Walking the set-up: Touching up and touching at the Boat Show

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A Chaparral already set up on Monday for the Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show, which opens today and runs through Sunday at McCormick Place South.
Credit: Dale Bowman

‘What year did the Bears go to the Super Bowl?’’Ted Kobaasked as he supervised setting up the Tracker Marine booth at the Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show at McCormick Place.

Minutes before, the Sun-Times’Adam Jahnshad broken the newsMondayaboutMatt Nagy’shiring as the Bears’ coach.

Well, there’s 1985 (’86) and 2006 (’07). I think he meant 2007 as a memorable sales year at the Boat Show. Koba works Tracker at the Bass Pro in Gurnee.

He noted that this is ‘‘more of an exploratory show,’’ where people compare and check out boats.

I love wandering the Boat Show setup, a massive operation with big boats, big space and multiple unions in the dead of winter.

‘‘We have a dock to build,’’ Koba said. ‘‘Come backin two hours, and you will see a totally different booth. We will have the best booth here.’’

The gauntlet is down.

Cale Anderson, the son of the owner of the Boat House of Madison, Wisconsin, was busy hand-polishing a Rossiter Boat.

‘‘It is something to look forward to in the winter,’’ he said, nailing the opinion of many attendees, too.

Anderson, a Wisconsin student, turns 22on Wednesday.

I asked what they did while in town. He said it was pretty much wake up and work the show, then stop for something to eat on the way back to the hotel.

‘‘We usually do Chicago deep-dish,’’ he said.

Recent weather added extra work this year.

Capt. Karl Pruder working on cleaning up a boat in the Fox Lake Harbor space at the Chicago Boat, RV &amp; Sail Show, which opens today and runs through Sunday at McCormick Place South.<br>Credit: Dale Bowman

Capt. Karl Pruder working on cleaning up a boat in the Fox Lake Harbor space at the Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show, which opens today and runs through Sunday at McCormick Place South.
Credit: Dale Bowman

Patrick Kunzwas hand-scrubbing a pontoon in the Fox Lake Harbor booth. Kunz, a service manager at D’s Marine in McHenry, was working for Ultimate Detail, the Fox Lake company that keeps many boats at the show looking pretty.

Capt.Karl Puder, also working for Ultimate Detail, was brushing down a boat nearby. Because of getting the boats to the show in this weather, most had some grime.

Once the grime was off, Puder said, ‘‘Then it will be fingerprint duty after that.’’

Frankly, that is what the Boat Show is about: putting people in touch with boats.

Farm bill

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, in cooperation with the Illinois Conservation Foundation, has scheduled three public forums titled ‘‘Illinois Sportsmen’s Guide to the 2018 Farm Bill.’’ They will be heldTuesdayin East Alton andnext Wednesdayin Peoria and Springfield. To register or for more information, go toILCF.org.

Wild things

Considering bald eagles are seen everywhere locally, including in Chicago, eagle-watching evolves. All the same, I checked the countTuesdayat Starved Rock.Bob Petruneyat the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center said he guessed 10 to 15. In the intense freeze last week, he said 20 to 25 were around the dam and Plum Island.

Stray cast

The Bears hiring Nagy the week of the Cubs Convention is like catching a steelhead while perch-fishing.

Follow me on Twitter @BowmanOutside.


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