I love walking a boat show, especially a spring show. Everyone is excited for the coming season and all it will bring. Last month, WindCheck organized the  Connecticut Spring Boat Show at Brewer Essex Island Marina, in Essex, CT.  We’re proud to be part of this terrific event and partner with Brewer Essex Island Marina, Essex Boat Works, Yacht Brokers Association of America and YachtWorld to make it happen.

The show was a tremendous success, although that capricious comedian Mother Nature managed to make Friday interesting. The Brewer Essex Island crew pulled out all the stops showcasing their ongoing renovations and enhanced offerings. The most noticeable improvement to the facility is the fantastic new deck from which the vibe of steel drums and cocktail shakers welcomed boating enthusiasts to the 2017 season – and the possibility of a new boat, boating accessory or adventure.

During the three-day show, I suspect I spoke with about 100 individuals, including some friends in the marine business, brokers, sailmakers and purveyors, but mostly showgoers who needed a little guidance, had a question about the town of Essex, the show or where a particular vendor was situated.

I met two interesting couples at the show this year. The younger of the two I met during one of Friday’s heavier bouts of rain, were, I’d say, in their late twenties. It was a bit surprising to see this pair so elated to be there during such inhospitable weather. It was quickly revealed that they’d gotten a babysitter for the day and didn’t want to miss the opportunity to spend a little time together without the kids. They’d recently moved from the Carolinas to Eastern Connecticut and currently enjoy their small daysailer, but are starting the search for something a little larger on which to cruise with their growing family. I met the second couple on Saturday standing in line for the ferry ride across from the island. They were perhaps in their early fifties…and on their first date! They chose the CT Spring Boat Show as the venue (at least the starting point) for their first date. They weren’t in the market for a boat – yet, but boating and the excitement of living near the Sound was a common theme for them and a visit to the show seemed a natural fit. Pretty sweet.

However, the majority of the thousands of showgoers were avid boaters  who came out to not only see new and used boats but to connect with industry professionals and meet up with like-minded friends. This spring gathering is  very important to uniting the entire boating community, which has been WindCheck’s mission since our very first issue in 2002. We have carried on that charge from the beginning, growing from a Long Island Sound-centric magazine with a few hundred distribution points to a Northeast media company offering the print publication at more than 1,200 sailor havens from New Jersey to  Massachusetts, an award-winning website, a vibrant social media presence and many other in-house projects run annually, like the Connecticut Spring Boat Show – all to serve the boating public and bind our wonderful community.

In the past several months, as we decided to offer the magazine up for sale, we’ve had meaningful and productive conversations with passionate boaters and business colleagues about carrying WindCheck’s mission forward – to continue to build, help organize and energize, and mostly to serve as the voice of the Northeast boating community. If you’re interested in making this happen, please give us a call.

Enjoy the season, and see you on the water!

Chris Gill