Monday, January 24, 2011

The 2011 New York Boat Show

View of the 2011 New York Boat Show
from the aft deck of a Meridian 341 Sedan
Last Saturday, my wife and I visited the 2011 New York Boat Show. It was our first Boat show and the first time we have been to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
As boat shows go, the 2011 NY show must have been a power boater’s dream. Since we are not power boaters, however, it was, for us, a nice way to spend a cold afternoon indoors.
For the past ten years, we have been kayakers. Six months ago, we also became sailors, learning how to sail on a J-24. We have since been perfecting our skills on a 1983 C&C 24. Thus, we did not go to the show as neophytes, nor intending to buy a boat. While there were enough kayaks and small sailboats at the show to keep us interested, there were more than enough boat related and water sport related vendors to justify the $12 admission price.
One of the highlights of the show for me was the opportunity to reconnect and say hello to U.S.C.G. Licensed Master Captain Kevin Ivany. Captain Ivany was my instructor for the New York Safe Boating Course I took last August. He was at the show to help staff the Safe Boating America booth.
A second highlight was meeting Barbara La Rocco, author of Going Coastal New York City: Urban Waterfront Guide. I’ll say more about Barbara and her book in a later post.
A third highlight was visiting the Mount Gay Rum booth, where we were able to sample three different rum drinks. Even though I was nursing a sore throat and head cold and my wife was nursing a sinus infection, we both left the Mount Gay Rum booth feeling a bit better after the tasting. Each of us also received a tube of SPF 15 Mountain Gay Rum lip balm. Unfortunately, the lip balm is not rum flavored.
By far, however, the biggest highlight of the day for me was stopping by the Q104.3 table, where I registered to win a prize. Along with New York Public radio WNYC 93.9, Q104.3 is one of my favorite radio stations. Since I prefer Classic Rock to most other genres and regularly listen to Q104.3 when not listening to NPR, I did not feel at all guilty about registering. About an hour later, while I was still at the show, I received a phone call from one of the representatives at the Q104.3 table. The person called to tell me I won two lift tickets to Hunter Mountain and a $50 gas card, and to return to the table to claim my prize. When I arrived back at the table, I learned that I was the first of fifteen winners picked to have a chance at drawing an envelope from among fifteen that contained $5,000. I drew a random envelope but did not win the $5,000. I was still a winner, however, walking away with the lift tickets and the gas card.
Because I thought we could not really go to the show without boarding and touring at least one power boat, we stood in line to take a closer look at a Meridian 341 Sedan. With a LOA of 35’10”, this is the smallest yacht in the Meridian line, but it is still a yacht, selling for more than most small starter homes. Yes, I would love to be on the water in this beauty, but there is no way I could afford to fill up the 250 gallon fuel tank, let alone pay the purchase price.
Having spent about four hours at the show, we left with a bag full of small purchases as well as free decals, floating key chains, product brochures and safety information. I am already looking forward to the 2012 show.

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