Sunday, 2 October 2011

Southampton Boat Show 23rd Sept

We attended the Southampton Boat Show with a complimentary ticket from Premier Marinas. They charged £12 per head to park the car at Bursledon marina and for a minibus to take us to the show. I know they want to sell me a berth in one of their marinas but I am still impressed with their service. I have already explored the possibility but it is too far expensive. I will probably continue to use their facilities on a day by day basis and get the most out of the boat trailer I bought last year.

The show seemed to be less well attended and from speaking to stand holders sales were poor. The first stand I visited was the Churchouse Boats stand with a Drifter 22 and a Lugger. We had a closer look at the Drifter 22 which was well thought out and spacious. The twin lifting keels and no bridge deck provide spacious living quarters and easy access to the cabin. The boat received the approval of my wife. The cockpit seats are comfortable and the higher freeboard gives a feeling of security. The disadvantages are a towing weight of 1800kg which would require a larger towing vehicle.

The second boat I looked at was the Baycruiser 23 on the Swallow Boats stand. Matt Newland spotted me straight away as a potential time waster but I do admire these boats a great deal. The 23 is a definite 4 berth boat with a cabin table on top of the centre keel box. There is ample room under the bridge deck for my inflatable dinghy. No lavatory was displayed on the show boat there was space in the middle of the V berth. Matt told me there were a number of other options which included a plumbed in sea toilet. Access into the cabin is not as easy as you have to negotiate the keel box. Your access is also obstructed by the height of the sprayhood when it is raised. The sprayhood is ample and provides a lot of cockpit cover. With a tarpaulin over the boom there would be no requirement for a cockpit tent at all. There would be no need for anybody to sleep in the cockpit as you have 4 berths in the cabin. The Drifter 22 can only sleep 2 in the cabin. The 23 has a comfortable cockpit with an outboard well in the floor. I would like to know how intrusive the engine noise would be in comparison with the Drifter 22 where the outboard is in a well at the stern. The 23 with it's water ballast would be lighter tow with I believe an all up weight of 750kgs . The 23 is a more sophisticated sailer with a fully battened main, areofoil centre board and water ballast which can be removed for faster sailing.

Click to see real size

Both these boats are beyond my reach but if I was to win the lottery which one would I go for.

The Bayraider Expedition made it's first showing at the Southampton Boat Show. I did not take any pictures myself of the boat and my first impressions were that the accommodation was rather basic and less than the Drascombe Coaster. Matt has compromised in placing something between the Coaster and the Bayraider 20. I have posted a link to a French site with some photographs.

I purchased a new lifejacket at a good discount. Included is a spray hood, light and full harness. For the price it is well finished with a zip enclosure to the jacket. The jacket fits well with the jacket sitting higher on your chest. The crotch straps are standard and fit well as they are the right length for me. It may look a little OTT for Drascombe use but what price for personal safety.

Image picture photo of Crewsaver Crewfit 190N Zipped Plus Life Jackets

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