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Old 28-01-2019, 08:43   #1
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Toronto Boat Show 2019

Again this year we ventured to the infamous Toronto Boat Show and again we were very disappointed with the sailing or sailboat representation. I was also disappointed with what some vendors were calling "boat show special" when their prices were unchanged from normal pricing. We did however take in two seminars which were informative and we did purchase a new anchor.

Every year I keep telling myself that I won't go next year but still do. I wish they would change things up and stop being so predictable.

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Old 28-01-2019, 08:56   #2
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

Yeah, pretty much the same observation. I did talk to some boat vendors who said they were bit hard by the 10% tariff on US-made boats, so list prices had jumped.


We buy our tickets half-price from their Black Friday special in the fall. We go with friends to split the $18 parking tab, or take the GO train. We usually have some questions to get answered, and a short list of boaty stuff to look for a deal on. This year my wife got maybe 30% of on a light jacket. I think I bought an eyeglasses retainer, and 2 paramedics scissors for $5.
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Old 28-01-2019, 09:13   #3
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

I think next year we will plan on visiting one of the southern boat shows where there is more sailboat representation.
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Old 28-01-2019, 09:24   #4
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

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Originally Posted by mottseng View Post
Again this year we ventured to the infamous Toronto Boat Show and again we were very disappointed with the sailing or sailboat representation. I was also disappointed with what some vendors were calling "boat show special" when their prices were unchanged from normal pricing. We did however take in two seminars which were informative and we did purchase a new anchor.

Every year I keep telling myself that I won't go next year but still do. I wish they would change things up and stop being so predictable.

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Sailing is in the decline. The Toronto show has less and less sailing stuff every year. It's driven by economics.
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Old 29-01-2019, 09:16   #5
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

"Sailing is in the decline. The Toronto show has less and less sailing stuff every year. It's driven by economics."
so true... 95% of the people up and down the docks have grey hair and few younger people coming up to fill the ranks.
For sailors, the Toronto Boat Show is almost a waste of time. What were there... ten? sailboats there..? and three acres of power boats...!
And $18.00 for parking is just quite rude... it is a nice day out mid-winter but I did wonder this year if it is worth the cost anymore.
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Old 29-01-2019, 09:40   #6
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

Agree with above. More power boats than you can shake a stick at. 9 or 10 sailboats only. Still nice to dream. Admiral really liked the Catalina 445. Was out First time going and would rather go south for the next experience.
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Old 29-01-2019, 09:44   #7
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pirate Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

I have been attending the show since the 70s I remember the Alberg 30 costing $7995.00 with a show Special Sail included N/C..My major complaint would be to be ignored by Booth staff members that are having long personal conversations,they make one feel as if they have been intruded upon if if asked for information.
Many times after standing around for a reasonable time I just walk away.
Sailing vessels lack of representation has become the norm,everything about the Show seems like the last one and the last one.. I have decided that this one was my last one. I think the Port Credit show is at least more interesting and fun:
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Old 29-01-2019, 09:56   #8
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

Drove from Montreal with a friend last year; got some really really good deals on electronics (3 MFDs between the two of us). Enjoyed several seminars. Drove there this year as well, only minor purchases but several good seminars, plus it's a break from this horrible winter. Counting down the days 'til launch!



FWIW, Hotel X next to the Enercare Centre was more expensive than the other two how hotels, but included indoor parking (not $50 per night like another) and was a 1-minute walk across the street, no shuttle bus (or jacket) required. Nice place!
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Old 29-01-2019, 10:30   #9
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

I talked to Bob Bitchen and he was impressed with the Toronto show's size and all. He said the shows down south are all combining into travel/rv/atv/motorcycle / sportsman shows.
So, apparently boat shows in general are contracting and ours is still healthy.
Its about perspective, but I'm ONLY there for sailing stuff and although there were a crap load of inflatables, the rest were fishing, party/pontoon, or monster stink pots of which I will never own.
Some new seminar speakers / topics were interesting.
We spent all of 5 min. On the 9 or so dock queens in the sailboat section. Way too much money and not very seaworthy...... and how much can I sand that thin veneered wood I saw? I'm guessing not much.
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Old 29-01-2019, 10:37   #10
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

Did anybody mention the price of food and drink $8 for a small pizza slice and $12 for a beer.

I was shopping for a Gill OS jacket. All they had was red and it was $450. I also saw a Mustang selling at list price. All I bought was tarp clamps for $20.

The other issue is that although the crowds were there, the quality of the punters is dropping. Most couldn't afford a new boat which is a sad thing. The Toronto Boat Show has become a display of what the middle class can no longer afford.
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Old 29-01-2019, 10:45   #11
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

Yes the food and parking was stupid expensive..... might be the one thing that keeps me away next year. The two day pass for $25 was O.K. tho.....
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Old 29-01-2019, 10:45   #12
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

As I retailer at the Toronto Boat show -(Beta Marine Canada- diesel engines) I too miss the hay days of lots of sailboats and associated equip.- Power is definitely taking over ! However - sailing represents only about 10 % of the market. The real benefit for the sailors that already have boats (were you really going to buy a new one at this years show ? ) are the educational opportunities. Everything from short free to full one day paid seminars ! We had world renowned speakers with a world full of knowledge - Engines, electrical, outfitting and cruising expertise so take advantage of it at home at Canadian prices - or you may have to go to Miami to see the same. Hope to see you all at the Toronto Boat Show again next year (if I'm not already sailing somewhere warm myself) Craig Morley
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Old 29-01-2019, 10:46   #13
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

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The Toronto Boat Show has become a display of what the middle class can no longer afford.



That coming from someone in Toronto! You should try the destroyed economy on this side of the lake in Upstate NY. Over a million residents have fled economic collapse in the last few years alone. Most people can't even afford old, used boats.
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Old 29-01-2019, 11:13   #14
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

I attend the Toronto boat show every year. To me it breaks up the good old Canadian winter and makes me dream of summer days to come.
Although I'm a sailor I just love being around all the different boats available today. There's always new tech stuff every year and some of the wild power boats are most interesting with state of the art designs and power galore. I also like to be knowledgable about the other boats sharing my waterways and have an appreciation for their choice of vessel.
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Old 29-01-2019, 11:24   #15
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Re: Toronto Boat Show 2019

So if you are going to a boat show to get out of the weather, the Vancouver Boat show is coming up Feb 6 - 10, with this show you can really get out of the weather. Cherry Blossoms are blooming in Victoria, in the news yesterday. Where I am on Vancouver Island, some flowers coming up. Going to Toronto isn't getting out of the weather.... lol.

Now for the comment, acres of power boats and 10 sailboats. Hmmm...if I recall in times gone by, there were acres of sailboats and much fewer power boats, time for revenge...

I suspect the reason there are so many power boats is that those grey haired guys you are talking about have realized 1) they aren't going to sail around the world on their sailboat 2) they have gotten lazy over the years and sailboats are work to sail, turning a key, not so much 3) they are tired of just being on the water and actually want to go somewhere in the short two or three days they have for boating aside from vacation time 4) they don't want to give up on the water, just give up on the dream and the sailboat.

I think it will be a while before you see sailboats dominate, I'm one of those grey haired guys (no grey hairs though) and I will be giving my refitted boat to my son - a millennial. So millennials will inherit the earth (ocean) as dad's hand their boats down to son's and daughters and it will be cheaper to take the inheritance and run with it rather than invest large sums for a new sailboat.
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