I went yesterday with the kids. I'm going again during the week, so we just did whatever they wanted and it was a fantastic day out. I didn't take many photos because I had my hands full, but I'll post some later in the week when I actually get to look at some RIBs!
We spent almost six hours there, and I eventually had to drag the childen away. We had an excellent day and I was impressed at how welcoming all the exhibitors were when we were clearly tyre kicking. Top marks to the staff on the Grady White stand who were completely unfazed by a five year old saying "Oh, we're not here to buy anything, we're just here to play". By the way their boats are worth a look if you ever want something tubeless but with lots of the good attributes of a RIB.
The so called "fashion show" was a definite highlight. It only has a token fashion element and is an extremely slick cirque-type show. It's actually a version of Sirens of the Sea
by the Cornish circus/theatre company Incandescence, and it's well worth making the effort to go and see it.
The tour round HMS Exeter involved major amounts of standing in queues, but was interesting if you haven't done that sort of thing before. I wouldn't normally have bothered, but the kids loved it and it was interesting to see the level of detail that their chart plotter shows (zoom right in and you can see the outline of the ship, apparently with enough accuracy to use when docking).
The new Salcombe lifeboat is an awesome piece of kit, with an astonishingly high specification. Carbon fibre suspension seats all round, more computer screens than you can shake a stick at, interchangeable helm positions all over the place, a Y-boat in a nifty garage, and a couple of large engines. Judging by the amount of poking, prodding and tugging everything got from kids and adult alike I reckon that the Boat Show will be a good test for it!
Other boats we looked round include the very excellent Pedro Levanto 44, some sailing catamaran or other, narrow boat, a barge, some Arvor fishing boats (pretty good value if you like that sort of thing), some yachts, a rather nasty bow rider and a couple of Grady White sports-fishing type boats. Oh and we used a Ribcraft as a playpen for a while (thanks Jason!).
I did manage to get five minutes to chat to Jason, and he proudly showed me their new jockey seat. It's not something that immediately looks exciting, but it's the first product that they have made using Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM), a technology they intend to eventually use for all their products which would be a serious commitment to product development.