Sunseeker Predator 68
This cruiser is actually one of the smaller models on show from Sunseeker. However, it is small yet mighty and boasts a top speed of up to 42 knots (dependant on final specification). When you consider that the Predator has three double bedrooms, two en suite bathrooms, flat screen TVs in every room, a spacious kitchen (sorry - galley), lots of fore and aft deck space AND a smaller RIB for getting to and from shore, you might say "small compared to what?!". Well, it's small compared to the Sunseeker 155 yacht which at an overall length of 47.25m is a full 24.55m longer than the Predator 68. Unfortunately, this was too large even to fit into the vast halls of the Excel Centre however you can find out more on the Sunseeker website.
Technohull seaDNA 999 S300
If a 42 knot (48.34 mph) three bedroom flat isn't your thing, have a look into the Technohull range of RIBs. The seaDNA 999 S300 stood out like a sore thumb at the show and exuded speed, sportiness and power. It's long and sleek design combined with the red paint job draws the rather obvious comparison of the Ferrari of the sea. In actual fact, the combined horse power of the two out board engines is 600HP meaning it outguns a Ferrari 458 Italia by 30HP. Obviously, water is somewhat tougher to get through than the air around a race track but the Technohull will still reach a top speed of over 80mph - not slow by any stretch of the imagination!
Yamaha jet skis
As one of the leading manufacturers of personal watercraft, Yamaha presented an impressive spread of products at this year's show. The emphasis of their stand was on the larger style jet skis designed for up to three people. For those who like their family fun turbo charged, these craft can reach speeds of between 55 and 70mph. Whilst this may make them seem like wild beasts to control on the water, these jet skis are designed with all round fun in mind and therefore feature hull designs which make them easy to handle and provide maximum stability even at high speeds.
Moving away from the power and the luxury, the Hobie cat stand offered a few more lower paced options. Best in show was the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island. This craft is so many things rolled into one. Use it as a sailing boat with the rig up or take it down with ease and continue with pedal-paddle power. The unique Hobie MirageDrive® allows you to pedal your way over the water if there isn't any wind. We feel this would make an excellent gift for Sir Chris Hoy when he's finished winning gold medals and wants to retire. The Mirage Tandem also includes plenty of on deck stowage so that you can escape for days at a time and take enough kit with you to make the best of it.
The Topaz Argo has been met with critical acclaim as an excellent craft for those learning to sail and those who want family fun. There's excellent stern space allowing for easy manoeuvrability with in the cockpit. A great boat for adults and supervised kids alike, the Argo is shaping up to be a brilliant option for clubs to buy for all round club use. The Argo has been built with their proven TRILAM construction method. This makes their hulls extremely tough and resistant to the knocks and scrapes which are inevitable where club use and beginner sailing are concerned. Furthermore, the Argo's hull is designed to be dynamic yet forgiving to provide a winning combination of an exciting yet controllable ride.
Garmin Sat Nav
If you never go anywhere without your sat nav in your car, wait till you see what's on offer from Garmin for boats. With so much other excess on display at the show, it seems only right to feature the top notch navigation system from Garmin. The latest and greatest products feature 3D mapping and touch screen interfaces meaning you can switch easily between viewing a topographical map, a 3D map, radar and sonar. There were a range of monitors on show but the biggest was a 15 inch display which also had the option to be linked to a computer or media player so you could watch a film in between keeping an eye on where you're going of course! Garmin's marine cartography service also allows you to keep all your charts up to date as well as add features such as Wreck, restricted area, anchorage and obstruction mapping and fisheye 3D view below waterline imagery.
If you're after a bit more action from your boat then the MasterCraft XStar is for you. A favourite among wakeboarders, this craft is designed with water sports enthusiasts in mind. This model is regularly used in international standard wakeboarding contests and boasts "more official 1080's than any other" a trick which the pros say is the toughest in the book but is made (slightly) easier by the wake created by the XStar. As with many extreme sports, style is everything. With that in mind, you can customise your XStar on the MasterCraft website and come away with the hottest boat on the water. Fresh and salt water versions are available.
Someone once said "there's a fine line between bravery and stupidity" and for the four girls tasked with rowing across the Pacific Ocean, that line may have been crossed! There is absolutely nothing stupid about doing something for a worthy cause though. In this instance Laura, Annabel and Heather are performing this incredible feat in aid of Brest Cancer Care - a charity dedicated to supporting those who are affected by the disease. They're still looking for their fourth member so if you'd like to be involved in the expedition, email the girls. Alternatively, if your sea legs aren't quite as strong, you can put money towards buying essentials for the trip or donate money to the cause at coxlesscrew.com. Remember, without the kit, this epic fund raising event will stumble at the first hurdle. The simple donation of a day's food for the rowers or the cost of an oar can help get this worthwhile cause off the ground and onto the water. What's more, if you donate food, you can include a note to the girls which they will read out and record along with a message of gratitude so you know when your donation was put to good use!
Ok so it has nothing to do with boats but there's no denying that the corner of the hall full of expensive, shiny, luxury cars was one of the highlights of the show. From track spec Ferraris to vintage Rolls Royce, this mix of polished chrome, carbon fibre and rubber was a sight to behold.
The Green Blue
Last but not least, The Green Blue is a scheme set up by the RYA to encourage an environmentally sustainable approach to boating. This includes work with individual boat users and clubs to educate and offer solutions that allow all water users to enjoy their hobby whilst having minimal impact on the environment around them. For many, beautiful scenery, fresh water and air and wild life are the very reasons life on the water is so attractive. The work done by The Green Blue is essential for keeping these things beautiful and thriving for future generations to enjoy. The first step is awareness so for more information on how you can be doing more, visit The Green Blue.