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Old 09-27-2009
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brigadoonboat is on a distinguished road
Norwalk Ct Boat show

Boat shows are the best place to see current and new products, teach us, and offer information about what is happening in the boat builders' world. It is an inexpensive way for us lookers and buyers to get a feel for what is out there, how it works and what it looks like. Newport RI and Annapolis MD are two great shows.

This week end we went to the Norwalk boat show. I had a sneaking suspicion there were few sailboats there, but the vendors in the tent were worth seeing.
Norwalk is central to a fairly large sailing community, by the number of masts visible along the coast of CT. At the show we were overwhelmed by the number of plastic, large, gas or fuel guzzling boats for sale. many were offering discounts in excess of 200,00.00. that's right. Most were in the 500 to a million dollar range and many were from banks to be liquidated. Fuel consumption is rated gallons per hour or range, to levels unimaginable in a time of greenhouse gasses, dwindling oil reserves and a tough economy. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
Many of the boats were of the sort that any untrained eye can tell you will not last, nor stand up to ocean weather much less the test of time. Its a financial disaster and a sin when we thought the country was looking to improve the air, lessen our oil dependency and get ourselves back on our economic feet.
Since I am looking for a sailboat, and a used one at that, this boat show doesn't effect me directly, but as a citizen of this country and trying what I can to conserve, I am truly dismayed.

The vendors have good stuff. new Heads with vacuum flush, efficient engines, new life rafts, and better electronics. All these are good for everyone on the water. I learned much at the show, and am grateful for that. So go to boat shows, see the products, give yourself a whole day at least to visit and talk. If the show is all power boats like Norwalk, keep on and get out if it what you can. No show is worth turning one's back on.
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Old 09-29-2009
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I went to the Norwalk show a couple of times, but I haven't been since the mid-90's. The last time I went, there were only a couple of sailboats, down from about six or eight the year before. I regularly go to Newport, and I have been to the Miami show about a half dozen times too (when it coincided with our annual family visit to my father-in-law). I really like boat shows; they are a great place to meet like-minded folks, talk to knowledgable vendors, and most importantly, to go on boats I might never even see in real life, let alone afford to own. And while I agree that powerboats are not the most environmentally-sensitive recreational craft, I still try and make time to visit the most outrageously decadant boats I can at the shows. The craftsmanship in the interiors can be truly beautiful, and the state of the art electronics are fascinating. Plus, I think its just plain fun to see how the other 0.001% lives. However, its getting harder to get on these boats at the shows. I went to board one of the big 90+ footers at the Newport show a couple of weeks ago, and it was boarding by broker appointment only. Didn't used to be that way, at least not for most of the big boats. Oh well, we satisfied our millionaire jones by going on the Morris M52 and the Friendship 53.
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