POWER

Past visitors to the North Wales Boat Show have included Sunseeker, SealineAvonZodiac and Bombard.  

The model for the North Wales Boat Show came directly from the hugely successful South Wales Boat Show and, like its southern counterpart, it is an opportunity for local boating businesses to take affordable stand space and reach a much wider audience.

In previous years Sports boating has been a major element of North Wales boating and while there were the inevitable sailing boats, traditional craft, kayaks and even a coracle maker, sports boats were the mainstay of the show.

There were several new models on show for the first time there too, not least the new Sealine F34 brought along by Majestic Yachts of Deganwy and taking honours as the biggest boat in show. The new RIB-X, a 7.6 metre boat from the Expert range with a Yamaha F250, was also there and it was sold straight off the stand. It was great to see this kind of ready business confounding the pessimism of the detractors.

Elsewhere, there was a delicious looking MasterCraft X1 in jet black courtesy of Abersoch Boatyard Services. Its colour way unusual for this ski boat brand but it did a great job of blending the slickness and refinement of the watersports lifestyle with the masculine robustness of an action man’s boat – it’s was no surprise to hear that this too had just been sold.

But it was quickly plain that the North Wales show is as much about the friendly atmosphere and the entertainment as it is about the boats. On the water there were kayaks for people to have a paddle and sailing boats courtesy of Swansea Watersports and Plas Menai Watersports Centre. The instructors were being kept busy every minute of every day.

On the other end of the lake, Thundercat rides and personal watercraft experiences were there to satisfy the adrenaline seekers with burn ups round the islands and a conveniently placed race mark. For the younger members of the crowd there was a pirate ship and a huge sandpit to play in and, judging by the smiles on the faces of the kids and the relaxed look of the parents, it worked wonders.

One really stunning piece of kit on show, again for the first time out of the development suite, was the Scubacraft. This amazing invention takes submersibles to a whole new level. A 40-knot plus surface capability was provided by a 165hp jet unit but the machine can then become a James Bond style device and dive to 30 metres, maintaining about three knots underwater for 90 minutes, courtesy of its electric motors and shrouded propellers. Not only did it open up a whole new world but it looked stunning too.

The show went with a bang from the moment the doors opened.

Andy Wyer on the Fletcher stand set something approaching a world record for the quickest sale at a show, having sold a ringo within 30 seconds of the start. And his new Fletcher wakeboard boats looked the business too with their fancy graphics and monster towers. It’s good to see them in a place like this. This is, after all, the closest event to Abersoch, the home of Wakestock (the watersports equivalent of Glastonbury) so it is little wonder that tow boats are so much in evidence.

Whatever your boating preferences, a splash of alternative craft always helps add a little interest. Here, there was a coracle maker at work, showing how these ancient craft are made. He even had one on display that celebrates the Druid roots of these Celtic cockleshell craft. These friendly, regional shows make a great day out for the family and at only
£36.00 for a family ticket they are affordable too.

Not surprisingly Power boating is a growing leisure pursuit due to our clean, sheltered waters and the facility to travel quite long distances and visit remote coves and bays that are inaccessible by foot or road!

Ribs and sport boats are fun, fast and relatively affordable and provide excitement and versatility which makes them ideal for all ages especially if you want to have a go at waterskiing or wakeboarding.  You can hit the high seas and experience a thrilling boat ride from several locations across the region with many offering exhilarating one hour rides through to chartering for the day. RibRide operates from Caernarfon, Beaumaris and Moel y Don, Anglesey, SBS Rib Charters runs from Trearddur Bay on Anglesey, Peninsula Ribs at Nefyn, Shearwater Coastal Cruises from Pwllheli and Waterline Rib Charter from Carmel.

North Wales is also the location for the UK’s first private members’ boat club, The Marine Club which is based on Anglesey.  This the perfect members’ club giving you access to luxury boats at a faction of ownership cost so you simply reserve, arrive and drive!   So there’s no capital investment, depreciation, cleaning, refuelling, ongoing or winter maintenance as well as no launch and recovery including the necessary fees.

But if you do want to be the proud owner of your own boat then there are also many boat specialist brokers across the region but if you are thinking of getting a power boat, even if it’s a small launch, please make sure you take the RYA National Powerboat Certificate as this will stand you in invaluable stead as you’ll not just learn the basics from understanding the tides and weather but also the rules of the water.  Courses range from one day to five depending on the course content.  Level 1 is an introduction covering launching and recovering a boat from a road trailer, everyday boat handling and safety equipment , Level 2 teaches you close quarters handling, high speed manoeuvres, man overboard recovery and collision regulations, Intermediate covers pilotage and passage planning by day on coastal waters using traditional and electronic navigational techniques and Advanced covers driving by day and night in known or unfamiliar waters, and boat handling in more demanding conditions.  There’s also a course for the U16s which will give parents peace of mind when their children take to the water.

If you’re interested in a jet ski or to give them their correct term, Personal Watercraft, then again we strongly recommend you take the RYA’s one day course which teaches you how to use your jet ski safely, responsibly and with confidence.  All new jet skis now come with a voucher redeemable against this course and once you’ve passed you are issued with a certificate of proficiency which increasingly you need to be able to launch in UK harbours and other locations.

Launching

There are a number of Public Slipways/Access Points across North Wales for launching small craft but many require a launching fee to be paid and proof of insurance.  Usage of these Slipways is sometimes limited to certain craft so please do contact the telephone numbers below for more information.  Please also note that in many areas power boats including jet skis are required to be registered with the local authority before using these authorised slipways or access points.

Conwy has six Public Slipways, please contact 01492 596253

Gwynedd has 14 Public Slipways which are split in four areas.

For slipways for the Llŷn contact 01758 704081.

For Criccieth, Porthmadog and Morfa Bychan contact 01766 512927.

For Barmouth and Penrhyn Point contact 01341 280671

For Tywyn and Aberdyfi contact 01654 767626.

Anglesey has 13 Public Slipways , please contact 01248 752320

There are no Public Slipways in Denbigshire and Flintshire