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Author Topic:   Boat Show Scuttlebutt
jimh posted 02-04-2001 12:34 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Chris and I spent a couple of hours at a small "Fishing boat" boat show on Saturday, in Pontiac, MI. The show is held at the Silverdome, and draws a fair crowd of people who can't wait until the big Detroit show next week or who won't go downtown to attend it.

By just looking at what engine was on the transom of the boats on the floor, Mercury had a huge majority (maybe 75%), with Yamaha second, and OMC's brands a distant third. There were only two Honda motors, and we didn't see a single Suzuki, Nissan, or Tohatsu. I think part of this is a general tendency for people around Detroit to have a bit of an anti-Japanese-manufacturing attitude because of strong associations with the local automotive industry.

Not content with their obvious lead, Mercury was offering additional savings on their motors with a "dollars-per-horsepower" rebate program that ran until spring.

We did find out that the long-time Boston Whaler dealer on Lake St. Clair, Land's End Marina, no longer sells them. They are an Evinrude and Yamaha dealer, and they also handle other premium boats like Pursuit and Grady-White. They used to have an exclusive territory arrangement with Boston Whaler. That is history.

Boston Whaler is now sold by the big, three-location, high-volume Sea-Ray dealer, Colony Marine. They were at the show with a 13-Sport ($9K), a 16-Dauntless (low $20K ), and a 21-Outrage ($60K). We overheard a salesman telling a prospect that they had committed to buying "triple" the inventory of Whalers that the other dealer would, and thus they got the line. The rest of their boats there were SeaRay bowriders, deckboats, or cuddy cruisers, all with I/O power.

The 21-Outrage was on a bunk trailer. In the process of loading it they had managed to smash the plastic strainer guard on a thru-hull intake fitting at the port stern.

We mainly looked an only tried a couple of boats on for size, in the 20-24 foot range, but in every case we found that they didn't make us want to immediately sell our current boat (Whaler 20 Revenge).

One trend I noticed was use of gelcoat with a pewter shade for the console or interior trim. One boat gave us a laugh because the interior seating was done in hues of this pewter shade, the pewter console had a fake walnut dashboard, and the gauges were all trimmed with gold.

"This thing looks like my Mother's Buick," laughed Chris!

It was not the least bit nautical. To top it off, the helm--tilt wheel of course--and pilot seat were awkwardly positioned. I tried to image having to steer in rough seas: impossible from the seat, and very uncomfortable when standing.

As for OMC boat lines, a Chris-Craft dealer mentioned that the bids would be opened soon, and he thought Chris-Craft would be back in production without much more delay, in part due to the fact that they use Volvo outdrives for power. This same situation applies to Four-Winns, he suggested, too.

If nothing else, attending the show sure got the juices flowing for boating--come on Spring!


CanadianWhaler posted 02-04-2001 01:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for CanadianWhaler  Send Email to CanadianWhaler     
Was over in Buffalo today... a very small show compared to Toronto... and I noted also the low profile of the Hondas. The one Whaler display (2 boats only) looked like I was psychotic to think of motoring any Whaler with anything other than a Merc...I would have thought that a boat with a reputation like a Whaler didn't need the support of any particular Outboard Mfg. Co
whalernut posted 02-04-2001 11:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
CanadianWhaler, the reason they thought you were phsycotic is because Boston Whaler and Mercury are owned by the same corporation-Brunswick! That is why you can only get Mercs. on a Whaler now. It is very expensive to get the Merc. engine deleted. Ridiculous isn`t it? Regards-Jack Graner.
Bullbay posted 02-04-2001 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bullbay  Send Email to Bullbay     
We attended a big boat show in Greenville,SC on Friay night and the amount of Yamahas,Merecurys,and Hondas were in that order (150,90 and 60 est) and oh yes one Johnson and two Evinrudes. The Sea Ray dealer in Greenville had a 98 11' with 15hp Mercury for $4,500, a 13' Sport with a 40 Mercury for $8,995, a Montauk with a 90 Mercury for $24,995, a 16' Dauntless with a 90hp Mercury for $25,310, Ventura and a 26' Outrage for $60 to $70 - I am not sure. Many of the viewers had Whaler hats on and the non Whaler owners were commenting about the $$$$ for the line. The beef jerky and the Amstel light were exceptional and I came home and started cleaning the teak on my 89 Montauk which I took out trout fishing on Saturday in 50+ degree weather. It is Spring time is it not?
triblet posted 02-04-2001 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
It's definately spring here in CA. I had
the Montauk out, and cleaned up the boat in
the parking lot in my swim suit and sandals,
no short. I got a start on my tan. ;-)
I love California.

BTW, the parade of private jets into
Monterey airport for the Crosby Clambake
was IMPRESSIVE. One a minute for the whole
45 minutes it took me to get the boat and
dive gear together.


dchris2 posted 02-05-2001 09:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for dchris2  Send Email to dchris2     
I'm glad I only bought the 13 footer with Merc. I'd a daunt headed retard if I bought the 16' for 25k. Dauntlessly looking for retards. 9k seemed ok dad. and that old Johnson. Get with it. They don't make'em anymore.
dchris2 posted 02-05-2001 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for dchris2  Send Email to dchris2     
Sorry to be flip, but that's the way it is. I'm buying the 13'. Will have to make many k per year before I consider the dauntless 16. That ain't happening for a few years. Anybody know what to do with a 1962 Evinrude 18.8 in great shape. Given the OMC situation it looks like the Smithsonian.

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