24 May 2018
The sun-drenched second Brundall Boat Show has been hailed a “phenomenal success”, with a large turnout despite a clash with the Royal Wedding.
And Norfolk Yacht Agency (NYA) managing director James Fraser said local shows could have an even more important role to play with the news that next year’s London Boat Show has been cancelled.
Organisers of the London show at the ExCel exhibition centre confirmed its cancellation this week, citing “insufficient support from a large proportion of the marine industry” and declining year-on-year customer satisfaction.
The loss of the London show, combined with the success of local shows at Horning and Brundall in 2018, could see a shift in focus for east coast boat companies, according to James.
“It’s a shame to lose the show in the capital city, because nine times out of 10 we’d make a sale,” he said. “But the show here at Brundall has been hugely successful both this year and last year, and our sales staff were very busy in the morning.
“We’d sold four or five boats by lunchtime, which is obviously the ultimate aim alongside putting on an entertaining and informative show and having a good time.
“At the moment, it certainly looks like we’ll be putting on the show again next year.”
The show was held on Saturday, May 19 at Brundall Marina, in conjunction with Norfolk Boat Sales, East Hills cafe and bistro and Tingdene Marinas.
A big-screen TV was set up in the marquee in response to fears that the clash with the wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could hit the attendance.
Up to 100 people crammed into the tent to watch the Royal couple tie the knot, despite a late hitch with the power supply threatening to ruin the party.
“We think a car ran over a power cable, knocking it out just before the couple were about to take their vows,” said James.
“Thankfully, we got it back pretty quickly, to loud cheers from the crowd and a sigh of relief from me!”
More than 150 new and pre-owned boats were available to view on the water, from first-time craft to larger yachts, plus exhibitions from local marine businesses, live music, food and entertainment.
A bouncy castle and bumper boats kept youngsters entertained in the sunshine, and a Royal Wedding after-party at East Hills ensured the event carried on into the evening.