Fall Boat Shows
I’m not a tire kicker but I sure act like one. The truth is I hate to rush big decisions. I like to take my time, consider all of the pros and cons, do a lot of research, and work out all of the fine details. When I finally get off the dime I’m in good shape; by that I mean my hand doesn’t shake when I sign on the dotted line.
Buying a new boat is one such decision; there are an awful lot of moving parts that come along with the purchase. It begins by choosing a hull and power to match your boating conditions. Then, you’ll need to match the boat and motor to a trailer which gets matched to your truck. We haven’t begun to evaluate electronics, storage, and financing, either. I try to iron out as many of those details up front. I tend to lose my head when I’m coming up on plane the wind rips through my hair during a sea trial.
Waiting until February to research a new boat means you’ll be under the gun. With boating season around the corner, you’ll be chomping at the bit to get a vessel in the water, and the odds are good that you’ll overlook something important. Proper preparation prevents poor performance (the 5 P’s), and one way to get ahead of the curve is to check out a Fall/Winter Boat Show.
Fall/Winter Boat Shows give you everything that a Winter/Spring Boat Show gives you plus time. There are over 40 that I know of that occur between now and mid-January, and they’re the first opportunity to see the majority of your options under one roof. After that you can swing by a specific boat yard to get your specific questions answered. And if you’re like me you’ll swing by a Winter/Spring Boat Show to be sure that your t’s are crossed and your i’s are dotted.
Boat shows aren’t just sales oriented, and they usually offer a number of seminars, panel discussions, how-to clinics and family activities. If you’re new to boating, as we all are at one time of our lives, you can learn more about boating while finding a brand that will accommodate most of your needs and wishes (one boat usually doesn’t cover them all). As a lot of boaters are fishermen it’s common to find tackle manufacturers showing new tackle.
When you sign on the dotted line it will be with a firm hand, and here’s the kicker; you’ll still have your boat rigged and waiting in time for the front end of the season. Here are a couple of great resources for boat shows, and be sure to check with your local/regional marinas and dealers for others. www.boatshows.com and www.marinesource.com/boat_shows
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits. When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters. His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.