The first ever Poole Harbour Boat Show exceeded organisers’ expectations with visitor numbers resulting at a level of 50 per cent over what was predicted. In excess of 15,000 visitors were attracted to the event.

Organised by the team at Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) and Poole Quay Boat Haven, more than 60 exhibitors used the show as a platform to display their products. Boat enthusiasts gathered onto the pontoons to look at the variety of marine-related businesses, including some big names such as Sunseeker, Princess, Fairline, Windy, Stingher Ribs, Bayliner and Sealine.

Adding to the day out experience were the popular attractions of a regional boat show including a range of stalls and various activities to keep the crowds entertained including on-the-water displays, tall ships, live music, children’s entertainment and a spectacular firework display on the Saturday evening.

Britain’s Paralmypic medallist Helena Lucas MBE was the guest of honour on the Sunday where she met with guests and showcased her gold medal. Helena, who won gold in the London 2012 Paralympic Games and has become the first Great Britain athlete to be selected for Rio 2016, hoped the boat show would encourage more people to get out on the water.

Chief executive of PHC, Jim Stewart said: “We are delighted with the success of the first ever Poole Harbour Boat Show which showcased Poole’s community spirit at its very best. We are delighted with the high quality of visitors who came to this year’s show and wish to extend thanks to all our sponsors Barclays, Bates Wharf, Colemans Insurance, Excellare, Humphries Kirk, Sunseeker and Mazars, and to everyone in the team behind the event who made it all possible.  The event has led to positive feedback and we already have a number of exhibitors who have signed up to return in 2016, which is very encouraging.”

Exhibitors to date, signing up to return to Poole Harbour Boat Show next year include: Fairline, Beneteau, Bayliner, Regal, Cobalt, Weird Fish, The Watersports Academy, Powerboat Training UK, Dean and Reddyhoff Marinas, Quay Holidays and Poole Boat Charters.