The largest full-service marina on Massachusetts' Cape Cod is trying something different to start the 2013 boating season — launching a new open house/boat show.
“While people in the marine industry are already working to get the boating season up and running, traditionally the boaters around here don’t really get ramped up and ready to go until June,” Kingman Yacht Center president Scott Zeien said. “We’re always looking for something new to give boaters a reason to get down to the water and excited about the summer a little earlier than they otherwise might.”
So 2013 brings the first Red Brook Harbor Boats Show, scheduled for May 18, for which organizers are still recruiting local marine businesses to exhibit.
“We’re promoting it to the industry as an open house event, but to the consumer as a boat show,” Zeien says. “We’re telling would-be exhibitors, ‘This is a chance to come down at a very nominal cost and show their product.’ This is a not-for-profit venture; we just want to cover the costs. Our objective is to get people out here.”
As of Monday afternoon, 37 exhibitors had signed on to participate, Zeien said. He expects upwards of 25 boats on display, ranging in size from eight to 43 feet, along with a variety of manufacturers, vendors and other marine organizations.
The only costs associated with participating will be for media advertising, which will be divided among the exhibitors. “Our initial thoughts are that dealers looking to bring in boats, either on trailers or in the water, would incur costs not more than $350, and table displays would cost no more than $80 per vendor/display,” he says.
Zeien says the new show offers an opportunity lost to many local exhibitors when the seventh annual Boatbuilders’ Show on Cape Cod was canceled with the Feb. 10 blizzard that buried much of New England.
“We opened at 2 p.m., right about the time the governor came on TV to announce a state of emergency and banned all travel except for essential personnel,” said Zeien, who was also an organizer for the Boatbuilders’ Show. “So we closed the show at 3:30, and a short time later power went out at the hotel and was out all weekend.”
The region received about a foot of snow in the blizzard. The 2014 Boatbuilders’ Show is scheduled for Feb. 7-9.
— Rich Armstrong