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New York autumn show postponed until next year

New York Afloat, a new in-water boat show slated to debut in New York Sept. 10-14 this year, has been postponed until 2015, pending the approval of a no-wake zone along the Hudson River.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association, the group that owns the show, pushed the launch date back because it had not received permission to create the no-wake zone. In addition, construction of a wave detention wall at Chelsea Piers has been thwarted because of the long and nasty winter.

“Basically, the commercial traffic on the Hudson [River] causes quite a bit of a wake, so we’ve got to make sure we have that,” show manager Jon Pritko told Soundings Trade Only. “It is a challenge because with all the ferries getting people into Manhattan and out, it’s difficult to create a no-wake zone. And the detention wall is not built yet. We had a bad winter and are waiting for construction.”

Pritko did not have a time frame for resolving the issues holding up New York Afloat.

“Anytime you do anything in New York, it’s challenging,” Pritko said. “There are a lot of people and a lot of hoops. But we have the right people on our side.”

The ferry traffic probably would have to be rerouted or slowed to keep the wakes small enough to accommodate the in-water show, he said. “The wake wasn’t as much of an issue pre-9/11, but now the ferries are going north and south instead of just across the river, and that’s where we’re getting a lot of the wake from,” Pritko said.

“Ultimately we’d like to see the wall built and establish a no-wake zone,” he added. “But if we can’t get the no-wake zone, we want to see if the wall will suffice, and we’re not sure yet.”

New York Afloat grabbed headlines last summer when Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced not only the addition of a new show slated to launch this fall, but also a shift of the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show from the dates around New Year’s Day that it has been assigned for the past decade or so to a more favorable mid-January time frame from 2015 through 2019.

A group called Friends of Javits Center argued that the boat show didn’t bring the same amount of money to the city as other trade shows slated for the same time period. In an effort to work with convention center stakeholders, show organizers agreed last fall to go back to the original dates of Jan. 6-10 in 2016. The current delay won’t cause any shift in New York Boat Show dates.

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