It seems to have taken off at last...

Peter Nash is editor of Boating Business

After a timid start to the summer, it all took off last month when the sun got his hat on and came out to play.

It seems our waterways and coastal areas have been inundated with people getting out on the water ever since.

I can imagine the industry must have wondered what hit it. For long time this season looked dead in the water. Then it all took off. I await the season’s figures with eager anticipation.

And, of course, the major indicator of how well the UK is doing from our point of view lies with the 45th running of the Southampton Boat Show down in Mayflower Park from 13 to 22 September.

It was sad to hear Norman Kemish, co-founder of the Southampton Boat Show had passed away. He left us with an excellent boat show and one the BMF says is doing very well for this year’s edition.

The last I heard was 97% of land space had been sold and 79% of the marina had been confirmed, bringing the current exhibitor total to 518.

I see the list of exhibitors starts with Southerly Yachts... I wonder how many of the listed PSP SBS exhibitors and BMF members lost money on Northshore?

Will they, I wonder, be happy to see the new company being allowed to walk back into a BMF/NBS boat show so easily? And still owing money around the trade?

Other exhibitors listed are Yachts & Yachting, Sail & Trail, Bembridge Marine, Nanotech Marine, Prestige Wraps and Perfect Sailing. Hmm...

No insult intended to these exhibitors, but I would have listed all the top glossy names at the top of any list of exhibitors.

The BMG says over 34 debuts will be hosted at the show, with world launches of the J88, Princess V48 and 88 Motor Yacht, the Orkney Longliner 2, North-line 37 pilot and Oban Skiff.

UK debuts include the Gunfleet 58, Bestewind 50, Mariner 235 and three models from the Dufour Grand Large range.

Apart from the PSP Southampton Boat Show, in the real world out there things are getting on famously, it seems.

The motor industry trade body – the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) - raised its annual sales forecast after a 17th straight month of gains.

This was supported by the country’s largest car retailer, Pendragon, reporting a 20% rise in new retail sales in the first six months of the year. The retailer says this surge was driven by rising consumer confidence, fierce price competition and subsidised or deferred finance offers.

Way to go, eh?

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