Something old, something new as London Boat Show returns

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The Independent Travel

In a nod to tightened belts around the world, the London International Boat Show is set to feature a used boat marina for the first time when it opens its doors to the public again on January 7.

The show, which prides itself on being a family friendly affair as much as a place for the super-rich to splash their cash, says that it is responding to visitor demand in introducing the used boat marina at the annual event.

"This new feature has been introduced to the 2011 Show following overwhelming visitor feedback for used boats," said the show's boss Andrew Williams, adding "we know that interest is high and the market is there."

The used boats will go on display alongside roughly 1000 other boats at the event, an all-encompassing show which draws visitors with wide-ranging interests.

Despite the fact that the larger Boot Dusseldorf show begins only six days after the London show ends, it manages to pack in exhibitors showing everything from powerboats to paint, radio controlled boats to windsurfing.

The 10-day event has even seen something of a revamp for the 2011 show, with a new layout and several new attractions.

Watersports fans are particularly well catered for this year, with a dedicated watersports zone and a 70m x 24m pool which can be used by visitors for activities such as stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), wakeboarding, windsurfing, dinghy sailing, canoeing and kayaking.

Organizers have also added "The Knowledge Box," an informal theatre with daily presentations covering topics ranging from buying a boat to wakeboarding tips and tricks, and "The Boardwalk," a raised walkway designed to give visitors a better idea of what boats would look like on water.

Popular attractions such as the Classic Boat restoration section will also be returning, but for those with money to spend, the main area of interest is likely to be the number of new debuts planned for the show.

Among the highlights is the world premiere of the new M Class from British boat builder Princess Yachts.

The 32 meter vessel will be the largest ever showcased inside the boat show's venue, the London Excel centre, and marks the first attempt by Princess to crack the superyacht market - a 40 meter follow up is scheduled for 2012.

Other major unveilings include the Predator 115 and the Manhattan 73 from Sunseeker, the Sea Ray 235 Weekender and the Fairline Targa 50 Grand Turismo, another world debut.

The show runs at London's Excel Centre and is open January 7-16, 2011.