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Old 01-13-2008, 02:01 PM  
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Chris Chris is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Thornhill, Ontario
Posts: 3,055
Cool 2008 Toronto International Boat Show Coverage

Direct Energy Center - Toronto, Ontario - January 12, 2008

Well, it's a brisk January Saturday morning here in Toronto, and the crispness of the mid morning January air is a quick reminder that we're still months away from the opening of cottage season. Perhaps many months! Well at the very least, it's a while off, at least for us boaters up here in Ontario.

Given that, what would you expect to be on today's personal agenda?

Shovelling the driveway? Home improvements? R&R?

Nope.

Boats!

Thankfully, today, marks the opening of the 50th annual Toronto International Boat Show. But really what today's show offers is a small reprieve from the reality of frozen lakes and snow banks, surely the nemesis of any summer cottager and boating addict. This years venue is Exhibition Place, same as the last bunch.

As we pull into the show grounds, we quickly find ourselves met by thousands of other diehards attempting to find the "perfect"
parking spot. And given the crispness of the January air - crispness exaggerated that much more by the unseasonably mild temperatures of last week's warm spell- the perfect spot therefore equates to...close to the entrance door! At least for Yolanda! But any thoughts of getting a parking spot close to the entrance door on this day are quickly abandoned as many lots are already marked "full". So much for the declining economy on the brink of recession!

Finally we find solace in an underground parking spot, but only after lightening my wallet by the tune of eleven bucks. As we
stroll through the enormous, and seemingly endless underground parking garage, attempting to make our way towards the show's
entrance, I take note of the number of "out of province" and U.S. license plates on many of the vehicles in the garage. It leaves
no doubt about the title of "international" for this show.

As we catch a rest slowly riding up the escalator which takes us from the parking garage level to the show level, we are quickly met with the sights and sounds of the show.

And we're still outside the entrance!

After a bit of wandering back and forth looking for the show office and our "media passes", we're finally ready to go. Entering the show can only be described as walking into "boating nirvana". You can feel the "boating buzz"! Looks in any direction find a collage of people, hanging brand banners and signs as well as boats as far as the eye can see.

Is the lake open yet?

Wandering through the show can't be described as anything less than overwhelming. As Yolanda and myself slowly wander through the maze of exhibits and people, making our way from booth to booth, friendly sales people fill our hands - and bags - with glossy
brochures of everything under the sun. Some inquire about our "Endless Boating" tags as Yolanda snaps digital images of anything
that is found to be interesting and worthy of sharing.

Boats range from Canoes right up to Yacht's for the mega rich!

A trip into the Ricoh Coliseum wing of the show takes us to the indoor lake. Hundreds of people eagerly sit in the stands watching a boating demonstration being given. Notable, is the fact the indoor lake is actually visible this year in that you can actually see water! Apparently, a conscious decision was made to use the lake for boating demonstrations versus it being a floating boat parking lot as in years past. Which was probably a good decision based on the attentiveness of the on lookers watching the demonstration.

As Yolanda and myself continue to wander through the show, we find ourselves drawn to some of the smaller and to us at least, more interesting exhibits.

At one booth we find two brand new Humber Jewels on display. As I engage John Rowley the President of Humber boats in conversation Yolanda snaps pictures of these local legendary boats. As my eyes dance over the two new Humber models, John explains the history of the model and his plans for the future. A very neat story indeed! Hopefully I can expand on it in a future feature.

Another highlight for Yolanda and myself we find to be the ACBS (The Antique and Classic Boat Society) display. For me at least,
the display of antique boats and motors from a variety of eras is a nice and grounding contrast, versus some of the pimped out bling on display elsewhere at the show. At the ACBS booth Yolanda and myself engage Ron Stevenson - an avid old outboard restorer and collector - in conversation about his fully restored "Fibreglassics" era Herter's runabout sporting an equally nice 60's, vintage, Merc 1000 tower of power. Nice!

And even more encouraging - or worrisome I can't decide which - is the fact that Yolanda is starting to understand my infatuation with old Mercs as she elbowed me in the side and pointed out to me Ron's old Merc saying...

"Hey! Look! A vintage "tower of power"!

As we wandered around the rest of the ACBS display, my eyes danced over the various vintage boats, one of the members of the society who I was swapping stories with, summed up the vintage boats display quite nicely by saying "the older boats have more character". Yup I said. I'd have to agree there.

Those old boats are extra special. And I certainly appreciated the efforts of the ACBS members to put on one of the most interesting and memorable displays.

Truth be told, to me, at the end of the day, if it floats and gets me around the bay, then it's all good.

So for me, the 2008 Toronto International Boat Show was all good.

And a nice way to kick off the '08 boating season, even if the lake is still frozen over.

I hope you enjoy the pics!

 


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Old 01-05-2010, 07:16 PM
Chris Chris is offline
Administrator
Hi John,

There is a guy up here in my neck of the woods who was selling them for a number of years. His shop is more or less out in the sticks in the Stouffville/Uxbridge area here in Ontario. I've been to his place a few times although not recently.

One of the times I was there he had a Checkmate for sale, but I didn't end up buying it.

I'm pretty sure he'll be at the 2010 Toronto Boat Show, so I'll see if I can pass by his booth and see if I can find anything out for you.

Also, I'll set up a gallery category and discussion forum for Avenger's. Perhaps, you would be kind enough to upload some pics to the gallery and then we'll create a thread in the Avenger forum where you can post them?

If that's cool, let me know and I'll set up the gallery category and forum for you. Hopefully that way, someone will stumble on your thread and perhaps we'll get some more info and pics collected.

-Chris
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:30 AM
john lamon john lamon is offline
Senior Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Hi John,

There is a guy up here in my neck of the woods who was selling them for a number of years. His shop is more or less out in the sticks in the Stouffville/Uxbridge area here in Ontario. I've been to his place a few times although not recently.

One of the times I was there he had a Checkmate for sale, but I didn't end up buying it.

I'm pretty sure he'll be at the 2010 Toronto Boat Show, so I'll see if I can pass by his booth and see if I can find anything out for you.

Also, I'll set up a gallery category and discussion forum for Avenger's. Perhaps, you would be kind enough to upload some pics to the gallery and then we'll create a thread in the Avenger forum where you can post them?

If that's cool, let me know and I'll set up the gallery category and forum for you. Hopefully that way, someone will stumble on your thread and perhaps we'll get some more info and pics collected.

-Chris
Thanks Chris

I would appreciate it if you set that up, I would post my pics there and probably be able to answer most ?'s people might have about the setup on that hull as I had it for 7 years and tried lot's of different stuff to get it right. Are those boat's very popular where you are? Mine is the only one I've ever seen in person, I like the look of the new one in your pic, it looks like the hull is the same but the deck is a little different. I'd like to eventually upgrade to a bigger Checkmate for taking the family on and have a newer Avenger for my speed machine.

Thanks again, John
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:51 PM
Chris Chris is offline
Administrator
Quote:
Originally Posted by john lamon View Post
Thanks Chris

I would appreciate it if you set that up, I would post my pics there and probably be able to answer most ?'s people might have about the setup on that hull as I had it for 7 years and tried lot's of different stuff to get it right. Are those boat's very popular where you are? Mine is the only one I've ever seen in person, I like the look of the new one in your pic, it looks like the hull is the same but the deck is a little different. I'd like to eventually upgrade to a bigger Checkmate for taking the family on and have a newer Avenger for my speed machine.

Thanks again, John
Hi John,

I wouldn't say they're popular, but there's definitely some around - I think mostly because Roy Lewis was advertising them in the Boat Trader for a number of years. As I recall, he used to advertise the Avenger's along side Sleekcrafts.

I've got the Avenger gallery category and Avenger forum all set up for you. So any time you're ready to kick them off, go for it and enjoy.

-Chris
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