THE huge success of the inaugural Poole Harbour Boat Show this May has led organisers to quickly snap up further dates for the next two years. An estimated 15,000 people attended the free two day event which took place at Poole Quay and featured water activities, live music and fireworks alongside stalls and trade stands.
Organised by Poole Harbour Commissioners, and attended by British Paralympic sailor Helena Lucas, who was guest of honour, it has been extended to a third day, Friday, due to demand and "universally positive" comments.
To coincide with the dates of the 2017 European Maritime Day, which includes a conference at Lighthouse, the Poole Harbour Boat Show will be held on May 20 to 22 in 2016 and May 19 to 21 in 2017.
Poole Quay and Poole Quay Boat Haven will continue to host the free boat show and organisers aim to expand the event further along the quay in coming years.
Jim Stewart, chief executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners said he was pleased to see the event so well received by exhibitors and visiting public who enjoyed everything from tall ships to Sunseeker, Fairline, Windy, Bayliner and Legend Yachts and the RNLI.
"To hear such positive response from so many involved in the event and particularly from the public was overwhelming," he said.
"I acknowledge all the hard work from the team and our sponsors who put so much into making this event happen and we are excited for its future, particularly as we lead into 2017 and the prestigious European Maritime Day which Poole will host.
“We understand that a significant number of boats and related products were sold by our exhibitors, Quay businesses enjoyed a booming weekend of trading, and those from the industry believed that we made boating accessible to a new audience. We really welcome the opportunity to provide an entry level to a new group of boating enthusiasts.”
More information on the 2016 event will be announced by organisers in due course. Potential exhibitors are welcome to register an interest for berths or stands now by contacting John Binder at Poole Quay Boat Haven on 01202 649488.