Jim and I left Portland at about 6:30 am on Saturday morning. By the time we reached Kalama, Washington, hunger overcame the desire to beat the crowd to the show. Carrigg's Columbia Inn Restaurant offered just what we needed in terms of a nice hot breakfast and coffee to make the rest of the trip comfortable. The Columbia Inn touts being visited by Jack Benny and Elvis, so it must be good.
We arrived at the Century Link Field about 10:30, and went through the upper decks of the Concourse A looking at exhibitors. Our first stop was at Aquamarine Inc. Aquamarine makes generators coupled with about any type of accessory you'd like; AC, refrigerators, alternators, compressors, etc. Their small compact units will fit on about any boat and supply power for just about any needs you might have. Aquamarine acts an integrator of various pieces of kit to fit on their small diesel engines. Their integration includes custom mounts and pulleys as needed.
Next we visited with the folks at Fiorentino Para-Achnors. These guys had a nice offering of heavy duty compact drogues and para-achnors for heavy weather tactics. Their drogues fold up into a nice compact shape as seen on the top of the tree on the picture below.
Para-anchor in the bag
There was enough room and a separation panel in the bag to place the drogue as well.
Within the show I found several nice products that I had seen before. Two of which were at Fisherman's Marine and Supply. The first was a chair, that folded flat but had locking arms. The nice feature of the chairs was it's ability to fold flat for storage, while providing a comfortable arm support. I wasn't too crazy about there color offerings, so I passed on the purchase.
The next interesting product was offered by several companies I would find out later, but Fisherman's had the first one I saw. The device was a heat power LED table lamp. The light consists of eight bright LED lights that are powered by a single tea light candle. The candle is completely enclosed in the base of the JOI light to reduce the chance of accidents. What makes the JOI so amazing is that the candle does all the work. It doesn't use batteries, solar or wall power to create the light. JOI uses the same thermoelectric technology to transform the energy of a single tea light candle into enough light to illuminate the cockpit or salon of most cruisers. The eight LED lights are on two telescopic arms that enable the lights to be pointed in any direction.
The best solution to come along in years was the "Automated AnchorBuoy "(http://theanchorbuoy.com). The Anchorbuoy attaches to an anchor as shown from their website to your anchor.
Once your anchor is deployed the buoy floats free, but has a taunt line attached to your anchor. That line is a 70lb test, on a spring loaded reel, keeping the float right above your anchor. What's also nice is the device uses solar power to charge it's batteries which are activated automatically when deployed. That means no batteries to change and everyone's sees your anchor at night. The couple who invented the product were the ones at the show selling it. They said it was their first show.
I spoke with Karen next at the Viking Liferaft Company. She explained their rep's in Seattle would be able to re-certify the raft on the CarolMarie, so no need for a new one. Thanks Karen!!
To me the most interesting boat at the show was this Scamp cat boat created by GigHarbor Boatworks. The cat boat was gaff rigged, and had an offset centerboard that folded up into the lazarette, making a large cockpit for the little boat.
One of the attractions not boat related was the large skyline of Seattle being created in sand. The details were still being made as we came through, but the attraction was drawing attention from the crowd.
Our good friend and sail maker Cliff was there too. This year at the Portland boat show Cliff wrote up a quote for us for a new spinnaker and staysail. We are just trying to pull together the pennies to see if we can afford the replacement this year or will it be next.
One boat that got a good deal of attention was this Nordic trawler. The price tag above stated Pride of Ownership for $78,500. What the sign didn't say was that was for a 1/8 share of the boat and a signing of 1,100 year maintenance fee. Dock fees were not included or fuel....
Last year one of my highlights was the Helly Hansen Booth. I bought a really nice racing bag from them, which didn't stay in my possession long, as Charing took charge of it. So I was glad to find they had one left when I got there and didn't charge me sales tax, (Oregon Residency paid off).
On the CarolMarie, we go through boat poles. We lost two of them our first year, so it's hard to keep a favorite on board. I was delighted to see on supplier at the show had them on sale for $20 a piece sales tax included. Unfortunately, this time I had to pay Washington sales tax, but picked up two fairly cheap.
We left the boat show at about 4, and stopped at Cabela's in Lacey, Washington on the way home.
I can honestly say I haven't seen that much camouflage since I left the trailer park. I had never been in a Cabela's so it was nice point of interest.
We returned home about 7:00 pm, no worst for wear.