Despite an "unprecedented slump" in the boat building industry in 1975, 400 exhibitors have put 600 boats on display at the 22nd London International Boat Show at Earl's Court.
GV EXTERIOR OF Earl's Court
GV INTERIOR OF Show
PAN Row of boats
PAN DOWN Mast TO Yacht, The Dragon
MV PAN Fibreglass hull being assembled
PAN Girl on bow TO Hull of yacht
MV Cabin section of boat PAN TO MV Launches
PAN DOWN Sail TO Fully assembled fibre glass dinghy
GV Yachts (3 shots)
Initials CL/2217 CL/2306
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Despite an "unprecedented slump" in the boat building industry in 1975, 400 exhibitors have put 600 boats on display at the 22nd London International Boat Show at Earl's Court.
The show will be opened New Year's Day by Prince Philip. And as an antidote to relieve economic gloom, organisers have taken the essence of an Aquitaine seaside village, surrounding the traditional "pool", as a theme.
Apart from looking at the huge array of boats, show visitors -- and organisers expect at least 250,000 -- will be entertained by scuba divers looking for sunken treasure from a specially constructed wreck of a French galleon; The Royal Marines will give a rock climbing demonstration; a troupe of 22 Basques will perform traditional dances and there will be a hovercraft display by the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain.
Exhibitors from 10 overseas countries will be showing off their wares. Increased exports is the aim of British firms, especially since the introduction of the 25 per cent VAT rate on boats and most boating equipment.
Mr. Peter Nicholson, chairman of the National Boat Show, said the VAT rate "added to the already difficult economic situation".
The Ship and Boat Builders National Federation reported that from the beginning of August to the end of October, orders were down 60 per cent, compared with the same period two years ago. But exports have increased, and account for more than a third of sales.
Several builders are aiming to attract buyers from the Middle East. Eastwood Marine of Essex has a price of "10,000 barrels of oil" on its new Cleopatra Royale, a vessel of "unashamed luxury".
SYNOPSIS: Despite a slump in the British boat building industry, four hundred exhibitors have put six hundred boats on display at the twenty-second London International Boat Show at Earl's Court. Prince Philip will open the show on New Year's Day.
And as if prescribing a cure for economic gloom, the Show organisers have taken the essence of sunny south-west France, by re-constructing part of an Aquitane seaside village, which surrounds the show's traditional "pool". The pool will be the centre of many of the show's features.
Exhibitors from ten countries will be showing their products. But increased exports is the aim of British firms. Exports account now for about a third of sales.
For the serious boat buyer, this will be the most competitive of exhibitions. With the home market in a slump, several builders are aiming to attract Middle East buyers. An Essex builder has a price of "ten thousand barrels of oil" on its new Cleopatra Royale, described as a vessel of "unashamed luxury".