Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Article #5- 5 Tips for Having a Good Time at a Boat Show

San Diego International Boat Show Logo
Going to a Boat Show is a lot of fun.  Beautiful brand new boats are lined up and open for you to get aboard.  All of the big manufacturers are together in one place.  Gear dealers and representatives are available and showing off the newest technology and toys.  I’ve spent a lot of time at Boat Shows, and learned some lessons.  Follow these tips and make sure you make the most of your visit.  

  1. Ask Questions- Boat shows have a huge wealth of knowledge in a small area.  Many people in the industry have spent their entire lives around boats, and most are willing to share their experiences.  You can learn very valuable information about your future boating plans just by asking questions and listening.  The experts on electronics will be there with the latest greatest chartplotters and tips on how to use them.  There will probably be riggers there to show off new products and ways of using them.  All of these people will be happy to share their knowledge and experience if you ask.  

  1. Wear Easy Shoes to Take Off- You’ll be getting on and off boats all day, and most of them will want you to remove your shoes.  Slip on shoes or flip flops will save you a lot of hassle.  There often won’t be places to sit down to put your shoes on and off.  Something that you can kick on and off will be much easier.  We really like your brand new boat shoes, and they will be perfect for you on the water, but we have hundreds or thousands of people aboard these boats every day.  The traffic really adds up, and we are often borrowing the boats from customers who want their boats to stay perfect.    

  1. Your Four Legged Friend- We understand that you love your dog.  We love dogs too, and many of them love boats.  They will probably be happiest at home for the show, and joining you next time you go on the water.  On a sunny day, the carpet at Boat Shows can get very hot.  We have seen a lot of dogs burn their paws while walking around.  They also won’t be able to get on board the boats that you want to see.  Scratches and fur are not welcome on boats that people try very hard to keep looking great during the show.  
  1. Look at Smaller Boats First- Part of going to a boat show is to do some dreaming on a boat that might be out of your price range.  That’s a lot of the fun, and you should absolutely do it.  I have found that it’s very hard to appreciate a smaller boat after you’ve looked at a mega yacht.  My recommendation is to start at the smallest boats in your range.  A 30 foot sailboat might be perfect for you and your family.  By the end of the day you’ll be thinking about sipping champagne on the French Riviera on your yacht.      

  1. Buy a Boat- You might think that I am biased, and I am.  Dealers spend a lot of money to be at boat shows, and manufacturers want to see results.  If it’s the right time for you, it’s a great time to take advantage of extra incentives that are available only during the show.  Make sure you bring your spouse or whoever needs to sign off on the purchase so you don’t miss out.  You can also meet current owners that are at the show, and learn about their experiences.  You’ll make friends that you’ll be on the water with for years to come.  A Boat Show is an exciting time to buy a boat and get a great deal!  

If you have any questions about Boat Shows, just let me know.  I will be at the San Diego International Boat Show June 15th-18th near Harbor Island in San Diego.  Come see me there!  As always, if you or anyone you know are looking for the perfect boat, please let me know.    

Rob Harring