“I flew all the way from the U.K for this,’’ Simon Harwood, production director for Drascombe
Several hundred were lined up for the opening of the Boat Show, enough people Wednesday afternoon that show officials opened another entry line at McCormick Place South.
Here are my opening-day notes from the Boat Show, which runs through Sunday.
Harwood is justly proud of the hand-built boat, all custom built.
Drascombe is back at the Boat Show for the first time in what Harwood thought was 20 or 30 years.
As to why now, he said,“Because the chap who owns it lives in Fort Wayne [Ind.].”
Well, that and the time is right. Harwood already had several serious inquiries early in the show.
Good enough reason.
It was the most beautiful boat I saw at the show.
Capt. Gareth Stamm and Capt. Mike Shine collared me as I started through the show.
They had the latest and greatest on TowBoatU.S. (P1630) , including Stamm’s new working space on the Des Plaines River area by Joliet.
There is a bunch of stuff to talk to them about, including a pretty good insurance offer on boats and trailer coverage.
I need to spend a day on the water with those guys. I have never done that.
My favorite stop Wednesday was by the Poor Man’s Yacht Club (S2420).
It strikes me more as a social club than anything and I highly recommend stopping by if you are a sporting-type of boater. Or if you just want some interesting conversation.
There were a couple world debuts at the show.
MasterCraft had three show debuts, the XT (20, 21 and 23), including the world debut of the XT21. Well, it is also debuting this week at Atlanta.
There was also the the 2017 SeaRay SLX-W 230, advertised as the first with a 21-degree deadrise. It is beautiful in a more modern way than the Coaster.
If you are getting into a pontoon, I suggest that you not only look at the plethora of pontoons at the show, but also check out Pontoon Restoration Company, LLC, based in Warsaw, Ind. The boat they have at the show had a third pontoon added and an upper deck for a fraction of what a similar set-up would go for new.
Speaking of pontoons, which are much improved and far more modern than the old-time pontoons, are still a major presence at the show, but they do not dominate the floor like they did in the down years of the economy. I suspect that says something about the state of the economy, though I am not savvy enough to decipher what it means.
And there were plenty of big yachts, dream boats, if you will, to see and tour, too. The joint will be jumping again.
As usual, there was island style music (think steel guitars) playing by the food and drink area.
And plenty of RVs.
Here are a couple things that made me look twice.
This was on a small RV. The sign I understood, what I wondered about was the spinning thing above the sign. Was that to help you follow asleep? Hypnotize you into slumber? The mind reaches. Or at least mine does.
And I just liked this photo below. Kind of summed up the feeling of the Boat Show.