Sunday, January 24, 2016

Vancouver Boat Show, 2016

I love the Vancouver Boat Show. I’ve been coming for 25 years and it just gets better and better. When I first began coming I’d bought a Folkes 40 foot  Steel Sailboat and was delighted to be able to compare prices for all the accessories I’d eventually have. My Folkes would eventually take me to Alaska, Mexico and I’d winter sail solo San Francisco to Hawaii.  I’m still sailing but thanks mostly to West Marine, and Stevenstons and other suppliers at the Vancouver Boat Show I have outfitted my boat three times over and don’t need anything for it right now. The last couple of years I’ve bought dinghies and Honda Outboards and Generators.
The only thing I’m in the market for right now is a scuba diving ‘snorkel’.  West Marine has one. It’s an 80 foot  hose which attaches to an air compressor which floats on a tube on the surface while you swim 60 feet down alone or with a partner. Having all the scuba gear, wet and dry suits I’ve found  the weight and paraphernalia tedious with age.  20 years ago I saw this compressor at the Vancouver Boat Show and haven’t seen it since. I’ve often regretted not buying it because I got my scuba licenses first to be able to untangle anchors and lines around the prop offshore sailing. Scuba diving took on a life of it ’s own and I became a Rescue Diver and trained as a Master diver. I loved scuba diving but eventually like black diamond skiing I got older and lost interest.  I’d still like to be able to swim deep and spear fish and untangle props and anchors but I don’t want to carry air tanks so this is the possible solution.  They’re on line but I don’t want to buy it on line sight unseen.  I don’t know how it will work with my dry suit and really want to see one before I commit thousands of dollars.
That’s the joy of the Boat Show.  l’ve also been hankering after what I call a water motorcycle. I’d looked at SeaDoos last year and thought they’d advanced to being a really useful craft.  When I first rode one at a resort in the pacific I thought they were a toy but not very useful. Now they’ve made them sturdier and people are actually commuting Vancouver to Bowen Island and back on them.  Both Sea Doo and Yamaha Wave Rider make this model which allows you to remain dry while riding too and from work.
This Boat Show I was truly privileged to learn every question I could ever have about the Yamaha Wave Riders from a brilliant young technician for Yamaha.  I’d not even considered a Yamaha though I have had a Yamaha motorcycle and love my Yamaha Quad.  So looking for the Seadoo I came across this young fellow who literally took me through the range of products that Yamaha has telling me all the advantages of each of the products, what they could do and what features each had.  It was a marvellous learning experience.  The young man was a technician and not a salesman but I never knew a young man to love engines and performance like him.  I was able to discuss the Wave Rider engine in comparison with my Harley Davidson motorcycle and know that this fellow knew exactly what he was talking about.  It was all I could do to resist buying this one particular Wave Rider right there.
I looked at the Sea doo after and while they had some features  I liked still,  the Yamaha seemed better made , sleeker, and with lovely hidden cleats and hidden tow lines, fine lines and performance details.   The seadoo was rugged and the helpful salesman also answered my questions. That’s the beauty of the boatshow.  This same Canadian company makes the Bombardier and the much loved Spider Trike.   Mostly thanks to the Boat show I was able to compare and consider purchases that I will likely make in the next year or two if Canadian money retains any value and I can justify spending on a vehicle I could clearly use for commuting, fishing and transporting me up streams to hunting areas.  I have a terrific little pontoon boat but my friend and I considered how much better it would be if we each had a water craft out hunting like two guys with quads.  We have the communication gear for working two areas but there’s a whole lot of fun involved in being able to travel alone. Of course I could take a girl and a dog on the back of a water mobile too.
I don’t need another boat.  The Vancouver Boat Show is a place to dream. The fact is I’d never have got the 30 hp Honda and the hard bottomed AFB were it not for seeing it at the Boat show and after a year of considering it, realizing it really was what I needed for fishing. It’s been a delight for fishing and a lot of fun hunting ducks too.
I don’t need a Sea Doo or Wave Rider. But I want one.
There were luxury yachts that movie stars might like but I’ve got a sailboat so I’ve not been looking at these so much. Every year I’ve lusted after a front loading landing craft that would allow one to take a quad in the boat and land it on an island.  Tom and I hunted an island last year and this would have been clearly the way to go. If one had a $160,000.  It’s worth every penny but not something I’ll be getting unless I win the lottery. But if i did that I’d probably get one of the luxury yachts there.
I loved running into Anthony Dalton, the famous adventure writer.(  He was there with other writers at the Marine books . We caught up on life and friends.  I’ve read a half dozen or more of his works and love his experience, detail and sensitivity.  HIs work on Polar Bears is a classic.  I hadn’t read his latest novel so now look forward to reading “Relentless Pursuit”.
The other delight of this show was meeting Neil Hamelin.( ) He’s an amazing marine artist and I simply loved his painting. Sailing the coast as much as I have I saw he captured the West Coast Maritime like Emily Carr captured the forest. There was love in his work and it was a joy to meet him.   (I'm sorry I chopped off his head in the picture with the new 'live' feature in the iPhone plus.
Of course there were shoes and every other fashion known to the boat world there.  I’ve got the Mustang Off Shore gear and loved browsing through the latest expedition clothing.
It’s just such a great place to see everything all under one room.  It’s the best place for deals as I’ve got so doozies in years past.  Somehow I got out without buying Sea Doo or Yamaha Wave rider.  But I know I got my Harley Electraglide after I fell in love with one at the Vancouver Motorcycle Show, having my picture taken on it and never believing I’d ever be able to own one.  I had a HD Roadster at the time.  Thanks to God’s Grace I found a second hand Electraglide at Trev Deely a couple of years later and am so glad I didn’t miss that deal.  That bike has brought me so much joy. Now I’m thinking one day I may be the happy own of a water motorcycle.  You never know. It doesn’t hurt to dream.
All round a great show
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