really nice and seemed to be a huge leap forward in terms of build quality for the company. Not that Shetland boats are bad by any means but they were a bit flimsy compared to the build of Fairline or Sealine boats. The 245 really was an all round good river boat which we can see making huge success. I am sure that we will be seeing many of these new boats popping up on our river system before too long.
The stunning Riva Aquariva
The stunning Riva Aquariva
Beneteau Yachts
Viking Boats
Princess Yachts
Princess Yachts
Sunseeker International Yachts
Sunseeker International Yachts
Sunseeker International Yachts
Sunseeker International Yachts
Sunseeker International Yachts
Sunseeker International Yachts
Sunseeker International Yachts
Haines 26
We really liked the look of the decals on the Haines 26. We might take inspiration for Bandit and have her name remade on the bow and stern in chrome. We might also take inspiration from the more modern font.
Prestige Yachts
Prestige Yachts
Titan the robot making an appearance

The last boat we viewed must have been the best one at the show. The Project 31 named Charlotte and build by Project Boats (now Princess Yachts) back in 1968. She is a true beauty and was purchased by Princess Yachts, not too long ago. Their plan, however, was to completely (and I mean completely) restore and transform her back to her original glory to commemorate Princess' 50th-year anniversary. Charlotte is also well known as the 'Project 31 @ 50' boat by Princess. More can be read about her stunning transformation on their website. [Link here].
#Project31@50
The stunning and classy lady, Charlotte







After spending a good couple of hours 'browsing', we made our way to the other end of the exhibition where we could find some nice bits and pieces for Bandit. They had some huge names at this show including ASAP Supplies, Timage, Aquafax and many more. We spent hours browsing through endless bits and pieces. Sadly we didn't actually purchase anything from the show but picked up many catalogs for things we will get for Bandit in the near future.

We looked at lots of quality Timage products for Bandit and also looked deeply into Copper Coat Antifouling which is painted on once (after removing every bit of existing antifouling from the hull) and only has to be hosed down when the boat comes out. There is no need for re-antifouling at all for at least the next ten+ years after application. Something we are very much considering. We also looked at Ocean LED underwater lighting, Quick marine lighting, upholstery and carpet companies as a part of Bandit's big refit, new Raymarine navigation instruments (chart plotter, sonar, radar etc), solar power products, light switches and plug sockets by a company called Vimar, and many other bits too. Everything we've looked at today is somewhat in our lineup but many of it needs further thought before leaping straight in. We also looked at getting a new 3 meter VHF aerial as our current one only sticks up above the boat a couple of centimeters. Ideally, it needs to be a good half meter or more above the top of the boat if we plan to head out to sea this year.

Overall, it's been a truly fantastic day and what a great surprise for my birthday. I couldn't have asked for a better day and we will have no doubt about attending LBS18. We now return to the real world of boating and will continue to get Bandit up to scratch before being launched again shortly, following some maintenance work that's being seen to currently.

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