Shortly after arriving in Southampton for my final year of school, I went to the Southampton Boat Show with my housemates. In true English fashion, the days we went to the show were windy and rainy.
Near the entrance to the show were some smaller boats on land. On display were a handful of nice looking gaffers and pulling boats. There was a good spread of construction methods with carvel and lapstrake being represented along with modern cold moulded and strip planked boats.
One interesting boat that caught my eye was a completely solid plastic boat which I almost mistook for a RIB. I could see why people would buy this type of boat due to the lack of puncturable tubes. I wonder how much more a boat like the yellow one above would weigh when compared to a similarly sized RIB.
Another interesting boat that caught my eye was a small Aluminium day-boat made in Finland by Silver Fox. During my internship in the Pacific Northwest, I saw quite a few small boats like this one that had aluminium hulls. I think there is a very good argument for choosing aluminium over GRP for boats of this size.
Once we had finished perusing the small boats on shore, we made our way into the marina to check out the larger boats on display. After obligatory stops at the tall ship and catamaran Survey boat, we went aboard a Nordhavn N63. While Nordhavn does a nice interior, it's the engine room that I always am interested in. This particular N63 was powered by a Lugger (by Northern Lights) while newer sisterships are powered by Deeres.
After we walked around the Nordhavn N63, we went onboard a Fleming 65. One interesting detail was the caprails. On this boat, the caprails were actually painted. From most angles, it was difficult to tell they were not wood! The interior of the Fleming was very nice. I was impressed with the layout with 2 roomy en-suite cabins along with a third cabin including over-under berths. We unfortunately were unable to go into the engine room however I think most Flemings are twin engine boats.
Near the Fleming 65 was the largest boat at the show, a Princess 30M. I am not a huge fan of raised pilothouse designs. I did however like the hull colour on this particular boat. The light blue hull and white superstructure give a modern look in my opinion. Tours of the Princess 30M were by invitation only.
The most popular pontoon at the show was lined with sailing yachts from all the usual suspects. Hanse, Beneteau, Jeanneau, and Bavaria among others had boats teaming with yacht enthusiasts. We went on a few of the boats although most had pretty similar layouts.
One of the final boats we went aboard was a Grand Banks Eastbay 44. I like the lines on many Grand Banks boats and this one was no exception. Inside, like many boats this size, the galley is in the on-deck saloon which makes room for a third cabin below. While I do understand the desire to have a third cabin, it does make for a small galley on deck and a compacted three cabin layout down below.