The London International Boat Show kicks off next week, with organizers promising that the new boats, equipment and clothing due to be unveiled will only scratch the surface of the event.

Over 122,000 guests attended last year's show at London's ExCeL centre, and this year marks the 56th iteration of the event that tries to cater to the whole family. The show runs over 10 days January 8-17, featuring hundreds of boats with price tags from £500 (€554) to £10m (€11m). London, despite being one of the smaller European shows on the year's calendar, attracts a diverse crowd of thrill-seekers, boat enthusiasts and the curious general public.

Luxury yacht British manufacturer Fairline intends to debut the Targa 58 Gran Turismo at the show, the yacht's world premiere. The Targa 58 features a galley space with retractable roof, which slides aside with the windows and doors to transform the living space into an instant outdoor area. Alongside Fairline will be Côte d'Azur favorite Riva Yachts, which counts Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren and Prince Rainier amongst its list of owners amongst others. The firm will be showing the 33-foot (10 meter) Aquariva Super, which boasts a mahogany deck and maximum speed of 42 knots.

Other highlights include sports sailing clothing, with Helly Hansen readying its new Hydro Power range (jacket £280/€310) and Gill displaying the new OS1 offshore suit (jacket £300/€332) at the show. Organizers will also unveil the 'Barangoola', a 36-year-old neglected cruiser that has been restored by volunteers for just £5,000 (€5540) to demonstrate the affordability of boating.

The Classic Boat feature, which first appeared in 2004, is designed to give visitors a chance to meet craftsmen and get an idea of the traditional workmanship and skills behind classic boats. For those keen to get involved in the action there is the chance to master the intricacies of the gaff rig or learn how to climb into a 'proper' ship hammock.

Continuing the show's family-orientated tradition, children are well catered for, with an indoor pool that will host model model yacht races and a kayaking course. At the weekends, the doors of the center open to the on-water entertainment in Royal Victoria Dock, including a dinghy skiff and pursuit race.

The London International Boat Show sponsored by Tullet Prebon runs from January 8-17 at the ExCeL Centre in London.

http://www.londonboatshow.com

Comments