The timing of London Boat Show, especially running as it does slightly later in January than usual, makes it even better placed to ward off those winter blues with thoughts of a very different type of blue; the water variety! Here’s a whistle-stop tour of 10 of the newest sailing boats at the show… there’s more than you might think.
Bavaria’s new sportsboat has been selling well in Europe and is well-placed to push on into the UK. Affordably-priced, the B-One offers an interesting alternative as a small step up from an SB20 or other keelboat, especially as she's already proved to be competitive on handicap (an important consideration until fleet numbers deliver one-design racing), for more see Bavaria B One: new one-design sportsboat.
Broadblue Voyager 345
The new Voyager 345 from Broadblue is the latest in the company’s range of cruising catamarans. Capable of 12 knots – yet small enough to fit through the French Canals, she also provides luxurious, light living space and generous accommodation.
Cornish Crabber 26
Cornish Crabbers will have a couple of their boats at the show including the most recent addition to their line-up, the Crabber 26, which we have seen before, but is definitely worth a look. A well-mannered family cruiser with shallow draft and full standing headroom throughout, the boat's gaff cutter rig has proven to be a great option for the small family. See Crabber 26: A Modern Classic.
Enjoying its debut at the show is the Dehler 35SQ, designed to fulfil the needs of those looking of leisurely cruising, or competitive racing. It boasts an efficient deck layout, premium interior and promises excellent sailing qualities, as well as being designed to handle shorthanded or with a full crew. We look forward to testing her later in the year.
Grand Soleil 43
The Grand Soleil 43 has pleasing clean lines, flush decks and stylish interior of a standard you'd expect from the Italian boatbuilder. She is also smooth and powerful under sail, with excellent offshore potential, again she was first seen at Southampton and you can read our full review of the boat Grand Soleil 43: An Appealing Blend.
Colchester-based Gunfleet Marine will be showing their Tony Castro-designed performance blue water cruiser, although sadly their newest offering, the 58, is instead off to Dusseldorf... watch out for news of that later in the month.
The new J/70, first seen in the UK at Southampton (see Five Hot New Sailing Boats at the Southampton Boat Show), is the first slipway-launchable keelboat from J Boats. It is designed to fulfil the growing need for an accessible, high performance one-design that is exciting to sail, as well as being stable enough for family outings and built to last... we found it a delight to sail and expect the boat to do well among those looking to trade down from the likes of the 109 or up from an SB20.
The award winning Oyster 625 is making her London Boat Show debut. At Southampton she proved a real head-turner with triple seascape windows and a superyacht feel. With the potential of five cabins, the Oyster 625 is as well suited to occasional charter as she is for family sailing.
Making its first appearance at London is the Saare 41ac, which boasts that it is an easy to handle cruiser with excellent performance. The hull shape reflects the latest thinking with a low resistance hull shape that also has the ability to carry the necessary load involved with ultimate cruising comfort without losing excellent sailing performance characteristics, both upwind and down.
Topper will be at the show again this year and their offering includes the newest boat in their range, the 14ft, three-sail, multi purpose Argo, which makes its London debut. The dinghy has plenty of room for up to four adult crew and is a recommended ISAF Training Class.
Oodles more to see...
While some manufacturers aren't at this year's scaled-down show (which runs from January 12-20, 2013) in person, there has been a real effort by the organisers to get plenty of boats on display, so you'll find some brands, like Beneteau, represented on stands of boat-share or holiday companies.
As well as the brands mentioned above, you’ll find models from Dragonfly, Drascombe, Elan, Foxer, Hanse, Hawk, Hobie , Jeanneau, Moody, RS and Southerly... plus, of course, a range of powerboats from Sunseeker to Princess and beyond, see 10 Eye-catching Must See Powerboats. For more on the show see London Boat Show Adds Final Touches or go to London Boat Show 2013.
Gael Pawson is the founder of Creating Waves and has been the editor of Yachts & Yachting Magazine for over 10 years. A keen racer, she has sailed all her life, and started writing about the subject whilst studying journalism at university. Dinghies and small keelboats are her first loves, but she has cruised and raced a huge variety of boats in locations across the world.