Its’ that time again, with winter hard upon us, we turn to Boat Shows to get our boat fix. We go to see what the new models look like, and what new features are being promoted by all the different manufacturers. Along the way, we check out the different water toys and other boat and dock options. As usual, we were not disappointed with the ingenious new products and updates to existing ones.
The most interesting new product we saw is a new take on smaller watercraft. We stopped at the CraigCat booth to take a look at the very different boat. Mounted on two flat foam filled pontoons is a flat platform with two comfortable bucket seats, providing plenty of room to stretch out your legs and bring a cooler. Behind the seats, a 25 horsepower outboard gives you plenty of power for the 400 pound, 11 foot long craft. The small size and ease of launching make this boat option one of the most fun for the least effort. The cost of the boat is also very reasonable, and insurance rates are for a boat, not PWC. This craft can be used for a fishing trip, a pleasure cruise, or a speedy trip to a friends dock. The controls are easy to use as well – a standard throttle and a motor steering joystick. The two pontoon configuration gives the boat great stability, and it even has a canvas top for shade on those really hot days. With a 25 horsepower engine, you can ride a long time before stopping for gas. Check it out at www.craigcat.com (above photo from their website) if you can’t get to a boat show to see it.
The wakeboard boats have all made changes to their towers and ballast systems for an improved wakeboard experience. Lots of really slick graphic packages are available for all the major brands. Some of the more notably cool rides featured were MB, Centurion, Malibu, Mastercraft, Moomba, Nautique, Tigé, and Supra.
GPS isn’t really new, but it is the new affordable hot button for boats – it is now available on everything from fishing boats to jet skis. You never need to be lost on a lake again! Many of the new units are portable, so you can move them from boat to boat if need be.
Sea Doo has exciting new designs and colors, looking cooler than the Batmobile this year. Lots of new model variations to chose form in this ever popular brand of jet boats and jet skis. Yamaha has added an interesting twist to some of its jet ski seats. They have a built in a small back support to help keep riders from sliding back.
EZ Dock was showing modular plastic dock options that include benches for enjoying the dock and rollers for easy drive on docking. Slides and kayaks also made a splash at the show – especially with the younger crowd!
Lots of large yachts, fishing boats, pontoon boats, day boats and cruisers were on display for attendees to check out the features and details that make each of them distinct. Looking at all the choices is a big part of the fun. Boat show specials are another great bonus. So, if you are in the market for a new boat, the best way to narrow it down and get a great deal is by going to a boat show.
by Lori Wolak – Reprinted from www.thelakechannel.com