BMIF - The British Marine Industries Federation promotes ship and boatbuilding industry in the UK



The British Marine Industries Federation is an organisation which exists to promote and speak for the marine industry.



National Boats Shows very kindly arranged for the first Solar Navigator (swath design) to be included in their Concept 2000 stand at the London Boat Show at Earls Court.    A number of contacts were made at the show and the public got their first viewing of the prototype vessel in 1/10th scale.  Comments made by the public were recorded in a book over a weekend - demonstrating significant interest in solar power for propulsion.  Very many thanks to Joe Laredo and the BMF for their generous hospitality on this occasion.




British Marine Federation, or BMF, is the trade association for the leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry, currently representing 12 regional associations, 16 Group Associations and 1400+ members across the UK marine supply chain. These include the Superyacht sector, chandlers, boatbuilders, brokers, suppliers of equipment for yachts and motorboats, to flag makers, Sailing Training and operators of marinas both coastal and inland. The BMF also promotes career opportunities in the marine industry and advice and assistance through their Environment and Boating Facilities, and Training and Technical teams.

A fully owned subsidiary of the BMF, National Boat Shows, organise the London Boat Show (currently the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show held at ExCeL) and Southampton Boat Show (currently the PSP Southampton Boat Show held at Mayflower Park). The Boat Shows serve the Federation in encouraging people to enjoy the sea, rivers and inland waterways, as well as their website On The Water, which is promoted at boat shows and displays across the UK.

The Boat, Yacht and Allied Trades Association was formed in 1913 with the aims of promoting and protecting its members, promoting or opposing government legislation and helping companies in monetary and legal matters. By 1919, the Association had 108 Full and 74 Associate members and a full time secretary. In 1947 the Association became the Ship and Boat Builders National Federation. In 1973, the Federation joined forces with the Royal Yachting Association and lobbied MP's to oppose a Labour Government imposed 25% VAT on boats. After an audience with then Chancellor Denis Healey, the following year the rate was halved and eventually returned back to the standard rate.

In 1986 the Federation became the British Marine Industries Federation and was finally rebranded in 2008 as the British Marine Federation.



Starting in 1914, a joint exhibition took place at Olympia, London with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) but in 1954, an independent London International Boat Show was held at the Empire Hall, Olympia. This moved to the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in 1957 and finally to its current location, ExCeL, in 2004. National Boat Shows was set up to run the BMF shows, and made a successful acquisition of the Southampton Boat Show. Both shows are currently ten day events.


The London Boat Show is held each January at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London, just opposite the O2 and the centre of London's business and entertainment centre. It is a large event, now in its 58th year, which uses one of ExCeL's 32,500 square metre halls. It is organised by National Boat Shows, which is a subsidiary of the British Marine Federation, the trade association for the UK boating industry.

The Show features a wide range of boats, boating equipment and clothing with interactive sections and feature attractions devoted to boating. There is also a display of tall boats and other vessels in the Royal Victoria Dock immediately outside the exhibition centre.

One of the major benefits of ExCeL Exhibition Centre is that it is an on-water location where, every year, the show hosts a dedicated marina and a naval ship (either a destroyer or frigate). ExCeL is also the only exhibition venue in London that can host a regatta.

The first London Boat Show was held at Olympia, before moving to the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in 1957 due to increase in demand. A popular feature of the show during its time at Earls Court was the use of the venue's pool area to host floating boats for visitors' inspection. Up until the Second World War, sailing was very much a sport for the rich, but in the post-war years, with the launch of cheaper boats such as the dinghy, sailing became accessible to the middle classes and so there was demand for a show which could satisfy this trend.

The London Boat Show moved to ExCeL in 2004 because the old venue could no longer accommodate the vast selection of boats and equipment suppliers that visitors demanded from the show.Link text, additional text. The inclusion of smaller craft such as Dinghies, Kayaks, Canoes and Stand up Paddleboards, as well as popular watersports like Wakeboarding, led to the inclusion of the Watersports Action Pool, where visitors could watch the craft in-action indoors. Additionally Earls Court couldn’t accommodate the larger boats that visitors wanted to see and buy.

The move from the intimate space of Earls Court, to the more functional space at ExCel, has been felt by some to be detrimental to the visitor's enjoyment of the show, and was subsequently blamed for the steady decline in both visitors and exhibitors. However analysis of the figures shows that the downward trend in visitor attendance began before the move to ExCel, and is continuing despite various attempts by the organisers to increase the attractiveness of the show, such as introducing a Boardwalk indoors to allow visitors to view the larger boats below the waterline and a Used Boats Marina.





BMF project websites:


Environmental Code of Practice (ECOP)

The Green Blue Partners

On The Water

Berth Search



Industry initiatives:


Visit Thames


Stolen Boats 


Industry partners:


British Waterways

Environment Agency

Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA)

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA)

Marine South East

Royal Yachting Association (RYA)

British Canoe Union

International Federation of Boat Show Organisers (IFBSO)

UK Trade & Investment








Telephone: 01784 223663


British Marine Federation in a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England. No 2592536









(If dialing from outside the United Kingdom please change 01784 223613 to +44 1784 223613)

TICKETS - (To buy tickets or to enquire about an existing ticket order)

  • UK: +44 (0) 871 230 7140

  • Groups: +44 (0) 871 230 7140

  • For disabled (+aid) tickets: +44 (0) 871 230 7140

  • Customer Services (tickets):  +44 (0) 871 230 7140 and ask for customer services



(e.g.  Stand space and marina berth sales/applications)

Carol Taylor
Tel: 01784 223618

Loretta Westoll-Green
Tel: 01784 223643

Charlotte Richardson
Tel: 01784 223621

Luke Staniland
Tel: 01784 223620

Rachel May
Tel: 01784 223616



Adeline Pilfold
Tel:+44 (0)1784 223654



(e.g. Stand build, Official Contractors, build-up and breakdown, Exhibitor Manual)

Tel: 01784 223613



Mike Enser
Tel: +44 (0)1784 223819

Ashika Gauld
Tel: +44 (0) 1784 223649

Antonia Goodwin
Tel: +44 (0) 1784 223647


pr Publicasity

Tel:+44 (0)207 632243


NBS pr

Emma York
Tel:+44 (0)1784 223811

Jenny Rye
Tel:+44 (0)1784 223614



Online Advertising


Joe Roel 
Tel: 01784 223678 

Kit Robinson
Tel: 01784 223653



BMF and London Boat Shows on Youtube







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