Sarah and I have just returned from the Southampton Boat Show, which the organisers tout as the largest consumer trade show of its kind in all of Europe. Practically every type of vessel from simple canoes to opulent multi-million dollar/pound mega yachts were on display, both in the water and in specially constructed exhibition halls. As an avid sailor, I welcomed the chance to be able to check out what the various boating manufacturers were currently offering up, plus there were a couple of specific sailboats which the two of us really wanted to look at and examine first-hand.
While attending the show, we had the opportunity to partake in a complimentary "test sail" of the British-built Southerly 42. Cruising along the River Test, which serves as the main waterway leading into the English Channel, we sailed past the very dock where RMS Titanic had set sail from on her fateful maiden voyage in 1912. Hardly changed after all of these years, it is where the Cunard cruise ship Queen Mary II now begins most of her voyages.
We observed that one manufacturer of the aforementioned mega yachts had devised a very special recession-busting incentive for anyone willing to purchase one of their yachts during the boat show. Along with the purchase of the yacht, the new owner also received a specially designed key ring. What's so special about that, you may ask? Attached to the ring is the ignition key belonging to a brand new Bentley luxury automobile. We saw more than one high flyer, with champagne flute in hand, being escorted into a fashionably furnished lounge to finalise the deal.