Boat Show or No?

By Andy Whitcomb

Oct 19, 2015

A boat show can be a great source of information if you are in the market for a boat.

A boat show can be a great source of information if you are in the market for a boat. For example I recently noticed that there is a power and sailboat show on December 3-6 in St. Petersburg. It will have a sailing clinic and “free children’s fishing lessons.” Unfortunately, it is in St. Petersburg, Florida and not our tiny St. Petersburg, Pennsylvania… which I guess makes more sense.

Another boat information option is to visit directly with boat dealers.

Local angler Joe Stefanacci recently was in the market for a second boat. The majority of his fishing is on a shallow, rocky stretch of the upper Allegheny River, chasing smallmouth bass. His center console, aluminum jet-boat outboard is perfect for these conditions. However Joe also is part of the catfish tournament team, Nite Shift. Most of his tournaments are held on bigger, deeper river areas where rocks are less of a concern than being able to race to your best flathead catfish holding structure.

To find a boat to fit his tournament needs, Joe first shopped online for many months monitoring for good deals on both used and new boats. Then, partially because there weren’t any boat shows in the area at the time, he began traveling to boat dealers to check out his list of potential purchases. He was patient and visited several, making sure to get the opinion of mechanics, as well as the sales staff.


His happy garage now has two boats in it. This new addition is a Fiberglas bass boat that can reach over 60 miles per hour and will help his catfish team be more efficient with time on the water. As with any boat there is a break in period. He altered the propeller size to optimize performance and is adding rod holders and loading it with safety equipment.

Once the registration is complete, I’m going to offer to help him “work out any kinks” with his catfish catching operation. The only thing better than owning two boats is having a buddy that owns two boats.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.