More opportunities than ever before to get on the water at the Southampton International Boat Show

Published on: 21 July 2022

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With hundreds of exhibitors, over 650 craft on display and a purpose-built marina, Southampton International Boat Show now offers visitors even more opportunities to get on the water with a myriad of different types of craft available during the ten days of the show.  

From standing on a SUP, tacking and gybing in a dinghy, experiencing the high-speed, high-octane thrill of a powerboat, to the majestic charm of a classic sailing yacht, or cruising around the Solent, the show’s ‘On the Water’ zone offers action-packed fun for all the family. 

FlexiSail, one of the UK’s leading boat membership companies, is partnering with show organisers, British Marine, to run this year’s Try-a-boat attraction.  FlexiSail’s modern and extensive range of craft – from 40-foot sailing yachts to classic traditional inshore cruisers, powerboats, RIBS and access-friendly craft – provides visitors with the opportunity to try, free of charge, a wide range of different boats. “Many people don’t know if they would prefer sailing to motorboating, so this is the ideal opportunity to try it all,” says FlexiSail’s Nikki Walker.

For those who want an even more memorable experience, Try-a-Boat+ provides visitors with the opportunity to stay out on the water longer and experience life aboard some of the most adventurous and historically unique boats at the show. These include tall ship Morgenster; the 1932 High Speed Launch 102 which is the last surviving high speed air/sea rescue craft and was inspired by T E Shaw (better known as Lawrence of Arabia); an F8 landing craft and the stunning Motor Gun Boat 81, which took part in the Normandy landings.  Prices start from £20 for Try-a-Boat+ experiences.

Looking for the real splash-factor?  Then Get-A-Float in partnership with Rockley Watersports is the place to go. Whether you’re eight or 80, Rockley offers dinghy sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding – alone or on a mega-SUP – under the watchful eyes of experienced instructors making sure everyone is safe. All equipment, including wetsuits and buoyancy aids are provided, with on-the-water instructors giving helpful hints for first timers or top tips to sharpen up existing watersports skills for more experienced visitors.  

“We’re really excited to have the opportunity to get people onto the water at the show,” says Rockley’s MD Pip Woods. “Just bring a towel and find the booking area located between the Watersports and Dinghy Zone areas on arrival at the show to book your one-hour Get-A-Float session. And if you’re really hooked, most of the craft used by Rockley will be available to purchase from retailer stands at the show.” 

Sailing experts Duncan Wells and Colin Stracey will also be at the show running practical have-a-go sessions on board a Sigma 38 sailing yacht.  Their stress-free techniques are designed to help boaters improve their skills and learn some fail-safe tips or coming alongside and casting off.  

If the thought of a relaxing cruise appeals, the show’s very own cruise ship, Ocean Scene, will depart from the marina twice an hour, taking visitors for a mini cruise around Southampton International Boat Show. Visitors can see the show from an entirely different angle and maybe even get up-close-and-personal with the gigantic cruise liners that flank the Show marina. Offering more places on board than ever before, Ocean Scene is fully equipped with sundecks, bars and on-board facilities, ensuring an enjoyable and free 20-minute voyage for everyone.

For full details of all the on the water opportunities at this year’s show visit

With more opportunities than ever to get afloat, there’s still plenty to enjoy shoreside. Experience the show ‘zones’ showcasing different types of watersports activities, watch thrilling and breath-taking on water displays at the ‘On the Water Stage’, check out some of the biggest brands from chandlery and clothing to gadgets and lifestyle essentials, or simply take time out and enjoy great family entertainment and premium street food.

Get your ticket

Tickets for the Boat Show can be purchased online at

Upgrade your visit with the new and exclusive Quayside Club VIP packages at

The show is open from 10am – 6pm daily, except the final Sunday when the show will close at 5pm. 

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