Inaugural Maine Boat Show looks to attract “leaf peepers”

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Thompson’s Point is a new venue in downtown Portland located near bars and restaurants.

Thompson’s Point is a new venue in downtown Portland located near bars and restaurants.



The Maine Boat Show, the first event produced by the Maine Marine Trades Association in several years, will open this fall at in Portland, Maine, and will run Oct. 4-6 at Thompson’s Point.

“We now have a great new event venue that fits our traditional Maine style, with a touch of modern,” said MMTA director Stacey Keefer in a statement. “A fall boat show is new for us — we’ll be both unique and boutique — meaning a show featuring 40 to 50 of Maine’s finest industry members.”

The show is designed to run in conjunction with peak foliage season to take advantage of visitors who come north to see the changing leaves. The show’s small size is meant to be manageable enough to fit into a weekend of other activities for those visiting to see the fall colors.

The timing was chosen so dealers, builders and brokers are able to offer favorable prices, and so service yards have time to estimate and schedule winter projects and refits.

“We like that it’s easy for someone from Boston or southern New England to take the train right to the show,” said MMTA board president Joan Fetsko, who is bringing a boat from Pemaquid Marine.

MMTA show committee viewing the event venue for The Maine Boat Show at Thompson’s Point — a converted historic brick building with polished floors and bar service.

MMTA show committee viewing the event venue for The Maine Boat Show at Thompson’s Point — a converted historic brick building with polished floors and bar service.

Thompson’s Point, one of Portland’s new event venues, is located next to an Amtrak station and a trio of local bars featuring wine, beer and spirits made in Maine. The city was also named America’s 2018 Restaurant City of the Year by Bon Appétit.

“In New England, we kick off our boat show season in Rockland in August and Newport in September,” said Phil Bennett of Hinckley Yachts. “While there is then a progression of shows going south in the months to come, a number of Maine boatbuilders, yards and marine goods suppliers felt we were missing a wonderful opportunity to show off what we do in the fall when so many folks come to the area. This show is in a perfect place during the beautiful fall season, so we were thrilled to be one of the first exhibitors to sign up.”

Yamaha, which is sponsoring the show along with Allen Insurance and Financial, will attend to promote the Yamaha Outboard Motor Service course recently launched in partnership with Southern Maine Community College.

In an effort to promote marine industry careers, Maine students of all ages will receive complimentary admission to the show.

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