IT’s one of the biggest marine events of the year, it takes place in Southampton and it’s not the boat show.

Europe’s largest commercial marine exhibition, Seawork International returns to city for a nineteenth year tomorrow.

This year it has a new venue - Mayflower Park, where there will be 70 craft of varying sizes on show plus stands displaying more 10,000 products and services.

In addition to shipbuilding, repair and professional services, there will be exhibitors from an array of maritime sub-sectors including wind farm support, aquaculture and diving.

The exhibition helps to reinforce Southampton’s position as the marine centre of England and brings 7,500 professional visitors to stay in the city’s hotels.

Seawork will be officially opened on June 14 by Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts.

He said: “Seawork is a key exhibition for Southampton and we are delighted to be working with Mercator Media to bring Seawork to Mayflower Park. It is right that this industry-leading international marine business exhibition remains true to its heritage in a city steeped in maritime history.”

Two companies new to the exhibition are Diamond Diesels (A10), UK distributor for Mitsubishi turbocharger and engines in Europe and part of the MHI Group, plus marine control instrumentation systems specialist, P&S Automation.

World leader in the design and manufacture of hovercraft, Griffon Hoverwork is also new to Seawork.

Daily Echo:

Russ Bush, Daniel Jauncey, Simon Jauncey and Laura Sumner aboard their Gobbler Boats oil recovery vessel, the Offshore 290 which won last year's Spirit of Innovations trophy

Returning exhibitor, Eastleigh-based global maritime transportation company, Peters & May, cite Seawork as its most imprtant commercial event. The firm’s sales and marketing director, Robert Blades said: “The right people come here. Business to business opportunities are excellent and we meet contacts for both Superyacht and commercial vessel transport.”

Seawork organisers, Mercator Media, which has a 50-strong team at its Fareham HQ, work throughout the year with the MoD and UKTI (UK Trade and Investment and other organisations to attract international delegations.

Delegations due at Seawork International this year are flying in from Brazil, China, Italy, Barbados and New Zealand.

The Seawork Marina, which has been constructed specially for the three-day exhibition by leading pontoon and marina manufacturer, Fareham’s Walcon Marine, is also home to the Seawork Conference.

The conference, which is sponsored by marine insurance specialist Knighthood, discusses a range of topics and provides industry insights, will be held aboard the Ocean Scene berthed in the Seawork Marina.

Ground-breaking new products and services will go on show at the Innovations Showcase 2016, which is sponsored by URICA. The best will take home the Spirit of Innovations trophy, which was won last year by Aylesbury-based Gobbler Boats for its revolutionary oil spill retrieval vessel, which has since attracted interest in Canada, the USA, and the Middle East Paul Jauncey, MD of Gobbler Boats, commented “Seawork is Gobbler’s product launch after six years’ development. Interest in our unique rapid response oil spill recovery vessel has been huge. And we were thrilled to win the Design and Innovation, and overall Spirit of Innovation awards. We will be back.”

The Innovations Showcase winners will be announcve at an awards event for 300 guests held on the evening of the first day of Seawork at The Vestry in Southampton hosted by BBC television presenter, Laura Trant.

Last year Seawork showcased more than 50 global product launches.

Among the new products at this year’s event will be two from Cowes-based Spinlock - the Deckvest DURO Lifejacket and the Spinlock Lume-On. Taking advantage of modern LED technology, Spinlock’s Lume-On uses tiny LED lights that can be attached to the lifejacket bladder, turning the whole lifejacket into a glowing light.

Spinlock’s James Hall commented saiod: “With the new show location, we have taken the opportunity to have more space and showcase our growing range of commercial marine personal protective equipment’.

More than 7,500 attendees are expected to have access to some 10,000 products and services.

The event is open to the public readers can register for free entry to Seawork International at