Jan 11, 2024
As we stand on the threshold of a 366-day year in the world of boating, I confess to some confusion but I am putting on my positive hat.
The years 2021 and 2022 were shut down. 2023 was the recovery year but everything was messed up particularly the supply of boats, which then jammed the resale market. You couldn’t find a boat for love or money so everyone kind of took a year off. Programs like regattas and cruises had been ruined by lockdowns and took some time to start up. Also, the weather on both sides of the country was weird.
What will 2024 deliver? Understandably at this point we have no idea what’s ahead but it is Boat Show Season and that always means spring optimism in the air. Wandering around the show with the scent of fresh fiberglass wafting creates a visceral response. Economic concerns, politics, bottom paint questions, snow shoveling and winter tires evaporate as we shop for deals on fender covers and cargo shorts. And maybe, this is the year for a 2-foot indulgence.
There are some positive signs on the horizon. Fuel is a bit cheaper; regattas are being restructured to fit in with family realities; Sail GP is coming to Halifax and the Shark Worlds are coming to Whitby. Signs point to a pretty enjoyable season ahead. At least that’s what I am choosing to believe.
Builders and dealers seem to share that view. There are finally some new ideas out there – fold down swim platforms and balconies; faster, wider boats; amazing navigational equipment; the potential of viable electrified power configurations. Signs point in the right direction.
There will be a Feb 29 this year and, on that day, anything can happen. So, what will ’24 bring?
John Morris, Online Editor