Seawork International closed its doors for the nineteenth successive year, following three successful days of business at its new and permanent home in Southampton’s Mayflower Park.

Seawork International moved to Southampton’s Mayflower Park this year

Seawork International moved to Southampton’s Mayflower Park this year

Councillor Simon Letts, leader of Southampton City Council, opened Seawork International on Tuesday 14 June at the Waterfront Restaurant, sponsored by Golden Arrow Marine.

Many exhibitors reported superb feedback and have high expectations for future business success.

Stewart Dunn, CEO of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce said, “Seawork is firmly established as Europe’s largest workboat and commercial marine exhibition and conference event. The move to Mayflower Park in Southampton with its unique waterfront gives thousands of visitors a real opportunity to see the vessels in their true setting on the water. Hampshire Chamber of Commerce looks forward to supporting Seawork International in the years ahead.”

Feedback from Seawork 2016 was widely positive. Reena Bayley, marketing manager, Cox Powertrain, said: "The exhibition has been a real success for us this year. We saw a wide variety of boat operators and are delighted with the response we received. This year we had a bigger stand, giving us a better profile at the show."

Simon Crowther, EMEA Sales Manager, ACR Electronics said: "I thought there was a good positive atmosphere at the exhibition. It was the first time we have had the joint stand with our sister company Ocean Signal, so it was good to be able to showcase the comprehensive portfolio of products from both companies. Seawork again proved to be a key show for us."

Plethora of events

Seawork was host to a plethora of events, demonstrations, seminars and product launches. Vessels unveiled included; Palfinger Boats’ PM110 G RIB, Exeter Fabrications’ 19m steel landing craft, Goldfish Boats’ M12 RHIB and the Parker Baltic Cruiser. Product launches included Harken’s LokHead Winch mounting plate, Spinlock’s Deckvest Duro lifejacket, and Lume-On LED technology, Kort Propulsion’s new Groove design RotaChock Mount, and Unique Seaflex UK’s 100T WaterLoad Crane testing bag. Plus, Duodrivetrain officially launched its radical contra-rotating propulsion system, while James Fisher Marine demonstrated its unexploded ordnance UXO solutions.

Peter Eyre Marine Design also launched the 10m Fastnet and the 16m Malin designs at Seawork. The 10m Fastnet design incorporates the same level of seakeeping as the larger designs, allowing operators to benefit from reduced costs, without compromising on safety and performance. The 16m Malin has been particularly well received by pilot vessel operators, noting its ergonomic design and unrivalled seakeeping.

Cowes-based Spinlock debuted two new and innovative products at Seawork, namely the Deckvest DURO Lifejacket and the Spinlock Lume-On. Launched at Seawork International and taking advantage of modern LED technology, Spinlock’s Lume-On uses tiny LED lights that can be attached to the lifejacket bladder, turning the whole lifejacket into a glowing light.

The Seawork Conference programme, sponsored by Knighthood, explored a range of interesting and inspiring topical sessions, delivered by BAE Systems, Government Grant & Tax Consultants, and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, amongst others. Topics included ‘The Changing Face of Search & Rescue’, ‘Show Me the Money – Government Funding’, ‘Autonomous Surface Vessels as Workboats’, ‘Hybrid Power and the Hour of Power for workboats and patrol vessels’ and ‘Innovations for fast craft systems and training’.

The Seawork Innovation Showcase, sponsored by URICA, displayed around 50 entries ranging from load testing, to vessels, through to training, safety, apparel and propulsion. These were judged on day one by Mercator Media’s panel of judges, with the category and overall winner unveiled at the Seawork Innovations Awards and Networking event. The overall winner was Duodrive for the innovative Duodrivetrain, with Punk Couplings as runners-up.

New business

Seawork International also saw the signing of a number of deals; New Zealand based Naiad Design announced the signing of a new licence agreement with Wales’ Holyhead Marine Services to manufacture all vessels in the Naiad Design Range of RHIBS.

Golden Arrow Marine announced becoming an exclusive UK distributor for STT Emtec. The firm, together with STT Emtec AB, are now introducing an effective solution to greatly reduce NOx emissions from high speed diesel engines on the UK and Irish marine market. Glenn Berglund, marketing & sales manager, STT Emtec, said: “We signed an agreement with Golden Arrow Marine at the end of last year and are happy to be at Seawork 2016 with a demo set up.”

Whilst at Seawork, Elite Maritime Selection (EMS) hosted a busy networking drinks reception at stand PG126 to celebrate its first birthday. Ellie Garland, EMS, explained: “Last year we sponsored the Guinness Bar, this year we have done the same but have returned with a stand as well. It’s been a fantastic first day, really exciting with plenty of visitors to our stand, a massive achievement for EMS a year down the line."

Exhibitors and visitors took part in a competition encouraging people to take shots of highlights of their Seawork experience as they wandered through the halls, conference, demo areas and on the water. The winner, Hayes Parsons, won a lifejacket donated by Spinlock.

The Deputy High Commissioner of Barbados, Althea Wiggins, was just one of a number of VIPs who attended Seawork to explore procurement opportunities. Seawork also welcomed the Naval Advisor to New Zealand, VIPs from Brazil, a delegation from the United Arab Emirates and China, as well as the US Naval Attaché, who is a returning visitor. These delegations provide valuable export opportunities to Seawork attendees, many of whose businesses have flourished thanks to the opportunities that Seawork presents.

Seawork International will return to Mayflower Park in Southampton from 13-15 June 2017. Keep up the #CommercialMarine conversation by posting your Seawork highlights and successes on Facebook and Twitter.