My quick impressions:
- I arrived on Saturday just after 3:00 pm. I expected it to be packed, but the main floor was quiter than I expected.
- The show filled the RI Convention Center, but not the Dunkin Donuts Center this year so it was quite a bit smaller than recent years.
- There were almost no sailboats. I saw a couple of Hobies, some sailing Kayaks and a Sturdee Cat Boat, but that was about it for sail. Despite the price of fuel I guess that we are still pretty hooked on petrol.
- I was hoping to see some windsurfer dealers, since I bought a board this fall and am looking for a harness and to line up some lessons in the spring, but there were none to be found.
- Safe/Sea was offering 3 years for the price of 2 on membership renewals, which I think is a great deal. On top of that Captain John Andrews offered an attractive discount for my second boat, so don't be bashful about asking what they can do if you own multiple boats.
- The 5:00 pm seminar by Charley Soares field editor of The Fisherman Magazine on mid summer striped bass fishing was also almost empty. Charley's presentation was as usual full of fish, good advice and opinionated but enjoyable and informative.
- I met Joe Burke, Publisher of Points East Magazine and told him the story about how I lost the Points East hat that I had won in their Mystery Harbor Contest a few years ago.
- I finally gave in to the temptation to buy a set of guaranteed for life Bad Dog Drill bits which are made in Bristol, RI and have been sold at the show for as long as I remember. Seeing the demonstrator drill though a bastard file, then a brake rotor and the head of a hammer convinced me. I'm rebuilding the windshield on Lots A Luck and have to drill out about a hundred 35 year old stainless screws in the aluminum frames. I'll let you know how that works out.
- One of the neatest things I saw were some very reasonably priced laser cut wooden tool and tackle boxes made by Van & Company of Pawtucket, RI. It's sadly rare, but refreshing to see some fine craftsmanship made in the USA at very reasonable prices.