Although the London Boat Show may have been smaller in recent years, there is always a good showing of new powerboats. Here are just a few of those due to hit the light at the 2015 show.
(1) Sunseeker 86 Yacht
Fresh from multiple launches in Cannes and Southampton, one of the highlights on Sunseeker’s London stand will be the 86 Yacht. As you would expect of a boat from the eight-strong Yacht line, it comes with an extended range in excess of 1,000 nautical miles, plus plenty of high-end luxury.
Externally, it’s quite a modest looking craft in the context of the Sunseeker fleet, but with a top end of 30 knots and plenty of open-air seating, this classical, flybridge-equipped distance-maker looks well able to provide seafaring fun as well as sophisticated transit. Of course, it’s not entirely new but this will be its debut appearance at London, so make sure you check it out.
(2) Europa Sport R520 Sport
The new R520 is one of six craft in the Europa Sport RIB range – and while we do not yet have a confirmed price, the use of a PVC collar rather than Orca Hypalon and the installation of a Tohatsu outboard rather than one of the ‘premium’ brands suggests that this 17-foot leisure boat might well be one of the show’s most affordable packages. A simple deck layout, with seat box storage units, a central helm station and tube top rope handles reinforces that idea. While you’re there, look out for this boat’s smaller sibling, the R420, which is also set to make its debut.
(3) F-RIB 360
The F-Boat from Nestaway is a portable tender with a difference. While most craft of this kind are fully inflatable, the hull of the F-RIB is a rigid, hinged, three-part affair. Once on the water, that ought to mean performance much closer to that of a regular RIB - less drifting in the wind, a softer ride and the stiffness to transmit more of the outboard’s thrust into movement instead of flex.
When folded, the compact package (1.1 x 0.9 x 0.45m) can be loaded into your car like any other portable tender and at just over £2,500 for this 12-foot model, it looks like decent value too.
(4) Bavaria Sport 400
True to form, Bavaria has launched its new Bavaria Sport 400 in three different configurations. You can pick from the Open, Hard Top and Coupe models – and while the Coupe debuted at the Cannes Boat Show in September to great fanfare and acclaim, this HT model looks even more practical, with a solid sliding roof, accommodation for six and a large cockpit area for socialising. Expect all kinds of common sense design solutions, plenty of user-friendliness and a very competitive price tag in the region of £212,000.
(5) Beneteau Barracuda 7
Beneteau’s Barracuda 7 might be new to London but I’ve seen it (and admired it: see the full boats.com Beneteau Barracuda 7 review) in several places around the world before. This 23-foot do-it-all sports boat features a compact pilothouse with a roof hatch, a pair of sliding doors and an opening aft window. You also get a very practical walkaround layout plus a serviceable cabin with separate heads down below. With an equally hard working bow and a range of outboard options, the Barracuda is a huge amount of boat in a very small package. If you haven’t seen it up close before, you should definitely treat yourself to a look.
(6) Quicksilver Activ 855 Cruiser
As the undisputed flagship of the Activ range, Quicksilver’s 855 Cruiser is a powerful expression of the line’s most celebrated strengths. At 29 feet in length, this ten-man boat can be specced with single or twin outboard engines – and as the only craft in the 23-strong fleet with category B certification, its credentials for adventurous sea passages make it all the more versatile. The Smart Edition pack also shows how much the platform can offer when its potential is properly realised. Expect more generous cabin features, galley equipment and deck furniture, plus cockpit lighting, shorepower, hot water and significantly uprated lounging and dining facilities.
(7) XS 600 RIB
This 20-footer from British builder XS will be showcasing the company’s new aft bench and restyled tubes. With an elevated bow, a deep V and a 2.6-metre beam, it is designed to be the midrange, multi-purpose craft, combining the soft, dry, secure performance of a proper sea boat with the more keenly developed aesthetics of a leisure RIB. Suitable for single motors from 100 to 150hp or twins of up to 60hp, this Cat B craft comes with either a very basic ‘Value’ configuration or with a more comprehensive ‘Deluxe’ fit-out. With package prices from as little as £26,000, that makes plenty of sense for the boater on a budget.
(8) Jeanneau Velasco 37F
Okay, so I wasn’t a great fan of the new Velasco 43F, but at £257,987 its smaller 37-foot sibling looks promising. Making its UK debut in London, this compact cruiser is designed to prioritise brightness and space, with a generous window area offering largely unbroken 360-degree views from the main deck. It has the same raked aesthetics as the 43F – but despite the use of conventional shaft drives in a hull more than seven feet shorter, it sleeps the same number of people and appears to offer living and dining spaces of a very similar order. Can’t wait to check it out.
(9) Broom 30 Coupe HT
This stalwart British builder is back at London with a luxurious new 30-footer designed for Europe’s inland waterways. Priced at £139,950, the 30 Coupe HT is deliberately proportioned to enable it to achieve access to parts of the Continent where low bridges and height restrictions can otherwise curtail your fun. For extra protection at the helm, it features a fully retractable, sliding canvas roof and a bonded windscreen with opening inserts. Down below, the contemporary, open-plan, one-level interior is extremely bright – and with those broad side decks, wide open vistas and elevated grab rails, it is evident that this compact river cruiser is also designed with practicality firmly in mind.
(10) Oru Kayak
We finish with an unapologetic return to Stand E049 for another folding device from Nestaway – and this time, it’s not even power-driven. Making its European debut at London is the Oru kayak. Inspired by Origami (the Japanese art of making everything look like swans), the kayak unfolds from a compact box (83x74x23cm) to create a full 12-foot kayak. At just 12kg, it’s remarkably light – and because the walls of the storage box form part of the boat itself, it’s also quite quick and tidy to assemble. Built from corrugated plastic (which is presumably more robust than it sounds), it is designed to combine “fast, responsive and stable” performance with unsurpassed levels of ownership convenience. With a price just beyond £1,000, this wildcard exhibit might just be worth a look.
You can also see a beautiful Vintage Riva Junior for sale at London Boat Show. Meanwhile, if sailing boats are more your thing check out 6 new yachts at London Boat Show 2015.