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Courtesy of FiskerForum – Quentin Bates

The boats inside the exhibition hall have been a central feature of the Scottish Skipper Expo right from the start, and these never fail to attract visitors – as nobody can miss the sight of the new fishing vessels towering over the rest of the event.

For next year’s exhibition the organisers have beaten all records, and there will be six boats on display at the Scottish Skipper Expo in May.

It’s a return to Aberdeen after a break of a few years for Warrior Boats, which next year is bringing 17.5 and 19.5-foot boats to the show. The Preston-based boatbuilder is a well-established company, and has built more than 3500 boats over the last thirty years, although most of that activity has been in the leisure sector.

Warrior Boats is bringing 17.5 and 16.5-foot boats to the Scottish Skipper Expo in May 2024

Phil Byrom said that commercial vessels have long been part of their portfolio, and although the focus has been on leisure, now they are looking to expand their presence in the commercial market again.
‘That’s why we’ll be bringing two boats to Aberdeen next year,’ he said, adding that Warrior Boats is developing a 6.95 metre design specifically for commercial fishing.

‘We see people downsizing and as we’re able to deal with the official paperwork, that makes us ideally placed for the small commercial market as we expand more into that sector.’

For Gerry Smyth of Kilkeel-based yard G Smyth Boats, the Scottish Skipper Expo is a regular event, and next year the new Maxus Fast Cat will be on display inside the exhibition hall.

‘The Maxus Fast Cat is our newest build, it comes in at 9.2 metres length and 4 metre beam. The finished prototype is fitted with two outboard Selva Sei Whales that have currently reached top speeds of 32 knots. The vessel weighs in at around 4 tonnes, and the specification can be adjusted to fit the needs of the customer,’ Gerry Smuth said.

Ringnetter Inter Nos PZ-46 is the latest Maxus Fast Cat from G Smyth Boats – and is heading to Newlyn to fish for pilchards

‘Here at G. Smyth Boats we always look forward to the Aberdeen show. It’s a great place to not only meet our suppliers in person, but also as a social event. We often get enquires from potential customers at the show. It’s always worth attending, especially when we bring one of our boats along.’

In addition to Warrior Boats and G Smyth Boats, Poleson Marine and JFC Marine will have boats in the hall – plus there’s one more that’s about to be finalised.

‘This is a record for us. The boats on display at the Scottish Skipper Expo have always been an important part of every event and always attract a non-stop stream of visitors looking them over,’ said Mara Media’s Sharon Boyle.

‘So for us it’s a real coup to have six vessels on display inside the hall at the 2024 Scottish Skipper Expo. In fact, that’s all we have space for – so the boatmart for the 2024 Scottish Skipper Expo is full.’