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Old 01-31-2010
mstern's Avatar
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Hartford Boat Show

With everyone else in the family off doing other things, I took the afternoon and went to the Hartford (Conn.) Boat Show. This is of course an indoor winter show. It was the first time I had been to this show in probably 15 years. It used to be a pretty big deal, held at the Hartford Civic Center, and sailboats up to about 30 feet were well represented. However, I stopped going to the show when the sailboat displays began shrinking.

These days, the show is at the new Connecticut Convention Center, a very nice new facility. There were exactly six sailboats there: American Sailboats was showing four models from 8 to 18 feet (including their Sunfish knockoff). And there was a Hobie and a Sunfish displayed in the lobby. The rest of the displays were powerboats, mostly from about 20 to 28 feet. There were also the standard miscellaneous vendors, mostly marine related. My favorite non-marine vendor: Mr. Jerky, specializing in many varities of, you guessed it, beef jerky.

I had hoped to pick up another inflatable PFD, and found that Defender is selling Helly Hansen auto models for $59 each! They didn't have any there for sale, but I picked one up on line today.

The biggest difference between a sailboat show and this powerboat show: there were lots of young families in attendence yesterday. There were lots of guys with what looked like their fishing buddies, but I would guess that most of the crowd had young children in tow. I just haven't seen that at the sailboat shows, where the crowds tend to be older. What does that say about the future of the sailboat industry? Anybody else but me like to go to the occasional powerboat show?
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