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Maritime Minister weathers wind and rain to visit the Southampton International Boat Show 2023

Published on: 28 September 2023

Maritime minister

British Marine welcomed the Minister for Maritime, Baroness Vere of Norbiton, to the Southampton International Boat Show on 21 September 2023. With responsibility for overseeing the refresh of the Government’s Clean Maritime 2050 plan, the Minister was pleased to see an extensive range of equipment and craft on display at the Show all with a focus on helping to make boating cleaner and greener. 


Despite a very tight schedule, the Minister took time to chat to a number of British Marine members exhibiting at the Show. Richard Daltry, co-founder of RAD Propulsion, was delighted to show her the RAD 40 electric drive which, together with the RAD 120, will be power the Zenow Project -  the world’s largest sea trials of electric workboats and which also involves British Marine members, RS Electric Boats and AquaSuperPower. Richard was especially pleased to meet the Minister having recently heard that the Zenow project is set to receive a £4.1m ZEVI grant from Innovate UK, which is backed by the Department for Transport.


Still with a focus on clean propulsion technologies, the Minister visited the Volvo Penta stand to meet directors James Clabburn and Graham Petty. There she heard about the company’s testing and development of cutting-edge technologies that will aid multiple paths to decarbonisation. Amongst the issues discussed was the importance of installing electric charging infrastructure at port and marinas, along with the industry’s call for more incentives to speed up the switch to innovative clean fuels, such as HVO fuel.


Despite the wet and windy conditions that morning, the Minister walked along the Show’s purpose-built marina to view more of this year’s debuts to the Show, including the Whisper 300 designed and built by British Marine member Swallow Yachts. Matt Newland, managing director of Swallow Yachts, talked about the benefits of manufacturing the Whisper 300 almost entirely from wood, making the point that it dramatically cuts CO2 emissions during the production phase. He also drew attention to the fact the vessel, having been built from wood, is strong and light and therefore requires less power than other comparable glass fibre boats of its size to achieve the same levels of speed.


Reflecting on her visit, Baroness Vere, said:   


“It was fantastic to visit the Southampton International Boat Show 2023 and see first-hand the industry’s increased focus on decarbonisation. 


“It’s so important that the sector continues its transition towards net zero so it was great to see the progress that is being made. These innovations in the design and production of new cleaner technologies, as we have seen as part of our UK SHORE Zero Emission Vessels and Infrastructure competition, continue to help show the UK as a world leader in the global sector.”