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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As of this writing, the boat show exhibitor list is a mixed bag. The mix of boat manufacturers and models for the in-water show seems consistent with the recent past although some manufacturers (like Catalina) have fewer models represented. The number of small boats and sport boats 26 feet and under seems to be increasing, which I see as a bright spot.

In the exhibition tents, many perennial favorites are on the list but missing are several well known longtime fixtures – Garhauer, Fortress Anchor, Zarcor, Defender (though they had been scaling back pre-Covid anyway), West Marine (they had skipped several shows but I believe came back in 2018 or 19) – and more than a few lower profile yet longtime fixtures too. In addition, there seem to be A LOT more of the not-exactly-boating-related vendors such as sellers of housewares, knives, clothing, jewelry, home improvements, cannons(?!), as well as seemingly more booths for local marinas than ever before. I assume the new exhibitors are backfill for previous vendors who pulled out this year.

So I wonder will it really be quite the same as years past? Will it ever be the same? Are you planning to attend this year? Are you excited to get (back) to the show?
 

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Shiver me timbers, don't put cannons in the not related to sailing category! I'd love to go see the yachts and the parts but I'm personally still avoiding the tightly packed assemblies of people at this point. Hopefully enough people like me will make it more comfortable for those that are attending this year.
 

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I know the hotel rates are at all time highs. I usually book over the summer, but they were breathtaking. Then Delta hit and who knows what‘s going to happen. I bet many vendors were rocked by cancelled shows last year and were timid to commit.

Never understood Defender at a boat show. There prices were never all that worthwhile, compared to all the other various sales they conduct throughout the year. I always thought it was just for brand recognition, but their booth was always packed. I joined their Defender 1st club and those prices are very good in many cases. I paid for the annual fee about 5 times over on my first order. I also have a suspicion that club members get their stuff shipped first.

I may go, but it will be fairly last minute and only if I find a hotel cancellation, which I’ve pulled off before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Can't tell you how many boaters (often newbies, but not always) I've encountered who've never heard of Defender and assumed West Marine was their only option for marine gear. Also met a few who assumed Defender was a firearms website. So having a physical presence at shows surely helps build their brand recognition. Also they usually have contest entries at the show, and people fill out entry forms at their booth.
 

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once I found defender. I barely even sniffed at west if I needed something from the brick and mortar maybe...

i'll probably go on thursday, take a day off work pay the extra to get in and out with out having too many people around.

see if the vaccine really works... ;)
 

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Yes, we will be there. Do you think all the vendors that are going to exhibit will be there on Thursday?
 

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The Wife wanted to go, so how can you argue with that.

We have not been in quite a few years. Not real interested int he boats, we like what we have.

i have a couple of specific items I want to discuss with a vendor, if possible.

It is a day trip down from Philly, unless we stay a night on the boat in Cambridge.
 

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Boat shows are getting very expensive. We attended a show twelve years ago which cost us over €1 million euros. The next show six years ago cost us over €2 million. I can’t imagine what a show will cost us today.
 

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Can't tell you how many boaters (often newbies, but not always) I've encountered who've never heard of Defender and assumed West Marine was their only option for marine gear.
That's interesting, as Defender has been around for decades longer, but WM has the retail stores, which may give more brand recognition. Might also be an East Coast v West Coast thing, as they were each found on the opposite. Not hard to tell which coast WM began on, but it also began as a rope supplier, not a full marine supplier. I remember Defender from the 70s, where you mail ordered, from a thick catalog, when WM did not exist on the East Coast. Back then, you still had a Mom and Pop chandlery at many marinas. I still love browsing through the few that are left. Much more than browsing through WM, but I certainly do that too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, we will be there. Do you think all the vendors that are going to exhibit will be there on Thursday?
Yes, they're typically all there for the entire show. Usually the most serious customers come on Thursday so nobody wants to miss it.

It's more likely things start looking sparse toward the end of the day Monday. Monday can be a good day to go though - I've consistently found it to be only slightly more crowded than Thursday without paying the extra $15. Monday might be even less crowded than normal this year as it doesn't fall on a federal holiday as it usually does. The only problem is the vendors can be a bit haggard by their fifth straight day of playing host. And if you're looking to buy stuff like shoes or foulies at the show, the vendors can be pretty picked over by Monday. The bright side is you can grab a painkiller and watch the show breakdown at 5 PM. It's a lot of fun to watch and it goes surprisingly fast!
 

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In the time of covid... makes no sense to go to these sorts of things.... shop online..
 

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In the time of covid... makes no sense to go to these sorts of things.... shop online..
Last year, I felt that way in spades and was surprised they waited until the very last minute to cancel the show. However, I think it was a legal move that waited for the City to ban it, so various contracts would be voided by Force Majeure. Probably some with the city itself. I was there that weekend anyway and coincidentally. It was a ghost town.

This year is a tougher call. I'd personally support a policy that required evidence of vaccination to get in the door. Doesn't seem like that will be the case, which is a negative. If one was vaccinated, but had any significant health concerns, I think all crowded venues are ill advised. On the other hands, if one does not have any of the co-morbidities (and age is one), the risk of severe infection is extremely low. I've never avoided a boat show for fear of getting the flu and that seems to be the level of risk for a sub-60 healthy vaccinated person. I know Covid is not the same as the flu overall. There are also people worried about ever contracting it, for fear of 'long covid'. My daughter (as school teacher) lost her sense of smell for 6 months.

As usual, one can protect themselves by not exposing themselves. I'm going to play the show last minute. If this Delta thins doesn't burn out by then (and the experience in other countries at least suggests it could), I bet there will be many cancellations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'd personally support a policy that required evidence of vaccination to get in the door.
I agree, or at least a 100% no exceptions masking policy while on show grounds. The organizers seem to have taken the approach of having absolutely zero Covid protocols. In a state with over 80% eligible vaccinated, are they really going to scare that many people away by having a vax requirement? Like you, I'll wait and see but am not planning to attend unless Delta burns out or they impose some sort of sensible protocols. I also wonder how the vendors feel. I sure wouldn't want to be one of the people siting inside one of their stuffy enclosed tents or a boat's cabin all day with potentially unvaccinated people milling around and talking right in my face.
 

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I sure wouldn't want to be one of the people siting inside one of their stuffy enclosed tents or a boat's cabin all day
I have received some marketing emails, from vendors that grabbed my email in past shows. They all claim they will be conducting some covid protocols of their own, to get aboard. None said exactly what that meant. Could be masks required aboard. I wonder how they'll circulate air, etc. Onboard AC only recirculates.
 

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If you’ve been vaccinated for covid why do you worry so much about these issues? Do you still worry about catching Polio, tetanus, the flu, smallpox, measles, chicken pox, rubella, hepatitis where ever you go?

Have fun at the show.
 

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If you’ve been vaccinated for covid why do you worry so much about these issues?
Personally, I don't worry too much. I try to do the right thing for others who may be at greater risk than I, but that's pretty hard at a full bar or restaurant, I have to admit. While vaccinated, I could still carry Delta and give it to the person sitting next to me. Or get it from them, have no symptoms and pass it along.

The ancillary issues are whether the vaccinated person is at high co-morbidity risk. There are vaccinated people dying from Covid, but they almost always have all sort of other complications and they are clearly the exception to the rule. The others medical complications may not have killed them today.

The further point is whether you have one of those more vulnerable people at home or will you be spending close time with them?

It's a very complex issue. Both over and under reacted to. For sure, both extremes have been wrong throughout.
 
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There are people dying every day from MRSA, VRE, measles, hepatitis, tuberculosis, the flu and pneumonia. Do you worry about passing on these infections as well when you attend a public function? Our patients generally don’t die from covid, they die from pneumonia brought on by covid in the same way pneumonia is brought on by the flu.

Go and enjoy the show, wear a mast if it makes you feel better.
 

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There are people dying every day from MRSA, VRE, measles, hepatitis, tuberculosis, the flu and pneumonia. Do you worry about passing on these infections as well when you attend a public function?
Which of these diseases has killed over 650,000 Americans over the last year and a half?
 

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That has nothing to do with the point I was trying to make. People should feel safe attending public events if they have been vaccinated, just as they seem to feel OK about attending these same events after having been vaccinated against other diseases.

I don’t wish to argue or debate with those who seem entrenched in their beliefs regarding covid. I simply want to point out to people who have been vaccinated that they should feel safe attending public functions, just as I feel safe going to work every day at the hospital and treating covid patients.

I attended the Annapolis sail boat show 6 years ago and enjoyed it very much, we stayed for three days.
 
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