INTRODUCTION: In London, the annual Boat Show at Earls Court is underway -- and although aimed at the export market, exhibitors predict that there will be an increase in home demand.
CU Royal National Lifeboat Institute inshore inflatable rescue boat TILT UP TO GV mock-up of Brighton Marina in Earls Court Boat Show, London U.K.
GV & SVs New Zealand 2.2 ton racing yacht Knockout
SV Claire Francis' trans-Atlantic yacht Robertson's Golly
GV Italian Riva 2000 speedboat
GVs Finnish Nauticat 33 motor sailor (3 shots)
GV Other yachts on show
GV British Princess 32 and 25 motor-cruisers
GV British Fisher 46 motor-sailor
GV British Weymouth 34 motor-cruiser in marina pool PAN ACROSS pool with other boats floe ting
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: In London, the annual Boat Show at Earls Court is underway -- and although aimed at the export market, exhibitors predict that there will be an increase in home demand.
SYNOPSIS: There are exhibits to suit all tastes -- from the practical to the unashamedly luxurious. This model of the new Brighton Marina is the centre-piece of the show.
Once a year the British try to forget their economic woes and go to the Boat Show for a little daydreaming. Most visitors could not even afford to buy the keel of the best exhibit in the show -- the two ton racing yacht Knockout designed by New Zealander Ron Holland. Knockout boasts a cold-moulded carbon-fibre hull, which should make it one of the lightest and fastest boats around. It's not for sale to the general public -- but certainly sets the tone for the show.
This year the show is being opened by Britain's single-handed trans-Atlantic yachtswoman Clare Francis. Her boat Robertson's Golly is one of the exhibits. Although the steering gear broke on her boat, Miss Francis still managed to set a new women's record in the 1976 transatlantic race. For the wealthy there's the Italian Riva 2000 speedster. It costs 130,000 U.S. dollars.
As usual the Boat Show has attracted exhibitors from many parts of the world -- a Finnish firm is showing its Nauticat 33 motor sailor and Dutch and French boats are also prominent. Foreigners have apparently bought most of the exhibits to be sold so far.
The favourable sterling exchange rate has made this year's show especially popular for overseas buyers. British exhibits include everything from the exotic motor cruisers and motor sailors -- right through to modestly priced dinghies. There are also over 100 new products on view, from domestic necessities such as cookers through to sophisticated electronic navigation equipment. Some of the exhibits are still expected to be bought by Britons despite the difficult economic situation.