by Des Ryan
What do keen sailors do when they can't go sailing? Why they go to their local boat show! Who can resist the lure of looking at new boats, new electronic gadgets, new techniques, new alluring products and dreaming of next summer when the outside it is blowing a gale and the temperature is somewhere close to zero? .
Every sailor loves a boat show
So across the wintry world at the moment, it seems that everyone is thinking about, preparing, holding or walking through boat shows, or wondering how they could do it better.
From Toronto Canada to Goteburg Germany, from Carrara Italy to London England to Helsinki Finland, they're holding boat shows. Across the United States there seems to be one every week. If you had an unlimited air ticket, you could probably end to end boat shows right through winter.
So, to catch up on the world's boat shows in just January and February 2008, here's what you do.
If you're not already in New York, then get there by the fastest available means, because the 98th New York National Boat Show has already started in that splendid Jacob K Javits Convention Center You only have time to spend a couple of days there, because on 3rd January, you must take a flight across the States to San Diego in time to catch the last days of the San Diego Boat Show, which finishes on the 6th January. Then it's time for a swoop down to Galveston in Texas, where the Houston International Boat Show is showing its wares in a long drawl at an indoor venue 'as big as five football fields'.
You'll just have time to fly up to Atlanta for the Atlanta Boat Show before it closes on 13th January. About the 14th January, you should fly to London for the London Boat Show at Docklands, and spend maybe three days there. But you'll need a return trans-Atlantic ticket, as the now the Toronto International Boat Show has started. Get there, say on the 18th and you'll just have time to catch the end of it, finishing as it does on the 20th January.
No time to rest.
Get back on the plane on 21st and head for Dusseldorf, where that grand exhibition, Boot Dusseldorf has already begun. This will take you several days to cover, being one of the largest of all, but you'll need to take a quick trip to Chicago for Strictly Sail, and then a fast flight to Sweden to catch the Batmassan – Goteborg Boat Show.
It's not over yet.
You can spend the first few days of February in Sweden, then take a direct flight to Carrara in Italy for the Seatec Boat Show. You can't spend too long there, because the Vancouver International Boat Show has started and will close on the 10th February. On the 10th February, you could zap down the coast to Los Angeles, as they are holding the Los Angeles Boat Show in the Los Angeles Convention Centre. A couple of days will be enough, because you must rush northwards across the Atlantic to catch the Helsinki International Boat Show, and then maybe catch a fast train down to Belgium for the Belgium Boat Show – you'll only have time for a single day there, because you need to head for Portugal (train again) for the Lisbon Boat Show before catching an express across to Budapest for the Budapest Boat Show, which closes on the 17th February.
Boat Show Croatia
Not tired yet? Good, because the Eurasia Boat Show is still open until the 24th February in Istanbul – you'll have time to catch that before hiring a car and driving to Croatia for the Zagreb Sport and Boat Show. Before February is out you must now get to Copenhagen for the Copenhagen International Boat Show, and from Denmark, there should be a connecting flight for a quick trip to India to see the Mumbai International Boat Show.
Don't take a breath yet, because now you have to find the most direct flight possible to get to Norway for the Norwegian International Boat Show, which has just opened on 29th February.
Having done all that, you could apply maybe for a new Record for the Guinness Book of Records, for the most boat shows covered in one winter. Of course, if you're still hankering after boat shows, we could suggest some in March.........