Winter 2015 – The Boat Show Issue

Well we just got back from a little three day jaunt down to Toronto for the boat show.  It was fun.  We had a great dinner at The Keg Steakhouse.  And, we saw some interesting stuff at the boat show.  The highlights of the day were:

in sailboats, the Catalina 355; in trawlers the Beneteau Swift 34 was nice but the Cutwater 30 was even better; the Walker Bay Airis inflatable kayaks were pretty amazing and the show special was very attractive, but we weren’t in the market for a new kayak this winter; SoloRock had some pretty impressive folding bicycles including one electric model that was very tempting; Beta Marine has a new diesel engine that just might fit our boat when it comes time to re-power; the Boston Whaler Super Sport 130 would be a fun little boat for getting around in for a day out fishing; in terms of innovative new technologies the Efoy fuel cell generators and the Lehr propane powered outboards are both worth checking out further.  The one company we are most likely to sign up with though other than Parks Canada for a canal pass, is C-Tow who now provide towing services across Canada, having taken over Boater Assist Canada.  Discounts are offered to Power and Sail Squadron members.

Do I think we’ll go again next year – probably not.  I’d rather go south, particularly in the boat, and if the dollar stays down around $0.80 US there really isn’t much point in going to the boat show.  Some of the “boat show deals” this year were subject to currency fluctuations between now and the date of delivery and that’s just not acceptable.  Thank you to Skippers Plan Insurance for the best boat show freebie of the year – an Ultimate Sailing calendar (available to customers only though).  C-Tow was a distant second with a paper yardstick and a key chain. One other forgotten company was good for a pen when we needed one.  Generally speaking though there was no swag this year.  One of my favourite mail order companies made their first appearance – but they brought no hardware with them, only clothing.  It seems that anyone and everyone has discounted Gill clothing on sale but little of good value and a very limited selection of sizes and a proliferation of styles.  I think Gill needs to rethink their whole business strategy.  The same goes for Sperry.  It’s a shame there’s no Canadian marine industry anymore.  It’s too easy to blame the current government but its a much longer term problem and much more complex than that.