Boat owners making the switch to cleaner, quieter power of electric motors

Boat owners making the switch to cleaner, quieter power of electric motors


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The Dana Point Harbor Boat Show runs Thursday through Sunday, featuring more than 100 boats in the water and 50 boats on display ashore.

If you go

When: from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Where: OC Sailing Events Center, 34451 Ensenada Place

Admission: Free Thursday; $9 for adults and free for children 12 and younger Friday through Sunday

Parking: Free at most harbor lots. A shuttle will be available at each parking lot every 10 minutes.

Information: or 323-655-2010

Seeking smooth sailing with boat sales

With 100 boats in the water and 50 to 60 boats on display on the land side, the Dana Point Harbor Boat Show is hoping the revival of boat sales seen over the past few years in California will continue its upward trend.

The latest numbers from the National Marine Manufacturers Association show an increase in California’s powerboat sales, up 17 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year, and up more than 21 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.

Boat show organizer Ray Hebert said the show has been growing alongside the sales increases, with more than 50 boats sold at last year’s show.

For Brett Tilly, owner of Tilly’s Marine, with dealerships in Ventura and Huntington Beach, the recovering economy has had a major positive effect on his business.

“We nearly doubled our sales in 2013 compared to 2012,” said Tilly, whose stock includes Malibu ski and wakeboard boats, along with Robalo fishing boats.

The change is a welcome one after the company weathered the recession that crippled California’s boat sales. The low point was 2010, as powerboat sales totaled $310 million, about one-fourth of the $1.2 billion sold in the industry’s heyday in 2005.

“We were in the middle of opening our Huntington Beach shop in 2010 during the worst of it,” Tilly said. “It was ugly, but we made it.”

Now, they’re hoping to sell a few boats at this year’s show, planning to display seven boats from their inventory, along with a 22-foot Robalo center console fishing boat, priced at $59,500.

Boats at the show will range from 14-foot sailboats to 75-foot yachts, with prices ranging from the thousands to millions of dollars.

A selection of personal watercraft, paddleboards, kayaks and more will be on hand at the show.

Aboard Laguna Beach resident Lydie Denier’s 36-foot Hunter sailboat, the silence is noticeable.

Still within the confines of Newport Harbor, Denier hasn’t raised the sails and the motor is still running, but the drone of a diesel-powered engine typical of cruising sailboats is absent.

“We like to try new things; we have an electric car and electric bikes, so it made sense for us to get an electric-powered boat,” Denier said.

Denier and her husband, Michael Jakobsen, are some of the most recent … Click here to login or subscribe and see more.

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