If you can resist the colorful awnings and neon trim of countless cafes, bistros, restaurants, and other shops lining the way, the Paris boat show awaits you each year. We managed to break the spell of pastry shop windows to maneuver our way through the gigantic halls at the Paris Expo, housing the 40th Salon Nautique Internationale de Paris (www.salonnautiqueparis.com).
It's worth the airfare to see the offerings of many of the world's leading manufacturers of clothing, sails, electronics, outboard engines (including one diesel), smart regulators, generators, refrigerators, new sailing vessels and inflatablesand just about anything else that's boat related. The exhibitors run into the thousands. Don't let a lack of French stop you from going. Many brochures and flyers are available in English, and the larger manufacturers' representatives even speak the American version! Here are some of the highlights of this year's show: