A visit to the London Boat Show might be just what the doctor ordered

Another year and time to get moving. How about going for a mini workout at the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show?

Here you can experience the health-giving effects of a long walk without getting cold, wet or covered in mud. There’s plenty of stair climbing to be done when inspecting boats, you can limber up by shimmying round ten other people in the saloon/forecabin and instead of sinking all that money into gym membership you spend it all on…stuff.

An added bonus is the chance to build up your iron with a draught or two at the Black and White Bar. That almost counts as following medical advice.

And January boat shows are where last year’s cruise account grows more expansive and we are all galvanised into making a much more daring plan for this year than we would have done if we’d stayed at home.

It all starts here.

Admittedly, the London show is no longer the place to compare the new crop of boats as there are so few launches there these days. Nonetheless, the chance to see the latest models (and possibly disparage them relative to your own boat) is one of the chief pleasures. So what should you go and look at this year?

The Beneteau Sense 43 is making her debut. This is the smaller sister to the 50-footer launched at Southampton, a sleek-looking cruiser with a modish chined hull and a light, airy, low-profile deck saloon. I liked the Sense 50 and will be interested to see how it works scaled down.

The Rob Humphreys-designed Elan 444 Impression will also be there for the first time (er, no it won’t – see below) and the new home-grown Mystery 43, built by Cornish Crabbers.

This is a bigger sister for the pretty Stephen Jones-designed Mystery 35 and a venture into two-handed ocean cruising territory. Interesting to see how this works and if the builders have managed to combine traditional, pretty lines with the kind of modern interior that sells these days but without the humongous topsides that are increasingly the norm.


Well, I’m afraid I got that wrong. You won’t be seeing the Mystery 43 at this London Boat Show or next, at least not in the flesh.

Company owner and chairman Philip Langsdale tells me that the first of the new design will hopefully be launched in summer 2012. What was being ‘launched’ at London were some details of the design. I must say the press announcement was very ambiguous – ‘Mystery Yachts are launching another superior modern classic, a 43ft blue water cruising yacht. A special preview of the design will be held at the boat show’ – but there you go, we’ll have to be patient.

It does look lovely, though, and the Mystery 35 on show is well worth a look anyway: a superb modern successor to the Contessa 32 and cheaper than a new one of those as well.

More on the Mystery and company Cornish Crabbers shortly…