Crick Boat Show: what’s on and who will be there?

Boats on sale (photo: Martin Ludgate)

Boats on sale (photo: Martin Ludgate) - Credit: Martin Ludgate

‘The Boys are Back in Town’, sang Thin Lizzy, and tribute band Dizzy Lizzy will be headlining the entertainment for visitors to Crick Boat Show, as they take a good look at the largest selection of new narrowboats and other inland craft gathered together in one place

Boats on sale

Boats on sale - Credit: Martin Ludgate

Britain’s biggest annual inland waterways boat show returns to Crick in Northamptonshire on the late spring bank holiday weekend, with over 20 boatbuilders already booked in – and more expected to confirm their attendance. It’s always been the show to go to if you’re thinking of buying a narrowboat – but it’s not just about narrowboats these days, with increasing numbers of widebeams on display, plus cruisers too.

In fact the variety of craft last year was such that the coveted award ‘favourite boat in show’ award, voted for by show visitors, was split into two categories, with Bourne Boats winning the narrowbeam class, and Elton Moss the widebeam – who will be the winners this year?

Boats on sale

Boats on sale - Credit: Martin Ludgate

Do be aware that some of the boats being exhibited are so popular that the builders operate a strict booking system – so if there are some that you particularly wish to see, it can be a good idea to contact them before the weekend to reserve a slot.

It’s not just new boats on sale, though: there will be everything you need to fit out and equip your boat, from engines to tiller pins, and from traditional solid fuel stoves to the latest LED lighting – and for those not looking to buy their own new boat there will be brokerages, hire companies and shared ownership schemes. Together with canal societies, clothes stalls, crafts and food, there will be over 300 exhibitors.

Historic boats

Historic boats - Credit: Martin Ludgate

And to keep you informed and entertained, there will be seminars on buying, selling, owning and maintaining boats; boat handling taster sessions; free boat trips; historic and wildlife displays and family activities in the Canal & River Trust Marquee at the show; and as ever a varied programme of live entertainment in the Wheatsheaf real ale bar marquee. This year it’s headlined by tribute bands Dizzy Lizzy with a selection of Thin Lizzy classics like The Boys are Back in Town and Jailbreak on Saturday evening, followed by Abba Revival on Sunday night.

Children up to 16 get in free, and adults get a reduction on their tickets if they buy them in advance from by 20 May. It’s easy to get to by car as it’s just off M1 Junction 18, Rugby railway station is six miles away, and by boat it’s on the Grand Union Leicester Line just over five miles north of Norton Junction. The show’s open from 10am to 6pm on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 May, and from 10am to 5pm on Monday 28 May.

People at show

People at show - Credit: Martin Ludgate

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