Archive for » February 4th, 2014«

Mid-Atlantic Boat show arrives Thursday ‘bigger and better’ in Charlotte

— Boating season is coming.

And so is the biggest boat show in the Carolinas. The Mid-Atlantic Boat Show will be held Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 6-9, at the Charlotte Convention Center. It’s also expanding. The show includes an extra 45,000 square feet of space compared to last year. The show will include more than 100 vendors.

“We’ve had three boat shows and at all of them the number of visitors has been up, the boat sales are up,” said Russell Gray with Southeast Productions, which runs the show.

When the economy dipped several years ago, some boat dealers went out of business and most manufacturers cut back on production. Now the industry is seeing a rebound. A half dozen dealers, including Boat Sales of Lake Wylie, are doubling their space this year compared to last. Lake Wylie Marina has a central location, and a side spot fishing display between interactive fishing and diving exhibits.

Matt Sellhorst with Lake Wylie Marina said new additions this year include a 2014 Sea Ray 240 SunDeck outboard deck boat and Sea Ray 410 SunDancer that may be the “biggest boat at the show.” The marina is part of the Hall Marine Group, which is pooling its resources from several sites for the show.

The fishing boat display will have “saltwater fishing experts from our coastal stores and freshwater experts representing Crestliner (aluminum fishing boats), Scout Boats and Boston Whaler,” Sellhorst said.

Vic Winebarger at Boat Sales brought three boats to his first show in 2011, then six the next year and seven last year.

“Last year we sold 16,” he said. “This year we’re taking 18.”

Winebarger said shows in Toronto and Chicago are up. He’s looking at a 20 percent increase in his show investment this year, based on previous shows. And all that despite frigid and icy weather in places, including Lake Wylie where sales are up early this year compared to last.

“We’re selling boats in the snow, so that’s a good sign,” Winebarger said.

Action isn’t limited to boat dealers. Companies like Dock Masters Marine Construction make the annual trip to Charlotte in hopes of meeting all sorts of potential customers under one roof.

“Yes we are in it again this year but nothing new, just the same set up,” said owner Perry Johnston.

New this year is the Be A Diver Scuba Experience sponsored by the Divers Equipment Manufacturers Association. “Big Wave” Dave will be set up in a 15,000-gallon heated pool where guests can explore with a certified scuba instructor. Equipment is provided and the experience is free for ages 10 and older. Ages 10 and 11 must be accompanied by a parent in the pool, and ages 12-17 must have a parent nearby.

Another 4,000-gallon tank will be stocked with largemouth bass for the Bass Tubs of Oklahoma display. Bass fishing seminars will be held throughout the weekend demonstrating techniques and gear used by the pros. The display is presented by Chase Devereaux.

Guests can try their hands fishing at the Western North Carolina Trout Catfish Fishing Pond. Catfish will be added this year to the popular pond simulator. There will be a small fee to fish.

John Marks •  803-831-8166


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A sailboat in the moonlight: A glorious week touring the Greek islands on our own yacht

By
Catherine Eade

08:37 EST, 24 January 2014


|

11:53 EST, 24 January 2014

I still remember how jealous I felt when, aged 15, my best friend told me her that her family had spent their summer holidays sailing around the Greek Islands.

With a love of the open waves instilled in me at an early age by my father – a keen sailor in his youth – I wondered if one day I would ever get a chance to do a similar trip around Greece’s beautiful isles.

Thirty years later, opportunity came knocking. A week spent with my own family meandering around the Ionian Islands on a 40-foot yacht. It was a trip that was definitely worth the wait.

Paradise: Emerald Cove on the Greek island Antipaxos, with its calm turqoise waters and white sand beach, was a particular highlight of the family’s week with Sailing Holidays

Sailing Holidays, a family-run company headed by sailing enthusiasts Barrie Neilson and his wife Heidi, gives experienced sailors the
opportunity to enjoy a relaxed holiday while introducing family and friends to their passion.

It also enables people with little or no experience to charter their own boat. As Barrie puts it: ‘We offer the
opportunity to meander around the beautiful Greek Islands in the comfort
of your own yacht, living the dream.’

With a fleet of 178 boats all stationed in Greece, sailing is done as part of a relaxed flotilla – a group of 10-12 yachts – with an enthusiastic, friendly young crew on the ‘lead yacht’ always available to help where needed.

Two hours after landing in Corfu, myself
and my three children were excitedly exploring Alexia, our very own boat
for the week, a ‘Beneteau 40’ which has a good-sized open plan saloon
and three double cabins. 

These newer yachts benefit from some
modern extras such as roller furled (in-mast) sails and self-tailing
sheet winches to make handling easier. Ours also has dual steering
wheels, auto pilot and an electric anchor windlass to save pulling up
the anchor manually.

‘Alexia': Catherine and family moor in a cove for a swim before lunch in the sunshine. The Beneteau 40 which is their home for the week is modern and comfortable, as well as easy to sail

I have crewed sporadically over the years, but possess neither the know-how nor the confidence to navigate and captain a boat on my own, and all yachts must have two adults on board, so Sailing Holidays provided us with our very own skipper.

Josh, a 21-year-old engineering graduate, joined us for the week, and very soon it became clear that we could not have had a nicer, more patient sail trainer on board.

Each day’s sailing was preceded by a meeting in a local cafe with the lead skipper briefing us about the winds expected and the area we’d be sailing in, giving warnings about potential dangers such as shallows or hidden reefs. We also got recommendations on what to see, where to eat out and buy food. The skippers always go on ahead so they can guide boats into safe harbour each night.

On the first morning, Josh gave us a thorough tour of our boat, showing us which ropes worked the sails, how to use the engine, anchor and on board radio, and after breakfast we left Gouvia for the small port of Petrides, on the southernmost tip of Corfu.

It’s essential to arrive in port by early evening, before it begins to get dark. After a leisurely morning’s sail (with a top of speed of only three knots thanks to light winds), the children have learned how to tack, and we anchor in a small bay for a spot of swimming and lunch on deck before a longer sail in the afternoon to our evening’s destination.

‘Free swinging': In the tiny port of Lakka on the northernmost tip of Paxos, the flotilla moors in the harbour, using dinghies to get ashore for provisions

This becomes our pattern for the week: After an early breakfast of fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt with honey we attended the daily briefing and spent our days sailing anywhere between 10 and 20 miles to a succession of beautiful bays where we’d moor up and leap off the boat to swim, snorkel, or go ashore and explore.

Communal evening meals out in the
week in local restaurants meant we got to meet other families and my three children quickly strike up
friendships with children their own age.

Low winds in the Ionian at this time of year (October half-term) meant we ended up motoring under sail rather a lot, but just being onboard a yacht with all the time in the world to potter in and out of coves, read and sunbathe, or simply sit and gaze at the ocean all around felt like sheer luxury. 

Dolphins are a common sight for sailors and cause great excitement among the crew

Dolphins are a common sight for sailors and cause great excitement among the crew

As keen sailor Errol Flynn put it so perfectly, ‘There is nothing like lying flat on your back on the deck, alone except for the helmsman aft at the wheel, silence except for the lapping of the sea against the side of the ship.’

On the third day, dolphins swam alongside our boat for a while, and as if that isn’t enough excitement for the day, Josh caught a good-sized tuna off the back of the boat which makes for a splendid lunch.

Josh (who it is now obvious is worth his weight in gold) taught the children how to safely use the outboard motor on our dinghy, and it was a heart-warming sight to watch my three children speeding around on the water, exploring caves in the cliff face, and zooming off to say hello to people on other boats moored in the bay.

Being in charge of a powerful engine in such a safe environment is a magnificent opportunity for my teenagers to experience freedom and responsibility at the same time.

My co-skipper encouraged me to take more and more responsibility, and as we cruised down the east coast of Paxos island, I found myself at the helm. Later, I initiated anchoring by myself, calling instructions to my three young crew members under his watchful but relaxed eye. When I moor ‘stern to’ later in the week without a hitch I feel a surge of pride that I am managing a 40-foot yacht with my children. 

Stunning: The Old Town of Corfu, with its two castles and beautiful cobbled streets, is a World Heritage site which buzzes with people day and night

In picturesque Lakka we chose to ‘free swing’ in the harbour rather than dock, which means using the dinghy to go onshore for food and water. Speeding back to our yacht by the light of the moon after dinner was a very special experience, particularly for my 14-year-old son who was ‘driving’.

The breathtakingly beautiful Emerald Bay on Antipaxos, where we moored for most of the following day was another highlight of the week. The word paradise is often used by those in the know to describe this cove with its white sand beach and turquoise water, and the happy sound of people diving, swimming and zooming around in dinghies.

That night we experienced some true Greek hospitality after our fun (if rather pricey) communal meal: taverna owner Costa introduces a bottle of Raki for the adults and the subsequent Greek dancing and plate-smashing (much to the amusement of the younger children) goes on until late.

It is only the next morning, as I nurse a sore head, that Josh tells me Costa’s infamous Raki, which he makes in his own back garden, is around 60 per cent proof.

After a night in Mourtos, on mainland Greece, we headed next to Corfu Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a
maze of beautiful cobbled streets.

Ship ahoy: The North Ionian Regatta on the final day gives the family a chance to enjoy racing against other boats…with skipper Josh (left) doing most of the work

The Regatta marks the end of the sailing season in the Ionian islands and is a fun event which many different boats enter. As luck would have it the wind died completely just as the starter gun went off and we floated aimlessly on the resulting millpond, laughing at the good natured insults and bad jokes being broadcast over the ship’s radio.

It felt sad to be returning to the port we’d left seven days ago when we eventually crossed the finish line, although it felt like we’d been away much longer as we’d covered so much ground – or sea.

It’s been an amazing experience for all of us and I think my enthusiasm for life on the ocean waves seems to have rubbed off on my children.

‘Can we go and sail in Greece again?’ all three of my children ask regularly, weeks after we arrive back in the UK. My father would have been proud.

Travel facts

Catherine and her family sailed the North Ionian Route which runs at the start and end of every season (May until October).

To
book four people on a Beneteau 40 costs £655 per person including
flights, transfers, mooring fees, manual and harbour guides, linen and
towels and the guidance of the lead crew. Hiring a skipper costs £80 per day.

For more details or to book, visit www.sailingholidays.com or call 020 8459 8787


Comments (14)

Share what you think

The comments below have not been moderated.

Pauline,

Guildford,

2 days ago

Greece is the best coutry of all!

martinau,

New York, United States,

1 week ago

I took a similar trip around the cyclades last summer aboard a catamaran. It was a truly amazing experience. This article really sums up the experience well. We used a company called Greek Seas. I’d definitely recommend them.

martinau,

New York, United States,

1 week ago

Just went on a similar trip last year in the cyclades on a catamaran. It wasn’t too expensive at all…only about 500 pounds per person. It was an amazing trip. We used greekseas.com. Definitely recommend.

martinau,

New York, United States,

1 week ago

sorry. Accidental repost.

mart,

manchester, United Kingdom,

1 week ago

There isn’t a waking moment I don’t want to be in Greece.

Mark,

Miami, United States,

1 week ago

I have visited many islands in the aegean sea. Personally I find the best time to visit Greece is May. The islands are awakening from the winter sleep with a scent of different vegetation and the sun feels comfortable. You won’t find the crowd of tourists and the prices are still less compared to high season. My favorite place is Thira, Santorini.

Mike Deverell,

Las Palmas, Spain,

1 week ago

Sailed with Barrie and Heidi some 30 years ago, had the greatest time of my life.
This artical makes me think of doing it again they are a wonderful couple.
Good luck and Regards to them and anyone who tries these fantastic holidays.
From Mike Deverell.

Mike Deverell,

Las Palmas, Spain,

1 week ago

Sailed with Barrie and Heidi some 30 years ago, had the greatest time of my life.
This artical makes me think of doing it again they are a wonderful couple.
Good luck and Regards to them and anyone who tries these fantastic holidays.
From Mike Deverell.

Rachel123456,

Colorado Springs, United States,

1 week ago

I’d love to visit Greece

Voisin,

Newport UK,

1 week ago

I notice the cost is not mentioned, perhaps this should be in the Telegraph instead !

mart,

manchester, United Kingdom,

1 week ago

If you read the travel facts you’ll see that the cost is mentioned.

marko,

Derbyshire, United Kingdom,

1 week ago

OK who want’s to sponsor me for 2 week’s ….lol

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Atlantic City Boat Show sets sail this week

The Old Man and the Sea may get another crack at the big fish.


The 23-foot center console “Ernest Hemingway,” a Pro-Line boat customized with input from the late author’s family, will be among the numerous boats on display at the Atlantic City Boat Show this week.

Bud Dailey, general manager of Avalon Marine Center in Middle Township, said it is one of four different boats the business will bring to the annual indoor show at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

The hope at the show is obviously to sell a few boats, but it also helps boat sellers make contact with prospective buyers who are considering a purchase, Dailey said. It also helps gauge consumer sentiment early in the year.

“Are we getting some good feedback, are people interested in putting deposits on boats, what’s the mood of people?” he said. “With all this snow, it’s going to be an exciting thing to bring people into the show and start thinking about boating.”

The Atlantic City Boat Show will run from Wednesday to Sunday. Last year, more than 32,000 people attended, show manager Jon Pritko said.

This year, the show is expected to draw an audience about 15 percent larger, he said.

The Chicago-based National Marine Manufacturers Association said the industry in 2013 continued its climb from the recession and its aftermath, which battered many segments from 2006 to 2010.

New powerboat sales increased 5 percent last year. This followed 2012, when these sales grew by 10 percent — the industry’s first significant sign of a post-recession recovery, the trade association said.

Retail dollar sales increased an estimated 8 percent, indicating Americans are starting to buy higher-priced boats.

The bulk of the industry’s growth has come from fiberglass and aluminum outboard boats smaller than 26 feet, which increased nearly 7 percent last year.

Boating tends to follow the trends of recreational vehicle industry, housing and other economic indicators, Pritko said.

“Consumer confidence in the economy is increasing, and we see that consumers are going out and are more willing to spend,” he said.

Meanwhile, more boats today tout fuel efficiency, and incorporate the latest trends in technology, including iPad integration, Pritko said.

Apps for iPad can incorporate navigational charts, astronomy, marine regulations, tide charts and even animated instructions on how to tie an Oysterman’s Stopper Knot.

Watercraft at the show will range from 8-foot kayaks to a $1.2 million cruising yacht.

Pontoon boats — a segment that has increased in recent years — remain big sellers but have leveled off, he said.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association said recreational boating is a $35 billion industry when factoring in new and used boat sales, accessories, storage, fuel and other factors.

Pritko said shows like Atlantic City’s play a crucial function to boat sales.

They also offer a series of instructional seminars, events and entertainment.

Some features of the show this year include Dave Carraro, captain of the FV-Tuna.com on National Geographic’s Wicked Tuna, at various times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

There will also be fly fishing, casting and paddle sports seminars, demos and lessons.

For more information, visit www.acboatshow.com.

Contact Brian Ianieri:

609-272-7253

BIanieri@pressofac.com


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Yachts make big splash at Tulsa boat show

This year the boats are bigger, better and, of course, pricier.

The toys for grown-ups were on display at the Tulsa Boat, Sport Travel Show at the River Spirit Expo Center at Expo Square.

Boats have always been a pleasure vehicle for the well-off, but some of the watercraft at this year’s show are reserved only for the elite.

Let’s talk about the Cruisers 540, a 55-foot “sports yacht” featuring an open cabin with adjustable air conditioning. It has a hydraulic lift platform that can drop about 3 feet into the water, or the device can be used to park personal watercraft.

And don’t forget the master suite, the forward stateroom, the custom wood finish or the joystick that makes maneuvering the boat as easy as playing a video game, said Jeremy Mullen, sales manager of Ugly John’s Custom Boats, an area retailer.

“You will definitely see a few boats like this up at Grand Lake,” Mullen said. “We didn’t bring it here just to show off. We brought it to sell.”

With a price tag of $1.7 million, the Cruisers 540 is getting plenty of attention, but’s it’s not the only boat of considerable value at the show.

Mullen said many high-end yacht dealers are experimenting with designs and special features, giving boats more open spacing and doing things like creating furniture that can change position.

Dealers brought more yachts and super high-end boats to Expo Square this week than in any previous year, show manager Jennifer Maricle told the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/1b9ensi ). The 2014 event is filling all 448,000 square feet of the building, and even pushing some of the exhibitors, particularly RVs, into the parking lot.

“It’s definitely bigger this year,” Maricle said. “There seems to be a lot of demand and a lot of interest.”

Nearly every area boat dealer is at the show, displaying everything from pricey yachts and ski boats to kayaks and jet boats.

Mullen said the boat industry is surging after two great sales years, built on a steadily improving economy, especially in Oklahoma.

“We’re saving nine boats to debut at this show,” Mullen said. “And you’re seeing the luxury segment getting much stronger.”

Boat dealers say pontoon boats continue to be hot sellers, especially among family-oriented buyers who want a water vehicle that’s good for hosting lots of people but comes at a reasonable price.

Ski boats at the show are flashier, with more customer color jobs in purple, red and green with matte finishes and high-end stereo systems. One ski boat for sale at the show, the Malibu Wakesetter line, even has a system to adjust the wake behind the boat.

Bass fishing boats continue to get better, with improved technology. But sales on all boats, from pontoons to those outfitted for fishing, are expected to be strong in 2014, said Alan Atkins, owner of Sundown Marine in Claremore.

___

Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

This is an AP Member Exchange shared by the Tulsa World.


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