Who goes to the Winter Boat Shows, anyway?

Often labeled “Sports and Recreation” shows, they are held all over the world to SELL equipment and venues for having fun.  People pay to see “What’s New”, get ideas of where to vacation, or DREAM about being warm.  Oh, right, some sell snow-mobiles and ski jackets, too.

A display of Vintage Boats with friendly “salespeople” has become the main attraction at many of these shows.  Yes, they are SELLING the IDEAS that owning a vintage boat:

  • is a statement that the owner is not just satisfied to be ordinary
  • is not as expensive as a new boat – and still holds its value
  • comes with a group of friends who share skills and FUN

The picture above is from the Seattle Boat Show which opened January 26 on Friday and closed February 2 on Saturday. Why don’t they keep it open on Sunday? The Super Bowl! No one comes to the boat show on Super Bowl Sunday!

Ron Stevenson of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of ACBS sent pictures and a report.  “The boat show was held at Century Link Field exhibition hall. Century Link field is where our Seahawks play. There are over 380 vendors involved in the Seattle boat show which is the largest on the West Coast. This year’s show had three locations, the other two were floating boat shows at Bell St. Marina on the saltwater side of Seattle for the mega yachts.  There was the 151 foot Ocean Alexander there worth a gazillion dollars. The other floating boat show is at South Lake Union, our urban lake surrounded by the city of Seattle.”

This is what the allotted space looked like two hours before the show opened:

“Thanks goes to Jerry Palmer whose 1934 19′ Hacker Craft was used as our “anchor” display, to Ike Keilgass for the use of “Bobber” the kiddie ride, and to Rob Dapron for the rocker boat. Skipper Rudy, loaned us boat burgees as great decorations, Brian Flaherty for the use of the steps to view the boat better, and his flat screen.  Kirk Knapp stores and hauls the boat show “Stuff” and brings it down to be used.

A special mention goes to Frank Gonzales for making sure we get a booth.  Yeah, sure the booth is in front of a loading door which is in use until the Thursday evening before the show. That means we are there about two hours before the show starts Friday morning setting it up, but we are in, Thanks Frank!

The tear down crew was amazing! The show ended at 8, we were done and out of there by 8:20!”

 From Ron’s report to the Chapter, it looks like 34 members helped with the display.  They considered it FUN, not work, because of the time they got to share with each other and the “thousands” of spectators that they got to meet.  Thanks, Ron Stevenson, for sharing this story.

Take a look at the ACBS Events Calendar.  Is there a winter boat show close to you?  


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