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Kelowna boat show gets spectators on the water
Men are drooling, women are dreaming and kids are gasping at the 2012 Kelowna Yacht Club Boat and Leisure Show, which runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The 17th annual event has a slightly new look this year, with all boats being displayed on the water.
"We've got about 125 boats on the water this year and over 60 land exhibits," said Jim Kay, general manager of the Kelowna Yacht Club.
"Last year we had a lot of boats on the land; this year they're all in the water. That really affords people the opportunity that, if they're interested in a boat, they can take it out for a test drive right here."
According to Kay, the change was done in preparation for construction of the Yacht Club's new clubhouse, which will eliminate the parking lot.
This weekend's event has appealed to a wide variety of spectators, said Kay.
"We get people that are coming down to buy a wakeboard to people that are coming down to buy a 30-foot boat and everything in-between."
John Sharples, sales manager at Dockside Marine Centre, is one of several exhibitors on hand at the boat show this weekend.
He said that this year has been much better than last year in terms of boat sales.
"Last year was so bad in the boat business that there is sort of a pent-up (desire) to buy," said Sharples.
"Our sales at the dealership have been very strong this year."
Alice Tunnell is hoping that she experiences some of the luck that local boat dealers have had so far in 2012.
She was sitting in her boat—a Bayliner Ciera 2355—on Saturday, hoping to lure a prospective buyer.
Tunnell said that she had gotten four years of use out of the boat, but recently upgraded to a slightly bigger vessel.
This is the first boat that Tunnell has tried to sell.
"I think it's a bit harder to sell with the economy. And moorage is a problem for people," said Tunnell.
"There are long waits. You have to become a member of the Yacht Club and then get on a wait list for the moorage."
Proceeds from the 2012 Boat and Leisure Show will go toward maintaining moorage buoys on the lake.
"Anybody can use the moorage buoys that are out on the lake, so it really is the Yacht Club's desire to give back to the community," said Kay.
Next year's boat show will also feature boats on the water as the new clubhouse will be in the construction phase.
"It'll probably be up, out of the ground and possibly framed, maybe even with a roof on it. The following year (2014), the boat show will be near the (finished) clubhouse," said Kay.