The Greatest Show On Earth

Boat shows tend to depress me. It is important to stay up with the latest trends, but most boat shows focus so heavily on consumer products that it is difficult to extract real joy from them. My friend and fellow boat lover Captain Dannie Schade, owner of Classic Boat Rides, convinced me and our wives to take a roadtrip to Portland ME last weekend to attend the Maine Boatbuilders Show.

This is the show for real boat lovers. If you ever feel jaded or depressed about the looks and quality of today’s boats, even a few minutes at this show proves that all is well in boatland. Great people, great boats, great setting, great food, great innovations and pure joy. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

Check out the building. It used to be a train engine factory. Traditional wooden sailboats with electric drives in the foreground.

Note the crowd. Yeah, we build boats, the real stuff.

This boat was so perfectly constructed that I walked away in stunned awe and envy and forgot to ask the builder’s name.

This sailing peapod by Bay of Maine Boats is fiberglass, but still a lovely boat. But it was the rig that caught my attention. That is one nice sailing rig, it can be reefed in three stages and everything stores in a bag. The perfect sail for just about every small boat.