Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: The Whaler GAM or General Area
|Author||Topic: Boat Show|
posted 03-14-2015 09:17 AM ET (US)
I'm off to the Mobile Boat Show in a few minutes. I'm certainly not in the market for another boat but I'll look at the Boston Whalers and G2 Etecs in particular and just generally snoop around at some of the vendor sites. I enjoy looking over the electronics offerings. The Hobie Kayaks are always interesting given the pedal propulsion and fishing accouterments. It's difficult to find a better shallow water fishing boat than a kayak and they can be launched almost anywhere.
posted 03-14-2015 12:57 PM ET (US)
I have not been to any boat shows this fall or winter. I am not really in the market for any new boat. If I were to buy a boat it would most likely be a used boat. The three outboard boats I have bought have all been used Boston Whaler boats, and I would probably follow that pattern.
I am interested in outboard engines, but I already had an opportunity to see in-person the new E-TEC 74-degree V6 engine and to get a few moments at the helm of a boat on a test ride. Thus I was not strongly motivated to go to a boat show to see outboard engines.
I am interested in marine electronics, but most boat shows tend to be very poor at showing off marine electronics. The major manufacturers tend to only show up at the Miami International Boat Show, and you usually don't find them at local or regional shows. Local dealers don't bring displays of electronics to boat shows. There usually is not much to see at a boat show in the electronics department; you are better off going to Cabela's or Bass Pro Shop, especially in the Spring when they sometimes have special days where manufacturers' representatives will be on hand.
posted 03-14-2015 05:43 PM ET (US)
The boat show was fun. I spent about three hours there. I was disappointed that MarineMax did not have a 170 Dauntless there. I enjoyed seeing the 13 and 15 Super Sports. As boat prices go I believe both of those boats represent good values. I also like the 17 Montauk and the rear quarter seats are nice.
There were several/many other brands represented from kayaks and canoes to diesel cruisers. All told, I saw no boats I likes better than Boston Whalers' offerings. Call me prejudiced.
Simrad & Lowrance, Raymarine and Furuno were well reprsented by Gulf Coast vendors that sell those brands. It was nice to learn first hand from dealers who sell, install and service these brands rather than from the typical sales staffs at West and other stores who generally lack more than enough knowledge to sell them. There were lots of displays allowing those interested to play with the units. Interestingly, only Raymarine and Furuno were able to display units by using the built-in GPS antennas because the signals were weak inside the Convention Center.
I was shocked to see only three Evinrude engines at the show. Only one was a G2. As luck would have it, as I was looing at the G2 the Evinrude Area Representative walked up and asked if he could tel me anything about the engine. I'm sure he was sorry he asked because 45 minutes later I said I had to get on home.
The vastly overwhelming majority of boats had Yamahas hanging on the back. Mercury was next with only a few then Suzuki with perhaps a half dozen. When talking to the Evinrude Rep he said that in the Central Gulf Coast area Yamaha owned about 97% of the new boat outboard power market. He said Yamaha took virtually all the old OMC market when they began the long slide into oblivion.
posted 03-15-2015 09:21 AM ET (US)
Butch--thanks for the follow-up on the Mobile Boat Show. There are often very strong regional preferences for outboard engine brand. A few years ago I was in a marina on Sanibel Island on Florida's West coast, and literally--no exaggeration--every outboard engine was a Yamaha. And there were lots of outboard boats.
Evinrude has been forming partnerships with more new boat builders to provide them with the E-TEC 74-degree engine. I think that engine will be sold more onto new boat transoms than onto re-power transoms.
It is great when there is a factory representative on the floor for any product. As you observed, they often have more information about the product than the usual dealer representative.
The Internet Age has made dissemination of product information so much easier and faster, one wonders how long the tradition of the big trade show will continue. I suppose as long as exhibitors at shows see an increase in sales from the show, the big show tradition will continue.
posted 03-15-2015 08:48 PM ET (US)
I went twice. Thinking of downsizing to a 17 foot Whaler; either Dauntless or Montauk. Most likely Montauk. Thought it was interesting that Yamaha, Suzuki and Mercury all now offer white engines. I missed the water skiing squirrel.
posted 03-16-2015 09:16 AM ET (US)
I saw on the news last night that the squirrel went AWOL for a while. Apparently the loudspeaker malfunctioned causing it to make a burst of noise thus spooking the poor squirrel. It took some time to find her and get her calmed sufficiently to get on with the show.
It's a hard choice between the 170 Montauk and Dauntless. I had a Dauntless 16 and it had more storage space than does my current 190 Montauk and the under-the-deck fuel tank is preferable. Overall I would probably choose the Dauntless. If cost is a big factor the Montauk would probably win. They are both fine craft.
posted 03-16-2015 12:50 PM ET (US)
I have a 18 Dauntless now and I love the room and space while using it but it is when I'm not using it that is the issue. We are re doing our back yard and it will be a tight fit. I have never seen the 170 Dauntless. It is heavier and has a bit less dead rise. Also 10 grand more than a Montauk. I'll check them both out. Thank goodness the squirrel made it.
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