As alternatives to the big boat shows in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, extremely local “boutique” shows offer a friendly neighborhood feel and a casual pace that some shoppers prefer.
After a tough winter in the Northeast, brokers in Connecticut are expecting a warm reception from consumers when the sixth annual Essex Spring Boat Show opens Friday at Brewer Dauntless Marina.
The scenic locale, at 9 Novelty Lane in Essex, five miles north of Long Island Sound on the banks of the pastoral Connecticut River, is in a strong boating community.
By no means large, the boutique-style show is atypical in its casual, stroll-the-docks atmosphere, with the river as an appealing background.
“While there are not a lot of boats, there’s a nice mix of pre-owned and new, power and sail, from center consoles to an Eastbay 47, and sailboats from 30 to 47 feet,” says Doug Domenie, show organizer and manager of the marina.
“Everybody involved likes the small, intimate nature of the show,” he adds. “It’s not a high-pressure show, which makes it enjoyable for both brokers and customers.”
On display will be more than 40 boats from exhibitors showcasing the brands Alerion Express, Beneteau, Cabo Yachts, Chris-Craft, Grand Banks, Hanse, Hatteras, The Hinckley Co., Hunt Yachts, Jupiter, Legacy, Nonsuch, Southport Boats and Viking Yachts.
Local brokerages participating include Boutique USA, Prestige Yacht Sales, Boatworks Yacht Sales, Oyster Harbors Marine, Eastland Yachts, Harborside Yacht Sales, Essex Marine Group and McMichael Yacht Sales & Brokers.
Admission and parking are free. Soundings Trade Only is one of several sponsors.