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Old 25-11-2018, 18:07   #1
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What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

We been googling for sailboat shows but just don't know which one are worth it. I like lots of sailboats, Annapolis looks like it offers a test sail but we don't know how any of these shows work. Can someone give us their opinion, we appreciate it . We are shopping for a 40-50 sailboat.
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Old 25-11-2018, 18:34   #2
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

Boat shows are rapidly dying--with all of the sailboat industry.

If you are interested in a standard mass produced boat, like a bendy-toy or a don't-ya-know you'll see what you are looking for, but the smaller builders are staying away in droves. Thy just are not selling enough boats to afford to attend.

By far the best in the USA is Annapolis. Miami has collapsed as a sailboat show in the last 3 years. There are none on the west coast worth traveling to.
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Old 25-11-2018, 19:58   #3
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

Annapolis, Newport. Miami for all the vendors.
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Old 25-11-2018, 20:36   #4
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

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Boat shows are rapidly dying--with all of the sailboat industry.

If you are interested in a standard mass produced boat, like a bendy-toy or a don't-ya-know you'll see what you are looking for, but the smaller builders are staying away in droves. Thy just are not selling enough boats to afford to attend.

By far the best in the USA is Annapolis. Miami has collapsed as a sailboat show in the last 3 years. There are none on the west coast worth traveling to.
What do you think about the Chicago boat show? Last year I looked at vendors and it seemed like a powerboat show if so recall.
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Old 26-11-2018, 08:31   #5
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

Well there's the Toronto Boat Show in January. A few monohulls.
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Old 26-11-2018, 09:03   #6
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

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What do you think about the Chicago boat show? Last year I looked at vendors and it seemed like a powerboat show if so recall.
The Chicago show has really downsized, they use to have a separate sail show, but now it's sail (small) power and RV.
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Old 26-11-2018, 09:05   #7
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

We go to the St Petersburg Boat Show every year. I don't know how many sales it generates but it seems like there are more vendors & people attending than ever.
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Old 26-11-2018, 09:41   #8
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

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Well there's the Toronto Boat Show in January. A few monohulls.
Toronto is a major washout if you want to see sailboats. Long gone are the days of a building full of sailboats and a few struggling power boat builders. They are all viewable from a common platform in one hall - Hunter, Catalina, Beneteau/Jenneau - all displayed in 4355 sq ft in booths B1-B9. Most of the local brokers will be in same area, all with some great knowledge. There is a decent showing of electronics, gear & accessories. Show is known for breakout sessions hosted by experienced boaters, teachers, service pros. But this show is almost all about powerboats big and small.

The preview day is a good way to avoid the crowds, get in some time with exhibitors, get a personalized feeling - https://www.torontoboatshow.com/show...ckets/preview/
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Old 26-11-2018, 13:37   #9
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

Seattle on the water used to be good but it's been a few years and a long way to go.
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Old 26-11-2018, 14:06   #10
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

I went to the Miami boat show this year, but it was 90% power boats, 10% sailboats. And of that 10%, 60% were catamarans.

It was a huge show, but I think that the overwhelming market in Florida is for powerboats.
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Old 26-11-2018, 15:46   #11
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

The best and most complete I've seen is BOOT DÜSSELDORF in Germany - usually in January.
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Old 26-11-2018, 17:44   #12
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

I attended the Cape Town International boat show recently and frankly I saw little if any innovation. A few local manufacturers were present besides the expected Robertson and Caine Leopard catamarans. (Even all the other Cape area cat. manufacturers were not present.) What is well understood is that SA has a low cost labour force that should be reflected in more affordable products, but I could not see this happening.
I could not find any marketing expertise or advocacy for Dyneema type products which was also rather disappointing.
What also seemed conspicuous was the near total absence of smaller sailing craft. Nothing much happening here I suspect.
There were a few displays utilizing solar deceives but little else. Most of the displays showed company product lines that seemed to have had very little change. I specifically went looking for deck vents that could be closed off from the inside. These have been around for decades and the ones I have used suffer from UV breakdown. I was looking for some "improvements'". Nothing.
Probably the item that attracted most attention was the monster 600 hp outboard motor. Innovative? Possibly. Just what I want on my 3.2 m inflatable. A product looking for a market?
I suspect that what we are all seeing is a real shift in the entire small boat industry. The costs of just simply keeping a vessel afloat is now a major distraction to many. Insurance, marina fees, maintenance, requisite registration fees, customs requirements etc. seemed to have sucked the blood out of much of the sailing market.
I become an observer when I first started cruising in 1978 and the market has dramatically shifted, maybe for the better or worse depending on your circumstances, but the innovation aspect seems to have died.
It's a bit like modern cars. They all look the same perform much the same and even an outrageously expensive version isn't all that much better.
A part of the issue may well be that people just don't consider cruising as a valuable adventure when for a small amount they can hire a shared charter vessel or fly to exotic places.
Maybe the evolution has reached a plateau that reflects some of this.

When we see long established manufacturers closing, then something is certainly changing.

A killer for many is the hassle and cost of lifting and antifouling. What would you pay for a vessel that did not lifting out for 25 years? I bet it would sell like hotcakes. But nothing is happening in this space at all.

The biggest innovation (after the advent of mass produced plastic hulls) area seems to have been in communications and instrumentation and I believe these have actually plateaued as well
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Old 26-11-2018, 19:34   #13
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

Annapolis sail only show is a great show to attend followed by Miami.
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Old 26-11-2018, 21:23   #14
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

I recommend staying away from all of them unless you are in the market for a new boat. Or you are years away from buying and the boats you will see could be one that you might purchase in the future. Spend the money going to see actual boats for sale.
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Old 27-11-2018, 02:22   #15
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Re: What are Good Boat shows to Attend?

Boat Dusseldorf is the place to go:


It's just great for boats and equipment - but fix a few appointments can be an advantage depending upon how serious you are.

Good luck and enjoy!
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