14 Oct 2013

Boating World dominated the V&A waterways at the Cape Town International Boat Show this year with magnificent boats, colourful signage and even a marquee on the quayside shouting their presence.

Perfectly positioned right at the top of the walkway entrance to the jetties, was a half-moon shaped marquee for the comfort and pleasure of specially invited VIP guests who were given five-star treatment. Visitors were presented with a “goodie” bag filled with brochures, pens, key floats, a DVD and a boating magazine and each lady was given a beautiful rose to make them feel special.

Well protected from the blustery wind over the three-day weekend, over 100 potential and existing Boating World clients passed through, where they enjoyed drinks and snacks while chatting to Derrick and Suzanne.

From this well elevated vantage point, they had a spectacular view of the luxurious Fairline and Riviera boats elegantly nestling on their moorings below. Smartly attired staff manned each of the four boats on show – two apiece – keeping control of the vast numbers of eager people waiting for their turn to go aboard. They did a splendid job of making sure everyone was given fair time to look around, answering questions and giving information.

Whether on the quayside or at the water’s edge, one could see the Boating World name proudly displayed from every angle and at every turn.

A stroll down to the jetty led straight to the flagship of the fleet – the Fairline Squadron 50. Even those who had heard and read about this fantastic cruiser were simply not prepared for the enormity of her size and grace – she simply took one’s breathe away.


The first inkling came with a tour aboard, as shoes were eagerly abandoned on the jetty or special protective shoe covers donned and visitors clamoured to take a closer look. It was a journey of endless surprises starting from the rear where a huge bathing platform easily accommodates a Williams tender of around nine feet (a simple press of a button portion of the platform hydraulically lifts the tender up and over to the water).  But moving onwards and inwards….

Visitors were blown away by her beautifully appointed alfresco design – where it’s easy to imagine entertaining a boat-load of friends and family as there’s easy access to the galley for making meals and storing drinks. The spacious interior decked with teak flooring and Cherrywood fittings is breathtaking – and the saloon, cockpit and flybridge all feature mounds of comfortable seating.

Then it was on to the greatest surprise of all…. down…down… and down some more stairs to the sleeping accommodation below where the layout is an eye-opener! Only then could they really start to appreciate the enormity of this immense craft – especially as one can stand upright in all the stunning en-suite cabins!

While they could have spent all day admiring the Squadron 50’s endless features there were still other Boating World boats to see – not least the Squadron 42 languishing alongside.  This is the one which appealed to action lovers looking for something sporty but stylish with all the comforts of a big boat and sensational looks to match.

There were many favourable comments about the massive panoramic windows which create such a light, spacious atmosphere that this beautiful craft seems even bigger than she is already – after all a 42-footer is not small!  And everyone loved her awesome open flybridge with all the mod cons to entertain a crowd of guests and the huge cockpit with seating which converts into a unique, lounger with a reversing backrest. It was not hard to imagine an overnight trip offshore – as she comfortably sleeps 4 – 6 people.

Next up, the stunning single-level Riviera Offshore Express attracted many admirers who appreciated her versatility and luxurious practicality. Serious anglers loved the big cockpit equipped with fishboxes, a tackle and bait-prep centre, a livebait well, outriggers and rodholders. Even their families were impressed when seeing all her creature comforts ideal for entertaining from the latest food preparation facilities and storage to televisions (even outdoors), comfortable lounges and not forgetting the two fabulous cabins for over-nighting.

Show-goers were also fascinated with Airberth boat lift system (sporting a Fountaine cruiser) which lifts the boat clear out of the water – eliminating the need for anti-fouling and providing a unique mooring option. Spellbound children had to be dragged away to see the rest of the show – but were mollified with the prospect of a ferry-ride across to the CTICC which housed the indoor exhibits.

Undoubtedly this was Boating World’s crème de la crème of shows and every visitor to their stand left feeling thoroughly spoiled.