I was surprised that the train journey went so well, £9.50 all the way! trains empty-ish on the way there but like cattle on the way back! A friend drove up from Brighton and left his car at my place and we went together on the train, Arriving at "Exel" in docklands at about 10.30. We had a cup of coffee togeather and dissapeared off in different directions. I hate to be tied by others and prefer to look around alone. I bumped into several people that I know, both from my time in the boat industry and my boating exploits and talked at length with the liferaft servicing company MD re my own requirements (I didnt know he was the MD until I was asking him who the guy was that I spoke to on the phone and he called him over and h, the guy that I had talked to on the phone, then introduced me to his boss , the guy I had been talking to! Yawn!
I went onto a selfs teering stand that was displaying my favourite windvane the Monitor and a salesman (always keen on the first day) came over and I explained that I felt that they were the only one to have these days unless you already have an aries (Mmmmmm) he was delighted as he owned the company that made all of the vanes displayed on his stand ( three different sorts) . He asked me what sort of boat I had and was delighted to find out that I had a power boat as he had one too. I did explain that I intended to go back to sail and delighted again he explained that he was going too also when he retired (he had done a circumnavigation in sail already some years ago).
As there wasn`t anything particular that I wanted for my boat I wandered from stand to stand playing with the various plotters until I got shooed off by a salesman that knew I wasn`t going to buy it. I took a cup of coffee out to the guy protesting outside Exel ( wearing a red bow tie and dress suit) standing with a placard in the cold and rain. I met my friend for a late lunch of fish and chips (which I have to say were fabulous ) I was tempted to climb onto a couple of boats but didn`t and really got most of my enjoyment of the day in the entertainment (food and general company) and checking out the latest "Boys toys" The journey back was OK but crowded as it was the tail end of the rush hour, arriving back at home about 19.00.
My general observation was that as there weren`t many people on the press day, although it may get better in the following days, the show in general was quiet and that the industry (even though the mags and industry publications and marketing will say that it was prosperous and successful) it won`t actually be so!
Will I go again? You bet I`ll be at SBS without fail! Why? don`t ask such stupid questions! I`m a boater! do you actually think that I know why myself? eh! do you! :o))