Archive for » June 5th, 2015«

Northern Boat Show 2015: Look around the luxurious boats coming to Liverpool …

The first ever Northern Boat Show is now underway, with over 100 exhibitors in Liverpool to showcase luxurious yachts, powerboats and fishing boats.

A range of vessels, including a new model of yacht making its world debut are in the city to showcase the best of the boating world to the Mersey.

The Northern Boat Show is taking place at the Albert Dock and Salthouse Dock as part of the International Mersey River Festival, which is taking place over the next three days.

Organiser Richard Milbourn says Liverpool is the perfect place for the boat show.

He said: “Getting into the Albert Dock is quite a feat, as there’s only a 40 minute window to get in and out, but Liverpool is the perfect place.

“It is on the coast and it has great links to other areas. There is so much space here that the show will grow and grow.”

As well as boats, there is an on-land section of the show at Salthouse Dock with exhibitors offering everything from boat-making services to on-board wifi and yacht insurance.

Northern Boat Show is in Liverpools Albert Dock area this weekend. Organiser Richard Milbourn in the Albert Dock

Dealers Clipper Marine are bringing the world premiere of the Bavaria 300 Sport 300 to the show, a motorboat which contains a luxurious sundeck as well as sleeping quarters for up to four people.

Richard Rothwell, Managing Director of Windemere Boat Sales says he is hoping the show will be a success.

He said: “It’s the first ever Northern Boat Show, but for us it is a great opportunity. A lot of our client base is up north and Liverpool is perfect for the festival to grow every year. “There’s so much space here.

“Historically, boat shows were a place people would actually come and buy boats but now it’s all about showing them off, speaking to people and getting the name out there.

“The weather looks like it’s going to be nice so that should give the boats a good showing.”

Look around the boats of the Northern Boat Show – including a luxury yacht with a wine cellar and flat-screen TV.

Northern Boat Show is in Liverpools Albert Dock area this weekend. Bavaria Boat

As well as the debut of the new Bavaria 300 Sport, Clipper Marine have brought a selection of other impressive ships to the show.

We’ve taken a look around the Bavaria 32 model, which comes complete with flat-screen TV, heating, enough space to sleep four people and even a microwave.

Northern Boat Show is in Liverpools Albert Dock area this weekend. Dufour 310 Yacht

Meanwhile, Barry Shafe from Scotboats has brought a number of different ships – including the impressive Dufour 310 which even features a winecellar.

The 32ft vessel is described as having ‘superior sails’ with a luxurious interior.

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Improving economy boosts boat sales

Stephanie McCartney, harbormaster at the Charles F. Moore Municipal Boat Harbor in St. Clair, said people were ready to go boating when the launches went in earlier this month.

“They’re (the launches) getting used a lot,” she said. “I had a crowded parking lot and, in the afternoon, lots of canoers and kayakers.”

Those are two of the trends experts are predicting for this summer — more boats, both new and previously owned, and kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards continuing to increase in popularity.

Amanda Wendecker, marketing and public relations manager for the Michigan Boating Industries Association in Livonia, said the Detroit Boat Show in February and the Spring Boat Shaw in March both were busy.

“The exhibitors said people were much more willing to find out about boating and make purchases,” she said.

The MBIA doesn’t have hard numbers, she said, but exhibitors who took part in a survey reported higher sales than in the past.

David Sniezek, at Lakecrest Marine Sales in New Baltimore, said that squares with what he’s seeing.

“The biggest thing over the past few years, where we’re seeing a difference is the automotive people are coming back, truck people, housing people — we’re seeing a lot of buyers we haven’t seen in the past few years,” he said.

“The financing’s been available, too, through the credit unions,” he said. “The credit unions are buying boat paper at reasonable rates, good terms.”

He said buyers still are favoring pre-owned boats.

“The cost of new boats is so high there is a larger demand for pre-owned boats,” he said.

“The life expectancy is a lot longer on boats than on a vehicle, and they hold their value longer, too.”

Tom Paton, manager at Great Lakes Marine Outfitters in Port Huron, said he’s starting to see customers coming through the door.

“I can’t say if people are confident in the economy or if it’s the pent-up desire to buy stuff,” he said. “They are being careful about what they buy.

“You’ll see people with their hobbies … will buy any new gadget,” he said. “Now they’re really weighing that.”

He said people are either doing maintenance that they’ve put off or upgrading, especially in the area of marine electronics.

“Generally, people will research those things on their own … because the Internet has become a large player in the boating industry, and then come in and I’ll order it for them,” he said.

He said marine electronics has become increasing sophisticated, with depth finders available to talk to GPS and other navigational equipment.

“That’s probably the biggest trend right now, is integrated electronics — and you can control them all with your smart phone,” he said.

Wendecker said boats are “becoming more innovative, just like automobiles and things like that.”

She said some ski boats have a computerized system that recognizes speed and distances for individual skiers.

“There are USB ports where you can connect your cellphone,” she said.

Pontoons and tritoons — which are faster than pontoons with the maneuverability of a cruiser — continue to gain in popularity, she said.

“They’re easier to navigate, and they can pull skiers and tubers,” she said. “The guys over there on Lake St. Clair say they’re super popular because they can do the big water.”

Mike Davenport, Port Huron harbormaster, said that trend is noticeable on the Black River.

“We see a lot of pontoon boats, a lot of center console boat,” he said. “The way they’re built these days, you can go tubing, go fishing off of them.”

Versatility is another trend, Wendecker said.

“It’s kind of the second year in a row where we have seen crossover boats,” she said.

“One boat where you can go cruising, fishing or waterskiing.”

Sniezek, however, said the old favorites still have their fans.

“We see a lot of traditional boats being sold, bowriders and cuddy cabins,” he said. “A cuddy cabin is a closed deck where you are able to spend the night.”

Both Wendecker and Davenport said kayaks, canoes and paddleboards continue to be very popular.

“I’m really seeing a lot more kayaks on the Black River, which is cool to see,” Davenport said.

“Things that are really popular are paddleboards,” Wendecker said. “All the dealers were carrying those and selling them like crazy.”

That’s good news for Erik Isaakson. He rents and sells paddleboards through PoHo Paddle Company. He also gives lessons.

“Paddleboarding, they say is the fastest growing watersport out there,” Isaacson said. “It’s new and different. It’s flat water surfing, so it’s great for the Great Lakes and the freshwater area.

“And because we have that big lake we also can do regular surfing.”

He said learning to ride a paddleboard is affordable.

“It’s as cheap as $10 to go out with my rental boards, with instruction, for 30 minutes,” Isaacson said.

He said buyers can find starter big boards for about $350. Carbon fiber boards cost $3,000 and more.

“The only gas or fuel you’re putting into it is what you eat that morning,” he said. “It’s great exercise, and if you want to cruise at your own pace you have that option, too.”

The boards are a great fit for Michigan and Port Huron, Isaacson said.

“We’ve got the Island Loop National Water Trail with phenomenal scenery,” he said. “We have Lake Huron for surfing on them, because they are longboard surfboards

“You’ve got inland lakes, rivers — all kinds of fun.”

Contact Bob Gross at (810) 989-6263 or Follow him on Twitter @RobertGross477

More Information

Boating Trends

PoHo Paddle Company: Website is; on Facebook at

Great Lakes Marine Outfitters: Website is; on Facebook at

Lakecrest Marine Sales: Website is

Michigan Boating Industries Association: Website is

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