Went Sunday. Have Never been to Excel before. Car parking is a joke. You suddenly arrive at the place in what seems the middle of nowhere, where you join a short que of cars (on a sunday). As you open your window to the attendant selling the parking tickets, he asks you 'HOW LONG?' ...Erm, I'm not sure mate?! I'm going to a show where I will spend a couple of hours walking a couple of hours talking and a while getting lost?!, how longs a piece of string? - '...OK IT'S £5, £10 £15' ....errrr?
So as it turns out you might as well pay a fiver and in reality you stay as long as you like - nobody checks tickets there and if you outstay your pay on your ticket you just even it up on the way out If somebody is manning the barrier - which they weren't on sunday evening.
The show itself, although lacks the character of Earls Court, is much better layed out and there is so much more space you don't find people get in your way as much. Unless you are on the Sunseeker stand. The amount of people on there was also a joke at any given time - even up to 6.30pm when all the others had emptied, Sunseeker was still crawling!
RIB wise, I didn't see anything other than a 5m Valiant which I thought was good value - I spent 7hours there and didn't see any mouldings or accessories for RIBs - Not like the Southampton, where there are quite a few stands selling the sort of stuff you might like to stick in a RIB.
The engine/outboard companies where all there - although I was dissapointed to find Yamaha didn't carry any accessories or parts - go to the Volvo stand opposite and they carry loads. However I was after a water seperating fuel filter and met the guy on the Yam stand who supplied my boat who gave me a great deal on one after the show.
The best value powerboat was, in my view the new princess V45. It's SO much better value than the Sunseeker Superhawk 43 although the superhawk is totally stunning in Silver and black the princess offers the same sort of thing with double the space and cabins and a sliding roof to go with it. Unfortunatley Princess had sold the first 5 (4 of which are still in build) so I couldn't come away with it on the back of the car.
Overall I enjoyed it, met all the people I usually do and came away less stressed than I remember being after Earls. I think this show has really turned into the East Coast boatshow in a way - Most of the exhibitors and chandlerys are from that area of the counrty and from what I heard from most people alot of the south coast lot that once attended the London boatshow don't bother so much. Personally I think if you are going to look specifically at RIBs and accessories, wait and make the effort to go to RIBEX or the Southampton Int. You will find a lot more there that interests.