The 2011 New York Boat Show kicked off at the Javits Center this past Wednesday under gray but relatively mild skies. Attendance by mid-afternoon was strong for a Wednesday, and the queen of the show, a $1.15 million Portofino 48, had an encouraging “Sold” sign hanging aft. We wrote about the Portofino 48 at the 2010 London Boat Show.
At the other end of the show and the price scale was an Affordability Pavilion where buyers could look at a sampling of boats that could be owned for less than $250 a month. (Related to that, on the show website there’s a neat function called See How Affordable Boating Can Be, where the visitors can control a sliding scale to compare boating to other family pursuits.)
One large fly circling the ointment of this overwhelmingly powerboat-oriented show is a widely anticipated spike in fuel prices. Mongo-powered center-console fishing machines may be idling out to the fishing grounds on their kickers this summer, while the market for fuel-sippers is likely to increase.
For people who enjoy the quiet life in protected waters, Hobie is offering a really innovative collection of kayaks that can be paddled, pedaled, and sailed. Their MirageDrive boats transfer leg power to a set of underwater foils that mimic the motion of penguin flippers and fish flukes. We posted a story about the Hobie MirageDrive when it was first announced a few months ago, and it’s very cool.