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.


This pre-sold Portofino 48 was the queen of the New York Boat Show.


Nine hundred horses may prove a lot of mouths to feed if fuel prices start soaring.

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.

Doug Logan