Seattle Winter Boat Show – Small Display But Huge Passion


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TODAY WE ARE TRAVELING OUT TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON with contributor Ron Stevenson for a Live-ish report from the big Seattle Winter Boat Show. The passion, ongoing dedication and endless energy that the members of the Pacific Northwest ACBS Chapter have for the hobby is remarkable – a key ingredient to the success of the ACBS organization both locally and nationally. Here is Ron’s report. – Texx
(By the way you can click on the photos to enlarge them today)

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The massive boat show indoors at CenturyLink Field. Photo courtesy Seattle Boat Show / Northwest Marine Trade Association

Live-ish from the 2016 Seattle Winter Boat Show
by Ron Stevenson

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are enjoying our typical Seattle weather, our weather is so famous, they even wrote a book about it – Fifty Shades of Gray! Even though we are boating all year long, The Seattle Boat Show, sponsored by the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA), is a focus starting point to begin thinking about the start of the upcoming 2016 boating season.

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In Seattle the saying “Go Big or Go Home” fits when searching for a new cruiser. Photo courtesy Seattle Boat Show / Northwest Marine Trade Association

From the Seattle Boat Show website:

The Seattle Boat Show, Indoors & Afloat, is the West Coast’s Largest Boat Show featuring more than 1,000 recreational watercrafts, from stand-up paddleboards to superyachts and everything in between! Plus, check out more than three acres of accessories, over 200 free boating and fishing seminars seminars and the latest accessories indoors at CenturyLink Field, plus afloat on South Lake Union.

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Photo courtesy Seattle Boat Show / Northwest Marine Trade Association

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Looks like pontoon boats are now available with upper decks. Looks like a great place to hide and take a nap. Texx – Photo courtesy Seattle Boat Show / Northwest Marine Trade Association

I’ve heard there are about 240 exhibitors at this years show, and we are very fortunate, because the NMTA uses us as a last minute fill in exhibitor. That is – if an exhibitor is unable to make the show at the last minute, rather than having an empty spot they ask us to fill-in.

I’m sure the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes Chapter in Minnesota is very envious of our ability to learn about our display booth size 3 days before the event, and this year since we are in front of the loading door, our set up time was three hours before the show, which opened on Friday, January 29! The show runs through Saturday, February 6, something about Sunday the 7th being the day that somebody, somewhere, is supposed to play football, and no one would come to the show anyway. Hmmm, well, we know how that turned out!

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Photo courtesy Seattle Boat Show / Northwest Marine Trade Association

Our single boat booth area features member Jerry Campbell’s 1947 Chris-Craft Rocket, named “Drs Orders”. Jerry has some heart issues, (not affairs of the heart mind you), and his physician has told him he needs to keep busy doing stuff. Jerry likes old boats and old cars. So Jerry has taken up some home restoration boat projects, and has a barrel-back restoration lined up next. We all know that Boat Yoga can certainly work muscles we never knew we had! Jerry’s boat is a great example of a very nice Home Restoration, and our ACBS Chapter gave him an award for that effort at our last Annual Dinner.

Jerry’s story caught the attention of the Seattle Boat Show folks, and we received some great press coverage.

Due to Copyright laws (have we talked about that before?) you can see a great sketch of Jerry and his Chris-Craft which was prepared for the Seattle Times by Gabriel Campanario (aka The Seattle Sketcher) – You by see that great sketch in the Seattle Times by Clicking Here.

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Jerry Campbell with his cool home restored 1947 Chris-Craft Rocket during his TV interview.

Jerry was also featured on the local NBC affiliate KING-5 TV station program “Evening Magazine” hosted by Michael King (no relation). You can Click Here to see Jerry’s 15 seconds of fame, at about the 2:00 minute mark. It’s a great interview with Jerry and his cool Chris-Craft.

Our booth also featured Cole Franchini’s (son of Brian) 1959 Skeeto which provides a great photo opportunity for kids, some of Ingvar Carlson’s old outboards, some more outboards courtesy of Kelcey Johnson.

I would also like to credit Rick Means for the use of his burgees that he makes and sells for our boats on his site He has created a large version for display in your man cave, and for us to use in our booth. Because the show runs for 9 days (the largest boat show on the left coast) there are about 45 staffing slots for members to volunteer to work in the booth answering questions, and promoting our hobby. Here is a shot of a few of our chapter members:

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L to R: Ingvar Carlson, Karl Hoffman, Jerry Campbell (with some crummy T-shirt) Rick Means, Chapter President Warren Olson, and todays author (Ron Stevenson).

Our boating season officially starts on Opening Day, the first weekend in May. That event is sponsored by the Seattle Yacht Club, and this year, all ACBS members are invited! The Spring Quarterly ACBS meeting will be hosted this year by our Pacific Northwest chapter. The Opening Day theme this year is “The Great Escape”. Here is a link to the Seattle Yacht Club’s web page:

The annual Opening Day Celebration in Seattle has been featured on Woody Boater for many years, if you missed those stories here are some links to the Woody Boater archives for your Saturday morning viewing pleasure. Each year has a “theme” that makes if fun and fresh.

2015 Opening Day Celebration

2014 Opening Day Celebration

2013 Opening Day Celebration

2010 Opening Day Celebration

With that, I’m off to the show, I gotta chat with more folks about the use, preservation, and restoration of our woodie boats!

Best Regards – Ron Stevenson

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Photo courtesy Seattle Boat Show / Northwest Marine Trade Association

Special thanks to Ron Stevenson and the group of volunteers who helped with the week-long boat show.


15 replies
  1. Reddog
    Reddog says:

    Now thats was quite a boat show.and a nice write up. Its amazing how they get some iof those bigger boat in there Thanks Ron Matt and Texx A friend of mine from a local boatyard told me to check out this magazine : There are a couple neat articles about wooden boats on their website.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I am going to forward this to my Dr. Maybe if I could get him to say I should work on boats more it would help on the home front.

    Great story Ron! AWESOME boat Jerry!

    • Ron in Seattle
      Ron in Seattle says:

      Thanks Troy! But I must let readers know that Texx is my savior, he edits all my gibberish, and makes it all a much more professional piece of work! Thanks Texx!

  3. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    don’t know about Miami but there will be at the St. Louis Boat Show in a few days. As with this Seattle show the space will be tight but 4 great classic boats will be present along with dozens of Chapter volunteers to represent them and the hobby to attendees.

        • Dennis Mykols
          Dennis Mykols says:

          The more floor space that can be sold, the less space WE get, because we get it FREE. In Grand Rapids, when the economy was bad in 09, 2010 we got prime space in the front lobby, NOW we are as far back and hard to find space in a hallway. BUT it is ok, cause it overlooks the River and Sunsets, a fitting place to have Classics set the mood.

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