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Old 02-01-2013, 01:27 PM   #1
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Went yesterday (rainy thursday) and there were very few people. That was the plan.

Had to remind myself often that it wasn't a Trawler Fest. The boats afloat part has MANY more boats now. I was amazed at how many but I think there were very few new boats. There were even cheap boats. I saw one for 114K. None were tough looking though. With so few people I was able to talk w anybody I wanted as long as I wanted and go through any boat as long as I wanted.

The big boats were a bit of a surprise to me as I almost never am exposed otherwise. They look basically all alike in ads in magazines but being inside them they boldly display their own unique personality. The Ocean Alexander has a Vegas look and feel (lots and lots of classy details) whereas the Fleming 55 is overwhelming in a very different way. The OA has a mostly hard, shiny and ultra glitzy aura whereas the Fleming's aura disarms you completely with her extensive softl finished teak that is so unbelievably fitted there's no gaps or cracks anywhere. I can see why Walt and others like this boat. Quite sure it's a planing hull though. Most of the other boats were more like the OA. The OA had bases at the bottom of her stanchions that were shaped a bit like the base of a LR lamp. No base plate w screw heads visible. The yachty flare is taken to a high level w many of the boats. To think they are like bigger versions of smaller boats is proof that one hasn't been aboard.

For many reasons, some obvious and some not, I'm a small boat guy and was looking fwd to seeing the smaller boats inside. Disappointment. Metal fishing boats that I mostly don't care for and glitzy sport boats that one would visualize being operated by people high on something, unnaturally happy looking and mostly undressed. Little for this conservative old man to respond to.

Saw a new and interesting electric OB w it's own battery. Light enough for a small child to easily operate but probably not enough power to get a kayak to hull speed but plenty plenty to get the dink ashore w/o oars even if shore was close to a mile away (assuming a return trip). Very impressive very little motor. Info@electricpaddle.com

I saw the new Manson anchor ... the "Boss". I would now place money on it out holding any other anchor but only if it didn't fail structurally. And it's holding power almost certainly would but if you got it jammed between rocks it (more likely than most all other anchors) very likely wouldn't come up looking like it did going down. The "Boss" I looked at and "hefted" appeared to have more fluke area than any of my anchors and they claimed it's weight was 15lbs. I think it's weight was closer to 11lbs. They urged me to read an article in Practical Sailor magazine (Feb issue). And as far as I know the only place to get it right now is at Fisheries Supply.

Another boat that was wonderful being aboard was the Krogen. The Man there (talked to him quite a bit about several topics) showed me a new material that replaces the bulsa core called Corecell.

Saw lots of engines and one of the boat reps said you guys better get used to higher engine speeds. One fellow on a big boat said the engines in his boat turned 4000rpm. It's a trend. And I'm sure it's related to the usual application for the engine that is the base engine for our marine conversions. Our marine industry probably won't have anything to say about it.

To talk more on most of the subjects I talked about Janet and others will probably want a new thread.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:55 PM   #2
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So it sounds like you went to the afloat show at the south end of lake union where we use to moor on the Ocean Alexander dock.

I was disappointed there was not a Northern Marine and/or Delta at the show as they are both my favorite blue water trawlers, and there where no Nordhavn that I remember? There was a Sea horse?

I was thnking about going again this week end, but my wife has other plans for me! Thank gaud, she it not go to the afloat show as she might have wanted a bigger boat.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:10 PM   #3
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I'm pretty much on the B shift at the show. B there when it opens, B there while it's open, B there until it closes. In fact, I'm posting from there right now. I do get a few hours off here and there when there is staffing available for our booth.

Did spend one day at the floating show. Midweek. Raining. Not busy. Most years in January, the floating show only gets about 1/4 to 1/5 the traffic of the show at the Clink. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday were not door busters at the indoor show, but Friday is off to a strong start and the biggest day of the show will almost certainly be tomorrow, the second Saturday. Superbowl Sunday?...it might be pretty slow from mid-afternoon on.

Many hundreds of people have signed up for a chance to win an i-Pad mini at our booth, (and become "subscribers" to our publication). Sales of the Waggoner Guide and Ports and Passes, both owned by my business partner, have been brisk in their section of our double booth.

Overall, I would say this is the best show of the last five years. There are definite signs that the recreational boating industry continues to recover, and there are definite signs we still have a ways to go before we ever approach the turbo-charged market of 2006 or 2007. Maybe we will never get back to that again. Maybe, even, we shouldn't.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:16 PM   #4
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YEA YOU NEED A BIGGER BOAT Phil.

I think there were at least two Nordhavns and there was at least one SeaHorse.

I did go aboard the Devlin 43. Wonderful boat. How's that for subjectivity. Sharp contrast to the glitzy yachts. The helm seat is a plank (nicely finished of course) but very different than the Stid type chairs of the other boats.

There was a boat there that looked a bit like Willy and 30' too but had 500hp. Cruise at 24 knots. Must have been shaped like a Bartender. Very nice boat and cheap. Powered by GM diesels I'm guessing came from the gas engine GM converted to diesel. That may explain her nice price.

The boats afloat part has turned into a brokers event. I actually like that part.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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Overall, I would say this is the best show of the last five years. There are definite signs that the recreational boating industry continues to recover, and there are definite signs we still have a ways to go before we ever approach the turbo-charged market of 2006 or 2007. Maybe we will never get back to that again. Maybe, even, we shouldn't.
Maybe you are right, Chuck! (and for anyone who hasn't seen Chuck's "reborn" digital online magazine, it's a great read on a computer screen or tablet: Pacific Nor’West Boating)

My wife is also working the show as the ad director for Bob Bitchin's new magazine, Cruising Outpost, and in her rounds at both venues she reports extremely high levels of optimism. Many vendors - who might otherwise have kept such statements close to the vest in the "previous economy" - are saying things like "I made more money here in the first weekend than I did at the entire Annapolis boat show".

It all bodes well for the boating industry here in the Pacific NW. And when I say the industry I mean the service yards, brokers, mom and pop marine businesses and the like. Not so much at the manufacturing level. How this positive upturn affects the actual individual recreational boater will be interesting. I think the most obvious will be we might see a larger percentage of boats being used this season... Prepare for those crowds!
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:17 PM   #6
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I was disappointed there was not a Northern Marine and/or Delta at the show as they are both my favorite blue water trawlers, and there where no Nordhavn that I remember? There was a Sea horse?

Trawler stuff
  • The 57 Northern Marine Raven was there.
  • Other trawlers were a 43 Nordhavn, 52 North Pacific (best buy IMHO), 59 Selene, 60 DeFever, Legend 37 and 38.
  • Talking with Steve Devlin was a real treat.
  • A new JD 4045 costs about $20K
  • Several shops do complete rebuilds on Lehmans, not cheap though
  • The new Cummins 6.7 looks like a good replacement for the 6bt, figure about $30K
The non trawlers:
  • OA's 64 is a knockout, great systems layout and very well priced, less money than a same year Fleming 55.
  • Nordic and American Tugs still go for a high price
  • Fleming 55s lack any decent ER access, a shame for a vessel that size; ditto the GB 52 Euro
  • 37 Benetau Swift Trawler (hah!) is OK but seemed lacking for storage
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:19 PM   #7
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Like Chuck, I'm here, posting from the show. There is a heightened level of optimism in the folks we've talked to so far- more first time and repeat boat buyers, and definitely more owners making plans to actually use their boats this year. we're seeing a definite uptick in both the number and quality of customer- less tire kickers, and more with purchase contracts.

All good.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:51 PM   #8
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This is all good news. After so many years of down, it's nice to see some up. A strong marine industry makes for better boating.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:02 PM   #9
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The DOW went over 14K today.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:50 PM   #10
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I enjoyed the Afloat section the most, the C Link part was disappointing although I am about to sign up for a new tender. I think the Aussie shows are much better for boating accessories, including electronics. But it was a very good show, make no mistake.

I had my 20 yo twin daughters with me. I loved the Fleming 55, and both it and Tony's own 65', blew them away completely. We all really liked the Krogen 52 as well. Climbing in and around a range of sizes highlighted how quick the space/comfort compromises loom once you get much under 50' - thinking in terms of liveaboard here. There were a few which try too hard - try to put too much into a given LOA and end up compromising most of the spaces.

I'd still like to see trawler style boats with higher length/beam ratios, and larger cockpit areas.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:13 PM   #11
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Sales of the Waggoner Guide and Ports and Passes, both owned by my business partner, have been brisk in their section of our double booth.
What's Bob Hale up to these days? I've had a number of great conversations with him over the years--- he recommended some wonderful books to me a long time ago and he enjoyed mine on the story of Kenmore Air. We've come across him or visa versa a few times up in the Gulf Islands.

Great guy and I'm sorry he's scaled back or bowed out of his Waggoner role.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:41 PM   #12
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What's Bob Hale up to these days?

Bob has been at the show most days. Like everybody else, he and Marilyn wanted to get to a point where they could retire- and that's why he sold Waggoner to Mark two years ago. Bob remains tangentially involved with the publication.

It's fun to share a booth with Bob. He's like a rock star. Even at times when the East Hall appears like a suitable site for artillery practice, there are always 4-6 people ganged up at the Waggoner/Ports and Passes end of the booth waiting to talk to Bob or have him autograph their copy of the latest issue.

Talk about people skills, Bob is able to call a surprising number of folks who stop by to see them by their first names. He often remembers the type of boat they have, etc.

If you get to the show, drop by the Waggoner booth this weekend. It's likely Bob will be there.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:48 PM   #13
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If you get to the show, drop by the Waggoner booth this weekend. It's likely Bob will be there.
The choice was boat show or taking the boat into the islands for two days. We are in the islands.

We went to the boat show for the first two or three years after we bought this boat but haven't been back since.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:11 PM   #14
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Marin, it's a great weekend to be in the islands. We were going to go out but the better half came down with a nasty bug.
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