Newport, Rhode Island is a magnet for boaters. It’s often called, with complete justification, the Boating Mecca of the Northeast. With miles of docks and hundreds of moorings, it’s a place where boaters go to ogle at other boats, and to be ogled themselves. The City of Newport itself is a great place to visit by sea or land. It’s a great place to call your home port while you’re touring the beautiful scenery of New England.
Nobody should be surprised that one of the best attended boat shows in the United States is the Newport International Boat Show. For 43 years, since 1970, the Newport Boat Show is a must for boaters in the area, and even from across the country. It’s more than just a boat show, it’s a national event.
The show is held along America’s Cup Boulevard at the Newport Yachting Center. There are not only boats, but acres of tents holding every piece of boating gear and hardware imaginable.
The show is put on by the Newport Exhibition Group, owners and producers of the Newport International Boat Show. On August 14,2013, the group announced the nominees chosen for the Newport for New Products (NFNP).
The eighth-annual NFNP winners are:
Best New Sailboat Leonardo Yachts Eagle 44 presented by Rogers Yacht Sales of Groton, CT
Best New Powerboat Greenline GL 40 by Seaway Yachts presented by Russo Marine of Medford, MA (see further details toward the end of this article).
Best New Boating Product Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit presented by Garmin of Olathe, KS
Best New Sailboat 30’ and Over Leonardo Yachts Eagle 44 presented by Rogers Yacht Sales of Groton, CT
Best New Sailboat Under 30’ J88 by J/Boats of Newport, RI
Best New Powerboat 30’ and Over Greenline GL 40 by Seaway Yachts presented by Russo Marine of Medford, MA (see further details toward the end of this article).
Best New Powerboat Under 30’ The Southport 29 FE by Southport Boats of Augusta, ME
Peoples Choice Award Alerion 41 by Alerion Yachts of Warren, RI
A highlight of the industry, NFNP entries were open to domestic and foreign products launched in the U.S. after April 1, 2013 that made their boat show debut at Newport. Show attendees selected the People’s Choice Award winner; all other category winners were selected by a team of industry experts on the basis of innovation, value to the consumer, safety, and aesthetics.
“We were extremely impressed by the number and quality of entries for this year’s awards,” said Tom Delotto, director of Newport Exhibition Group. “This is a new record for the Newport for New Products program, and we are pleased to have these boats and products represent all of the new and exciting introductions at the Newport International Boat Show.”
This year’s event had over 750 exhibitors from around the world with an exceptional assortment of boats of every type and style from 15 to 85 feet, and a wide variety of accessories, equipment, electronics, gear and services for boaters. For more information on the 43rd Annual Newport International Boat Show, please visit www.newportboatshow.com.
“The Newport International Boat Show is the kick-off to the fall boat show season, and manufactures see it as the perfect venue to introduce their new models to the boating community,” said Tom Delotto, director of Newport Exhibition Group. “A wealth of industry-leading boats and products have been introduced at our show over the years and, judging by the entries, this year will not disappoint. We are excited that show attendees will have the opportunity to see the latest and greatest at our Newport International Boat Show.”
Even if you’re not in the market for a boat this is a great outing. Throughout the show there are lectures and events all geared to make you boating more fun.
Some Personal Highlights of the Show
As the publisher of boattalk.com, I was there with my wife Lynda to interview some of the exhibitors who seemed to stand out from the crowd. I don’t wish to detract from the scores of vendors who exhibited everything from boat engines to porta potties, but a few exhibits caught my attention.
The Mariner’s Learning System – Call Yourself a Captain!
Captain Nippy Pauels
Online learning meets the boating world. The Mariner’s Learning System is both an online course, combined with a “Captain in a Box,” a set of DVDs, parallel ruler, divider, and other nautical goodies. Certified Captain Nippy Pauels (photo above) manned the booth and answered all questions. The course enables you to get a “6-Pack” or a Master’s license. A 6-pack is not a beer drinking certificate, but an official Coast Guard license to carry as many as six people for hire. The 25/50/100 Ton Master License allows you to perform the duties of an OUPV/Charter Boat Captain and also operate Inspected Passenger Vessels that are approved to carry 7 or more passengers. OUPV means Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels. The course runs $795 ($595 was the Boat Show Special), which, in my experience is about average for courses of this type. I took a captain’s course a few years ago and was obliged to show up for classroom instruction. The beauty of Internet learning is that you can pause and rewind.
The Coast Guard test is administered at over 400 locations nationwide. The average pass rate for people taking the course is 98.7 percent, which is quite impressive.
For more information, check out their website http://www.marinerslearningsystem.com.
The Coast Guard Foundation
Jennifer Fyke of The Coast Guard Foundation
The Coast Guard Foundation is a 501(c)(3) foundation, meaning that donations to it are tax deductible. Jennifer Fyke, the representative of the foundation at the show, gushed with enthusiasm for this important organization. It’s an impressive organization, catering to the needs of enlisted personnel in the United States Coast Guard. It provides, among other things, college scholarships for the children of coast Guard personnel. The foundation also provides a host of services to “coasties,” that are not otherwise provided by the government.
Founded over 40 years ago, the foundation provides education, support and relief for the brave souls who enforce maritime law, protect our homeland, and preserve the environment.
The next time you read about the valor of a Coast Guard first responder, keep this foundation in mind. http://www.coastguardfoundation.org
Put Yourself on the Map (or Chart)
David Wilson, proprietor of Lat Lon Plaques, has a really interesting business. David has been in the sign business for over 46 years, but now concentrates on making beautiful 22 kt gold leaf-on-wood plaques, showing the latitude and longitude of your home. Armed with his laptop, David showed us how he locates your home on Google Earth and picks off the coordinates. So, when ordering, you just have to supply him with your address. At a reasonable price of $325,( as of this writing, with a boat show special $20 discount), I think this is the perfect gift for a friend or relative whose waterfront home you visit, while drinking their booze and eating their food. Hey, they may even invite you back. David emphasizes that these plaques are not just for waterfront homes but for the landlocked as well. Check out David’s work at http://www.latlonplaques.com/.
The Greenline Hybrid Boat
The Greenline Hybrid boat just may be what the future of boating will look like. Manufactured by Seaway Yachts, the vessel is a true hybrid of traditional fuel and battery supplied electricity. It is also partially solar powered. It can cruise on diesel or electric, just like the Toyota Prius. Popular Mechanics dubbed it “The Prius Boat” in an article on March 20, 2013. When in electric mode, it is as quiet as a sailboat.
I spoke to Larry Russo of Russo Marine, a proud dealer of this amazing craft. Larry said that the boat will do seven knots on electric and 15 on diesel power. It can get 20 hours on a battery charge, and the battery charges from the engine while under diesel power or from shore power. The boat has been on the market for three years and 350 have been sold in that time. Larry said that the Greenline is the biggest selling boat in its size range for the past three years. The boat, pictured nearby, is 40 feet in length
Greenline Dealer Larry Russo
The Greenline Hybrid has a superdisplacement hull, which, according to Larry Russo is the secret behind the boat’s ability to use less fuel, generate lower CO2
emissions, and produce less wake. The fuel consumption per mile is less than that of a comparable displacement hull and as little as one quarter of a semi-displacement, twin-engine planning boat.
In a boating season, Greenline will burn fuel comparable to a sailboat of the same size, and up to four times less than a twin-engine planing boat of the same size.
The Greenline has won 22 international power boat awards, and walked off with two at this year’s Newport show. As noted above in the awards section, the boat won two Newport for New Products (NFNP) awards, Best New Powerboat and Best New Powerboat ’30 and Over. We haven’t seen any consumer opinions of the Greenline Hybrid on boattalk.com yet, but I expect that boaters are soon going to weigh in on this fascinating new boat. For more information about this boat see Larry’s website http://www.russomarine.com.
This year’s Newport International Boat Show was a winner in every way, from the boats and products offered to the beautiful weather.
Copyright © 2013 by Russell F. Moran, Publisher, boattalk.com