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Old 19-08-2010, 12:51   #1
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Boat Shows ?

I am looking to buy a cat in the next year or two and will liveaboard. I am a newb to boats and have very little time on them. I just passed asa 101 and am taking BCC and BBC soon. my budget is 100k-200K, so i will not be buying a new cat by any means.

Is going to a few boat shows worth the effort? I get the sense that my time is better spent learning from this forum, viewing a few cats that are on my short list, and spending more time on the water.

There are a few boats shows near me, but was thinking about traveling down to LA for a few down there.


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Old 19-08-2010, 15:07   #2
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Brian boat shows might be a waste of time, but they are fun! Go to an in water show that has a lot of the cat manufacturers present and you just might get spoiled. Your question seems 2 fold. Second being how is you time better spent. My suggestion would be a one week charter in the BVI after your cert on a smaller cruising cat 36 to 40' max, because that will probably be the size range you will have on your "short list". Second I would charter a boat prefably a cat for 3 to 4 weeks any where you want. That will give you a good dose of what it is all about. May sound expensive but I feal it will be worth it. Perhaps do two consecutive cruises on different cats then you would have 3 exp. with different models. This of course is not a replacement for years of exp. but will be a good short hand. Also you might want to consider a long cruise in an area where you will be in a couple different contries to get the exp. of clearing in and out. Hope this helps.
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Old 19-08-2010, 15:30   #3
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You may not be in the market for a new boat, but spending a weekend at the boat show is still worthwhile. It's fun, of course, but you can pick up a lot of important information at the same time- and I'm not talking about sales literature.

At a boat show, you can poke around. You can stick your head in engine bays, you can root around in lockers looking for seacocks, you can open up electrical panels. In other words: you can get a pretty good feel for how the important (and hidden) details differ from builder to builder, and at different price points. If you can learn to look past the gelcoat and varnish, it'll help you to think about what separates "good" practice from "shoddy".

No, you won't learn much about how the boats sail. But you'll get a good feel for how various design features compare when at rest (80% of a boat's life) or when under repair (19 of the remaining 20%). If nothing else, it'll help you think about what to look for when you start hitting up brokers.

Just don't bother with the $7 convention centre hot dogs.
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Old 19-08-2010, 16:40   #4
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Oh I agree, go. Just by getting on and off a buncha boats is informative. And at many boat shows I have attended there were used boats as well as new ones. A very useful exercise and if there are vendores there its a good place to just *look* at stuff. I recommend keeping your hands in your pockets for the most part (not spending $), but I always learn lots looking and talking to the folks at the show.

ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...
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Old 19-08-2010, 16:48   #5
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thanks for the replies guys, i will go to a couple inteh area and see if i can get away to LA next year as well. although I am not much of a window shopper...

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