Archive for » February 25th, 2014«

Dealers optimistic at New England Boat Show

Posted on February 25th, 2014
Written by Reagan Haynes


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BOSTON — Though traffic seemed light at the Progressive Insurance New England Boat Show on Monday, dealers said that only three days into the 10-day show this year’s event was on track to be their best in years.

“It’s been very good for both leads and sales,” Michael Bodnar, general manager of Fay’s Boat Yard on Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H., told Trade Only Today at the show on Monday. “The weather this weekend definitely helped get people in the mood.”

Highs in the Boston area cracked 50 last weekend with sunshine providing a welcome reprieve from the snowy weather that has pummeled the region.

“This is the best two-day start we’ve ever had,” said Chris Lufkin, who represents EdgeWater Power Boats, Hornet Marine and Ribcraft USA as president of Marine Industry Advisors LLC.

EdgeWater has been a hot-selling brand, said Capt. Mike Fulcher, a yacht service foreman with Bosun’s Marine. That was not altogether surprising in the saltwater fish segment, which has done well nationwide, and particularly in the Northeast, according to sales data.

“We’ve sold nine EdgeWaters so far and they’re at a higher price point for their size range,” Fulcher said. “These guys [buying these boats] know what they’re looking for.”

Fulcher said sales had been to all kinds of people — some trading up, some trading down — and to more families than a few years back.

Larry Russo, of Russo Marine, said Boston Whaler, a market leader in the saltwater fish segment, also performed well during the show’s first weekend.

“Whaler was just great, and attendance was way up over the weekend,” Russo said. “We had great weather. The new and pre-owned activity was stronger in the first weekend than it’s been in years.”

Whaler president Huw Bowen said the boats are practical and versatile, which appeals to today’s boat buyer.

“For example, with the Vantage, look how easy it is to maintain. You can just hose it down when you’re done. It’s got outboard power, so it’s easy to just pull up and out of the saltwater, and people tend to not want a cabin anymore when they’ve got kids and are interested in boats that can do everything — watersports, cruising and fishing — all in one boat,” Bowen told Trade Only.

Greenline, a Slovenian hybrid that Russo Marine took on in recent years, also had a lot of traffic on Monday. Several people waited to look at the 40 and the 33. The latter had a clear panel over the engine so curious consumers could see how it worked, Russo said.

“The boat appeals to the Tesla owners,” said Larry Russo Jr., who helps his father operate the family business, adding that the boats were especially crowded during the weekend.

Bodnar said Chaparral Boats were in high demand as well.

“Chaparral’s been such a great company to work with, and they’ve got such a good sense of innovation,” he said. “They come up with something new every year and they’re willing to listen to their customers as well as their dealers. They’re not just rolling out the same models over and over again.”

Finally this year, the show seemed to be going well across all segments, said show manager Joe O’Neal. “For the past couple of years it seemed like one brand or one segment of the market did well,” he said. “This year I haven’t seen any weakness anywhere.”

The show sold out of exhibition space and had to trim some attractions, such as remote-controlled sailboats, to meet demand, O’Neal said.

“We were just sold out solid with no ability to add space,” he said.

The remote-controlled sailboats, which delighted children at last year’s show, were among the activities cut to fit in new exhibitors, including three new sailboat companies that displayed Dehler, Blue Jacket and Bavaria. The Boston Convention Center, with its vaulted ceilings, creates an optimal indoor display venue for boats, something that more companies were catching on to, O’Neal said.

“There has been some good activity in the sailboat market,” he said.


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Great Falls and North Central Montana | Continuous News

17 hours 33 minutes ago by Alex Clark (alex@kxlh.com)

Ice Sailing…. it’s one of the oldest sports in the books, and not a lot people have heard or even tried it. Well MTNs Alex Clark is on Special Assignment for us tonight, to find why people from all over the world are coming to Helena to tryout this intense sport.

When you drive up to Canyon Ferry Lake you will notice a fleet of sails, harnessed to the ice, ready to combat the high winds.

Ice sailors that have been waiting all year long for just the right winter conditions to bring out their boats.

It’s a tricky sport, you have to have just the right amount of wind, and wait for the lake to freeze over before you can rig up the sail.

But, a word of caution, this sport isn’t for everyone, in the blink of an eye, an ice boat can reach up to 90 miles an hour.

“Up until they invented air planes, ice boats were faster than anything on the planet.”

And he’s not kidding, with high speeds and dangerous conditions, ice sailing has left Alan with a few bumps and bruises.

“I was aware of them but, I had never seen one, and this was clear back in 1971. So, there was a National Geographic magazine with a picture of one off in the distance on some lake and I thought, ah I gotta have one of these. So, I built one, cost me 35 dollars, it was terrible and it wouldn’t sail. Put me in the hospital once, wasn’t too bad.”

Since that 35 dollar boat, Alan has upgraded and spread his contagious love of ice sailing to several others.

“You put your helmet on, and lay down in the ice boat and take off like a shot and of course its bad colored ice, snow drifts, bad things, stuff stuck in the ice, and I’m like these guys don’t have the first idea where the bad ice is. But, needless to say I had a ton of fun and after that first day I was kind of convinced I was going to get my own ice boat. So, then I did and like so many other things that are a lot of fun, than you find yourself buying a second and than a third and than you’re wondering you can only sail one at a time so I ended up with quite a collection of boats there for awhile.”

So, now it was my turn to hit the ice. After hearing the horror stories and watching all day, I was the extremely apprehensive but, I couldn’t be called yellow in front of my new ice sailing peers.

So off we went.

“What you need for ice boating is a lake that freezes but, doesn’t get snow and that’s a real rare condition, generally most climates where it gets snow enough to freeze a lake, its also going to snow. And the sports been around for a lot a lot of years and part of the reason its never taken off is exactly due to that phenomenon.”

“You need clear ice, if there is snow on it, it completely boshes the thing and you might as well go bowling. But, it blows so stinking hard out there that it blows the snow off the lake and secondly, we get Chinooks here in Montana. And this is basically a real, real warm air mass that comes into the state and blows 50 mph with 50 degree temperatures. So, even if you have snow on the lake, it zambonis it and two, three days later its smooth again.”

And that is why people come from all over the world to visit Canyon Ferry Lake. From the average joe, millionaires and extreme sport junkies, they all come for the ice and the audrenaline rush.

“We call it combat ice boating cause sometimes when its blowing that hard, you’re just trying to keep the boat in control and make it back each time and basically we will brag each other off the shore line, and its like, you go, no you go, no, you’re yellow, no you’re yellow, no you go.”

So, if you dare, and you’re not yellow, ice sailing may be the sport for you.


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Helena, Montana | Continuous News and STORMTracker Weather

11 hours 3 minutes ago by Alex Clark (alex@kxlh.com)

Ice Sailing…. it’s one of the oldest sports in the books, and not a lot people have heard or even tried it. Well MTNs Alex Clark is on Special Assignment for us tonight, to find why people from all over the world are coming to Helena to tryout this intense sport.

When you drive up to Canyon Ferry Lake you will notice a fleet of sails, harnessed to the ice, ready to combat the high winds.

Ice sailors that have been waiting all year long for just the right winter conditions to bring out their boats.

It’s a tricky sport, you have to have just the right amount of wind, and wait for the lake to freeze over before you can rig up the sail.

But, a word of caution, this sport isn’t for everyone, in the blink of an eye, an ice boat can reach up to 90 miles an hour.

“Up until they invented air planes, ice boats were faster than anything on the planet.”

And he’s not kidding, with high speeds and dangerous conditions, ice sailing has left Alan with a few bumps and bruises.

“I was aware of them but, I had never seen one, and this was clear back in 1971. So, there was a National Geographic magazine with a picture of one off in the distance on some lake and I thought, ah I gotta have one of these. So, I built one, cost me 35 dollars, it was terrible and it wouldn’t sail. Put me in the hospital once, wasn’t too bad.”

Since that 35 dollar boat, Alan has upgraded and spread his contagious love of ice sailing to several others.

“You put your helmet on, and lay down in the ice boat and take off like a shot and of course its bad colored ice, snow drifts, bad things, stuff stuck in the ice, and I’m like these guys don’t have the first idea where the bad ice is. But, needless to say I had a ton of fun and after that first day I was kind of convinced I was going to get my own ice boat. So, then I did and like so many other things that are a lot of fun, than you find yourself buying a second and than a third and than you’re wondering you can only sail one at a time so I ended up with quite a collection of boats there for awhile.”

So, now it was my turn to hit the ice. After hearing the horror stories and watching all day, I was the extremely apprehensive but, I couldn’t be called yellow in front of my new ice sailing peers.

So off we went.

“What you need for ice boating is a lake that freezes but, doesn’t get snow and that’s a real rare condition, generally most climates where it gets snow enough to freeze a lake, its also going to snow. And the sports been around for a lot a lot of years and part of the reason its never taken off is exactly due to that phenomenon.”

“You need clear ice, if there is snow on it, it completely boshes the thing and you might as well go bowling. But, it blows so stinking hard out there that it blows the snow off the lake and secondly, we get Chinooks here in Montana. And this is basically a real, real warm air mass that comes into the state and blows 50 mph with 50 degree temperatures. So, even if you have snow on the lake, it zambonis it and two, three days later its smooth again.”

And that is why people come from all over the world to visit Canyon Ferry Lake. From the average joe, millionaires and extreme sport junkies, they all come for the ice and the audrenaline rush.

“We call it combat ice boating cause sometimes when its blowing that hard, you’re just trying to keep the boat in control and make it back each time and basically we will brag each other off the shore line, and its like, you go, no you go, no, you’re yellow, no you’re yellow, no you go.”

So, if you dare, and you’re not yellow, ice sailing may be the sport for you.


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VIDEO: RYA Scotland to stage Commonwealth Flotilla

The Royal Yachting Association Scotland announces that 250 boats will muster at James Watt Dock in Greenock before sailing to Glasgow in the Commonwealth Flotilla on Saturday 26 July 2014.

A major backer of the event is Inverclyde Council, which is contributing £250,000 towards its staging.

James Stuart, the chief executive of the RYA Scotland, Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s Environment Regeneration Convener, and Nick Fleming, chief executive of Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, talk about their organisations’ involvement.

Interviews by BBC Scotland reporter Keir Murray.


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