Boat show bargains

by Chuck January 18, 2004

My father-in-law, Ron, took me to the Seattle Boat Show today. Ron likes to look at the fishing boats, preferable aluminum boats that need next to no upkeep. I had three purchases in mind, and the boat show was the perfect place to look.

First, Odyssey needs a new trailer. The old one is rusted, bent, and falling apart. I started looking for one last year at the boat show, and decided on the one I wanted (RoadRunner 2500B). I saved up the money last fall, and so I ordered a new trailer right there at the show. It should come in sometime around the end of the month, and Odyssey will have a new resting place going into this year's boating season.

Next, I wanted to find some new dock lines. Last year I'd seen a place called TopKnot, and liked the look of their lines. But I didn't go back and buy the lines on my way out the door like I'd planned (fed-up wife, cranky kids) so I waited until this year. I bought two 20-foot 7/16-inch lines to replace the 5/8 three-strand lines that were jammed on Odyssey's cleats. If you'd like to take a look at TopKnot's products, they're on the web at

And last but not least, I wanted to get a tide and current book from Cap'n Jack's (see the description at their Web site). I used one of these when I went out with Arthur on his 38-footer a couple of years ago and really liked it. Knowing the current at any given time is essential when sailing a small sailboat like Odyssey. Planning a trip to take advantage of the currents can make a huge difference. Tidal currents in Puget Sound can be 3-4 knots. Getting the curents right in a boat that can only make 4.5 knots at hull speed and you double your speed over the ground. Get them wrong and you might as well throw out the anchor.

Unfortunately, the tide guide wasn't in yet. The guy I talked to said 3 weeks, so I'll call them at the beginning of February for an update.

And of course we saw boats. Lots and lots of boats. I particularly liked the Beneteau 311, and the cabin layout of the new Catalina 34 was nice. But mostly, I remember looking at beautiful boats that I will never be able to afford, but appreciating the people that build these beautiful boats.



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