Plenty for dreamers, families at In-Water Boat Show

26 Янв 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
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Plenty for dreamers, families at In-Water Boat Show

If you have a couple million dollars burning a hole in your pocket, or just want to see what you could get if you did, then by all means check out the Viking 65 motor yacht at the Racine In-Water Boat Show.

The Viking 65 has just over 1,100 square feet of living space. It has four staterooms (bedrooms to you landlubbers). It has a full-service galley, satellite TV, VCRs and state-of-the-art electronics.

It’s just like a condo, says Jennifer Faulk, who manages the boat show for the National Marine Manufacturers Association. It has everything you’d find in a condo. … It’s exactly like you were buying a second home. There are laundry facilities. … All the conveniences of home are on the boat.

Sold by Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales of St. Clair Shores and Bay Harbor, Mich. the Viking 65 is priced at $2.1 million. If that sounds a bit steep, salesman Eric Krueger says there is some wiggle room.

It’s a little bit negotiable, Krueger says, but that’s about where they’re going.

Or how about the modest Carver 570? This 59-foot yacht features three staterooms, two bathrooms, a full-service galley, a pilothouse, a flying bridge and a more modest price tag. The base price, without any extras, is around $741,000, says Dave Neibaur, sales manager at Great Lakes Yacht Sales in Kenosha.

And if you loaded it to the gills with the biggest engine and every option imaginable, you would exceed a million, Neibaur says.

Beyond the price to buy the boat, you’ve got to figure the cost of running it. Sailing in the lap of luxury does not come cheap.

The Carver 570, for example, runs on diesel fuel. It carries 800 gallons of fuel and has a range of 500 miles, for a fuel efficiency rating of .625 miles per gallon. Not unusual for a boat that size, Neibaur says.

The Viking 65 and the Carver 570 are just two of the more than 300 boats that are on display at the Racine In-Water Boat Show, at Reefpoint Marina, today through Sunday. The show, the biggest on Lake Michigan, is a display of all things nautical: Motor yachts and inflatable boats; speed boats and fishing boats; hydro-bikes and water beetles; boating clothes, plastic docks and boat blenders.

Prices range from a few hundred dollars to a couple million.

Boating is everything from the self-propelled water equipment up to the 65-foot yacht, and everything in between, Faulk says. It’s not just for the people spending a million dollars on a yacht.

Hydro-bikes and water beetles are both pedal-powered watercraft. Hydro-bikes look like a bicycle on a surfboard, Faulk says. Water beetles are canopy-covered, two-person plastic boats.

The self-propelled water equipment is really hysterical, Faulk says.

The Racine In-Water Boat Show is one of only two boat shows on Lake Michigan, according to Megan Abshire, an account executive for Figel Murphy Public Relations in Chicago. The other boat show is in Chicago, and it isn’t in-water.

Racine’s location between Milwaukee and Chicago has made drawing a crowd relatively easy, Abshire says. Last year, between 8,000 and 10,000 people attended the boat show during its four-day run.

But the National Marine Manufacturers Association is looking to improve on those numbers, and is shooting for 15,000 in attendance this year. Besides boating enthusiasts and hobbyists, Faulk wants to lure people curious about boating to the boat show. It’s all part of the association’s Discover Boating advertising campaign, meant to increase boating’s popularity.

The boat show has the usual attractions: The boats. All of them are open for tours. You can even take a few of them out for test drives (not the yachts) on free boat rides provided at the show’s Adventure Cove.

New models and new products will be unveiled. The Carver 570 isn’t new this year, but the Carver 410 Sports Sedan (a smaller yacht) is.

Poly-Planks may not be as flashy as a spanking new yacht, but they are revolutionary in boating, Faulk says. The dock material is made of recycled plastic planks, with a lifespan of close to 50 years (compared to 20 years for a wooden dock).

So think: No splinters, no water damage, Faulk says. It’s easy to clean, there’s no maintenance, no painting, no waterproofing, no warping.

The boat show also features more than 150 booths selling all sorts of marine accessories, from jewelry to clothing. You can get a hat with the name of your boat stitched on it if you want. You can also check out the Boat Blender, a new invention that attaches to the end of a power drill to mix drinks.

Then there are the new attractions, the ones added to bring a broader range of people to the show by giving it more of a festival flavor: Live bands play Caribbean-style music from stages in the food area. Visitors to the boat show can pilot a miniature boat around the remote-controlled boat pond. Or watch a sand sculptor shape 25 tons of sand into various shapes. (Past sand sculptures have included sea dragons and the Wind Point Lighthouse.)

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Skipper the Dolphin is the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s goodwill ambassador to boating. Seaweed the Sea Monster is a 55-foot inflatable obstacle course for children.

We know that we have to reach families, Faulk says. So what we’re trying to do is appeal to the families to come out and take a look.

The average visitor to the boat show stays between four and five hours, Faulk says. They buy marine accessories or stock up. But even if you don’t buy a boat or any of the various accouterments that go along with boating, you can stop to look.

Even if you just dream a little dream, Faulk says. Truly, I just couldn’t believe it. I’ve been on boats before, but nothing like these.

It’s amazing what they’re doing with these boats now.

If you do want to buy, Faulk wants you to know that boating is more affordable than you may think. Financing is available.

It’s just like a car payment. It’s done the same way, it’s set up the same way. It really is affordable for families, Faulk says.

So can you finance your way into a Viking 65? Assuming a down payment of between 10 percent and 20 percent, and assuming you spread the payments out over the maximum 20 years, the monthly payments for the Viking 65 would be around $13,728.

Think of it like buying a new compact car every month. And paying cash for it. With no trade-in.

For the Carver 570 (assuming a 15 percent down payment on the base price, payments over 20 years, at 7.74 percent interest), the monthly payments are a relatively affordable $5,414, Neibaur says.

Don’t feel bad if you can’t afford it.

Well, you’ve got to keep in mind, you’re dealing with a production where they build maybe 50 or 60 of that kind of boat a year. And that’s for worldwide distribution, Neibaur says. And there are really only a handful of people that can afford to spend that kind of money.

Copyright 2013 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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