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Boat Show: America's Cup news & show notes

The Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show spreads over the South Hall at McCormick Place and runs through Monday, Martin Luther King's Day.Credit: Dale Bowman

On Friday, I had a chance to walk the Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show and these tidbits of news, sights and other things caught my eye.

The most venerable of outdoors shows opens Thursday for its 86th year and runs through Monday at McCormick’s South Hall.

On the news side, if you want a ticket to the grandstand for America’s Cup, Jun 10-12 in Chicago off Navy Pier, better getting moving. The guys doing the pre-ssale area for tickets at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Center, which is in the southeast section of the Stictly Sail section, said they expected to sell out of grandstand tickets by Monday.

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Center has many attraaction, including a chance to simulate racing at the Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show through Monday.

Credit: Dale Bowman

Also Saturday and Sunday, the trophy will in the America’s Cup section and so will Matt Cassidy, America’s star sailor.

That section has some neat features, including a chance to try to simulate racing in America’s Cup and some very neat visuals of that racing being shown on a big screen.

In terms of the boats, the usual draws are a chance to walk through or being photographed with the big yachts.

The Loudon 17 at the Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show at McCormick Place through Monday.

Credit: Dale Bowman

Obviously what is driving the boat market are the pontoons. And I mean driving the market. You can spend whatever you want and fancy up the old faithful pontoon into something very modern.

These are not the old clunkers at the dock decades ago in the North Woods. Pontoons have joined the 21st Century.

What caught my eye the most was the Loudon 17, just a beautiful rowboat in the Rossiter Boat section.

As I was checking it out, a guy came up and lovingly touched the boat.

It was that kind of boat.

As to the RVs, there are the usual high-end ones, which have more amenities than my home, but also some other options.

The ones drawing the most appraisal were the little sleeper RVs, which are quite cool.

As I was checking at one, a guy with his significant other (I assume) said, “This is the coolest.”

He was right about that.

It was at the General RV Center space.

I mean they are something down to a good flatscreen TV, just cool.