Much Talk Less Show at the Pittsburgh Boat Show

By: David Web

Last week's much hyped event at Pittsburgh - the Pittsburgh Boat Show finally concluded and contrary to popular anticipations, it was not as big a hit as expected. Firstly, the show was devoid of its promised glamour, adventure and magnificence. The same expo by the same people was more happening and exciting last year. Even though they had the latest in what the marine industry had to offer, the boat show failed when it came to attracting vast crowds and doing a profitable trade. Most say it was because of their poor advertising campaigns and lack of awareness in nautical circles. Even boat clubs were poorly informed. However, even with the decreasing visitors, the overall sales of the exhibits managed to cross a whopping 40 million dollars over a total of 5 days. Perhaps the few who came meant serious business.

The products on display included the usual modern shipping equipment ranging from ships, fancy boats and ferries, house boats, hovercrafts and many others. Industrial ones included trawlers, oil shippers. This was mainly visited by the sheikhs from the Middle East and few Russian businessmen. Jose de Silva, Texan based oil businessman was particularly impressed by this section of the boat show. Even though he attended for a day, he said that he learnt so much about oiling vessels which he could not have in a year.

Interestingly there was a luxury and lifestyle section which exclusively housed luxury yachts, high end tug boats and skipper launches making them effortlessly available to those concerned. There were other local businessmen from in and around Pittsburgh who gained a lot of knowledge about the most recent in naval gadgetry and were happy with their time not being wasted. Sadly, the expo failed to pull many buyers from the usually popular areas of the country where boats and boating is a way of life.

To add to it, the boat show also lacked on the fun and adventure quotient as a result of which youngsters were few. Only limited group activities had been arranged so children were also few. Stress was laid upon lots of talks and seminars which continued throughout the day. This was well received by the serious boating enthusiasts. One of the most visited and appreciated attraction was the "Swinging Ship". It was actually a giant movable enclosure in the shape of a cruiser containing the expo's hottest deals in boats and boating equipment. Accessories ranging from life jackets to fishing rods were also displayed. Kayaks, canoes, rafts and even fancy gondolas were exhibited in the "adventure sport" section. There was also a particular raft which was priced at an unusual 5 million dollars and it certainly was the talk of the show. Even imported products, mainly from the United Kingdom, Russia and China were also brought to highlight and compare global and American technologies. This was a unique feature which attracted many buyers.

The Pittsburgh Boat Show, even though dull, demonstrates the ever increasing scope of the American boating industry.

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