Thursday, 10 March 2011

London Let Down - PBO Letters

We saw this letter in the April 2011 issue of PBO magazine, and thought it may be of interest:

"I went to the London Boat Show with a list of things I wanted to buy, thinking I could have a look at all the chandlery stands and take my pick. I came home with most of the list intact and very little in the bag.
The journey up was horrible. I went by coach to save money, and wished I hadn't - ExCel compared to Earls Court [previous home of the show - Ed] for travel is a pain.
I was astonished by the lack of visitors on the Tuesday I went. The show itself has either been abandoned by many of the small boat exhibitors and chandlers or has priced itself out of their market.
If I had a million or two to spend I'd be OK, but there were few small boats. Once stand I visited, instead of the nice display they have at Southampton, had a corner plot, a desk and their products on simple display stands. It looked bare and unwelcoming.
All-in-all a dissappointment. I came home and got what I wanted at Force 4 Chandlery in Poole, who run a sale while the boat show is on.
Roll on Southampton. Even though I hail from London and love the city, I won't be in a hurry to go again."
David Butcher
Bournemouth, Dorset

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the London & Southampton Boat Shows and our London Boat Show SALE, feel free to comment on this blog or leave a message on our Facebook Fan Site by clicking here.

Happy Sailing,

Captain Loz


  1. My thoughts exactly. I no longer waste time and money at boat shows. They used to be fun, but not any more. Far better to visit your Bournemouth Road chandlery and get what I want at a fair price or be helpfully pointed in the right direction.
    Clive, Albacore 5823

  2. Clive,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    I know a lot of our staff would love to go back to the "good old days of the London Boat Show".
    It used to be immense fun showing off new products to people who wouldn't normally have the opportunity to see them in the flesh.
    Thankfully we can still offer that experience in our shops (if you live close enough).
    However we get the impression a lot of people now have to just go online, which isn't always the best move if you need advice, or lets be honest if you just want to play with some of the new kit!

  3. In the "good old days" people didn't have the internet to do their "boat shopping", so the Boat Show was a huge shop window. Those days will not come back and it has nothing to do with the venue.

    I used to go to Earls Court and it was a night mare! I remember once bringing a set of 470 dinghy sails home on the train (well you certainly couldn't go by car - no where to park). Now I can drive comfortably to Excel, plenty of parking, plenty of space, a massive improvement. But then some people pine for the days of an outside toilet!

  4. Emjaytoo,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    I can imagine what a nightmare it was taking the sails home by train! Good to hear opposing view point on the London Boat Show. Like anything in the "good old days" rose tinted glasses were generally being worn!