Thursday, January 15, 2009

San Diego Boat Show

We went by the San Diego Boat Show last Sunday. Attendance seemed light but not terrible. The indoor portion of the show was dominated by small powerboats, the outdoor area by large powerboats.

There was not much in the way of gear. There were almost no manufacturers of aftermarket equipment present. Electronics and other items were shown only by local San Diego dealers.

West Marine had a section on green boating. Three or four dealers were showing electrical boats and engines.

The interesting items that I saw included:
  • Soda Blasting - Sandblasting with baking soda. Apparently, this is not new. The sodium bicarbonate has a multi-sided structure that increases the effect of the force. This is gentler than sand or beads and more effective than walnut shells or corn cob bits. It is supposed to be green, though it seems about the same as other materials. You still end up with your substrate mixed with toxic paint chips.
  • Dyneema webbing used for secondary anchor rode, European stern ties or high latitude shore lines. Quickline is switching from nylon to dyneema webbing on their reel products. This looks like it might be a good general solution without the reel
We had never seen boat prices as low. We saw several new 36 to 40 foot sailboats for under $250,000. Most power boat dealers had signs out saying they would take any trade-in no matter how much was owed on the loan. The cost of holding inventory must be getting very heavy.

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