Scenes from the Seattle Boat Show

Boat Shows are Nothing New, but This Year it was an Education

We’ve been to more boat shows than I can count. Our first child was born the morning after we attended an in the water boat show on Lake Union. She received a marine influenced name.

This year’s show though, was the very first time we went with anything other than window shopping in mind. This year we’re repairing and outfitting, so we compiled a long list of:

Objectives For the Boat Show

  • price tenders
  • drool over bigger, better stoves
  • look at feathering props
  • choose replacement ports
  • learn how to get good wireless access
  • check out the latest in eco-friendly bottom paint
  • get updated on navigation systems

We need a new forward hatch, so critiqued several, looking up through raindrops at the familiar gray sky.

rain drops on a sailboat hatch

We inspected dodgers and biminis and considered simple rain covers made from tarps and PVC pipe.

I was blown away by the new open transoms. It’s been a few years since I looked at new boats. Is it just me, or does this (admittedly accessible) style preclude taking small children and yappy dogs along on cruises?

Personally, I gained a new respect for teak decking with raised rubber caulking. This was the first time I’ve trodden really wet decks in street shoes, and though water puddles between the rows in a way I find slightly troubling, the tremendous non-skid properties saved my @$$ several times.

teak decking is great for traction in the rain

The nautically colored pennants were snapping in a good stiff wind, but the sailors were all at the show.

A good wind waving flags at the Seattle Boat Show

Indoors, at Century Link Field, the star attraction was this mini submersible speedboat styled and painted to suggest an Orca. My first reaction upon seeing it was dismay. Not only did it strike me as pricey (and possibly sacrilegious in the Puget Sound area) kitsch, it also reminded me of my least favorite Christopher Moore book, Fluke.

Seabreacher, a mechanical Orca

DISCLAIMER: I really like Christopher Moore’s books. Lamb is divine. I even liked most of Fluke. The ending just got too … stretchy for me.

A video loop showed action sequences of the mechanical Orca diving and even doing a passable breach. I had to wait until the show was closing down to get a clear shot of this beast.

Outcomes From the 2012 Boat Show

  • Feathering props are really slick
  • I want to try Sea Hawk Smart Solution paint (it has no copper in it!)
  • Our stove will do for quite some time
  • We’re saving for a Hypalon RIB
  • We’ve got lots more research to do on the wireless and nav solutions
  • We now own a doorstop-size catalog of ports, fittings and hatches

The biggest lesson I learned from taking the boat show seriously was that I have a lot more questions about boats and sailing than I ever imagined.

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