Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Vancouver Boat Show

Today I attended my first boat show. Funny a year ago, I wouldnt have had any interest in going, but this year I couldnt wait for it. Now that I am a boat owner, I have a million questions about everything. I dont even know what I need to know as I knew very little about boats in general before this.

It was great, there were hundreds of info booths dealing with every aspect of boating. One of the first booths I ran across was for a wooden boat society that I didnt even know existed here down in Steveston. I had a good chat with one of the members that gave me some good contacts to call regarding redoing the woodwork on my boat. She had just finished redoing her 26 foot boat to the tune of 35,000$ OUCH!!
It looks like I will have to learn how to do it myself if I want mine redone. I want to retire in this lifetime!

I saw a nice refrigerator I would love to have , its a bit taller and deeper than mine and the freezer is separate from the fridge. Its also 1800$, so will be way down on the wish list for now, but good to know they make a larger model that would still fit on the boat.

Another thing we saw that interested me was a reverse osmosis water filter that can turn salt water into pure water. It makes 160 gallons of water a day, way more then I would ever use. The price tag was a hefty 4000$, but something to think about in the future.

We saw lots of different kind of docks, floatation systems and bumpers. Most were horrendously expensive. Its funny I never gave much thought to docks before, but after hearing about the prices people charge to build them and being outraged ( they really dont look like much for the price) I wasnt too suprised by the prices at the show. Im used to our wooden ones down here built over styrofoam blocks or 45 gallon steel drums, so was interested to see all the other options out there. One company makes ones out of plastic that snap together like a big mechano set. Very clean and durable looking but super expensive. Another company made bumpers on a machine that could be any length you wanted. It looked lot cleaner than our old tires tied to the dock. But our tires were free and do the job, thousand$ more saved in lieu of tidy looking docks.

Saw lot of kayaks made of every kind of material you can think of. My favorites were the wood strip ones tho. They were gorgeous, the wood inlaid in different colours to make beautiful designs. If I ever get this boat finished, I would love to try building one of my own.There just something about a wood boat....

(aside: I finally took my little kayak out the other day for the first time. I dont think the kayak I bought is really the one I need. It was very hard to control , often swinging around backwards for no apparent reason. After about 10 minutes of flailing about in which I only managed to get about 200 feet upstream, I gave up and did unintentional donuts all the way back to my dock. I think I will try to resell it and put the money towards a ocean kayak with a rudder. Live and learn!)

I had bought a used Garmin GPS recently, but it didnt come with the instruction book or any of the gizmos its supposed to. I had finally found a website for them, but its based in the USA. They had a booth at the show, so I got lots of useful info from them and found a few local shops that sell them. I didnt pay much for the unit, but it looks like I need about 500$ worth of stuff to make it useful for my needs. I also found the guys that sell navagational charts for use on a laptop that I can use with the GPS to see where I am when out on the water. I dont trust my non-existant navigational skills, so am not ashamed to use all the technology available to me.

After a few hours of checking out all the exibitors, we finally made it down to the main floor where all the boats were. Of course they were all shiny new plastic boats which didnt do much for me, other than stagger me with their huge price tags. All that money, just to bomb around a lake for the day, I dont think I could ever justify it. They had a huge houseboat worth 1/4 million that was the only thing that interested me. Mostly I was envious of all the space on it and the huge top deck with a hottub. My outdoor space is very limited on my boat,and a real kitchen would be nice, but I still wouldn't trade it for that one. It was just too plastic and void of character to suit me. Saw a few nice boats that would have been awesome for the salvage business and a few that were just over the top in every way( too big, too fancy a paint job, way to big of a sound system.....the kind of boat that would just piss everyone off but cool to look at. Think batmobile type of get the picture).

All in all , an informative day for me. I have to say of all the boats I saw today, I still like mine the best. I have alot of work to do on it yet, but cant wait for the day when I can go and cruise the Georgia Strait. We live in such an awesome place for boating, tons of Islands and inlets to explore, I can't wait.


rob said...

You definately have the bug! :o))

Jamie said...

That's funny, R ~ I came away from the boat show this year with the exact same feeling ("Isure have a nice boat") ~ it's soooo good to want what you have! Enjoy; sppring is definitely on it's way! J

rob said...

J, you sure do (have a really nice boat) but don`t let the divers with their heavy equipment spoil it. I used to be a diver and it was difficult not to damage the more softer items on a boat like wood etc. I hope you have a "damage retainer". Steel tanks, weightbelts and shark cages are no respecter of property, although I think that fishermen are worse, Years ago I had replaced a teak handrail around a boat only to find some fishermen cutting their bait up on it :o((

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?