The C&TH Guide To The Southampton Boat Show 2023

By Olivia Emily

8 months ago

Here’s what it’s all a-boat

The Southampton Boat Show makes waves in Hampshire’s port city every September – and 2023 is sure to be no different. Here’s everything you need to know before you go.

The Southampton Boat Show 2023

A row of boats lined up at Southampton boat show

What Is The Southampton Boat Show?

The Southampton Boat Show is an annual event that takes place in Southampton’s Mayflower Park, featuring everything the leisure marine industry has to offer, from paddleboards to superyachts.

Also known as the Southampton International Boat Show, the first show occurred in 1969 with around 50 exhibitors, launched by Norman Kemish and Arthur Gale, who continued to play a role in proceedings for over 25 years. Today, it is organised by British Marine, the trade association for the leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry. Since the early years, it has grown massively into the UK and Europe’s largest boat show, running for 10 days every year at the end of September, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from near and far. For comparison, over 600 exhibitors are confirmed for 2023, and the whole thing takes around 30 days and 200 people to set up. A big part of the set-up process is the purpose-built marina, which has over 2km of pontoons, and is the largest of its kind in Europe.

What To See

Considered Britain’s biggest and best festival of boating, visitors can expect to see a plethora of beautifully designed boats and products from hundreds of global marine brands. Plus, as of 2021, the boats are organised into zones – from the Watersport zone to the Dinghy zone – meaning it’s much easier than it once was to beeline for what you’re looking for. You can also head over to the Mayflower Park & Ocean Hall zone for bars, restaurants and live music, to the Shipyard for a festival style food court and music stage, to the Water Stage to be amazed by incredible water stunts, or to the Beach Have & Watersports Lake to try out your next favourite water sport for yourself.

On The Water Zone

Fancy picking up a new hobby? This is the perfect place to dip your toe into the likes of stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, wakeboarding, and water skiing in the Watersports Zone – or head to the Dinghy Zone to try a sailing dinghy.

Try A Boat

Sail a yacht, guide the throttle of a motorboat, or board a mini cruise: it’s all possible at the Southampton Boat Show. Plus, you can pay a little extra to try ‘Try-a-Boat+’, giving you more time out on the water aboard some of the show’s most adventurous vessels, including the 47m Dutch tall ship, Thalassa.

Watersport Show

It’s not just boats: catch some incredible demos and water stunts at the Boat Show, including flightboards and flyboards.


West Quay Esplanade, Harbour Parade, Southampton SO15 1QF. Learn more about the best ways to visit and park at the show here.


15–24 September 2023, open 10am–6pm everyday (closes 5pm on 24 September).


Tickets from £17 per person. Up to two kids under 15 years old go free with every adult ticket. Upgrade your visit with a VIP ticket and enjoy exclusive access to the Quayside Club Waterfront lounge, with complimentary drinks, a premium buffet lunch and a cloakroom (from £156.25 per person). Book at

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