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The Inside Track

by Kate Calamusa
Photo of Dog
Photo Used Under NMFD Permit 26288 – wildorca.org

Familiarize Yourself with Floor

(Occurring daily, whenever you please; begin near the Main Entrance in the West Hall)

Navigating your way through the expansive show can be a gauntlet, so we heartily recommend taking advantage of the show’s brand-spankin’-new video tour feature before you dig in too deep. This self-guided tour, beginning with a two-minute overview introduction, will include 12-plus stops strategically placed throughout the five display areas, highlighting the products, activities, and show features that attendees can expect to find in each location. At each stop, you scan the posted QR code with your phone, which will launch a dedicated video for that specific stop on the route. Not only does this help get your feet wet, you can also enter to win a chance to score a Flatbike, a foldable bike perfect for stowing aboard to enhance your adventures once you get to port or anchor. 

Get Amped Up

(Daily throughout the show; check exhibitors’ list for exact show floor locations)

Exhibitors always bring the best and brightest new vessels to the show (see pages 26, and 56-61 for just a few examples), but this year’s selection seems to be especially electric, as in electric boats. In addition to the industry leaders like X Shore (local dealer Signature Yachts will display both the X Shore 1 and Eelex 8000 in their display), fellow Swedish brand Candela has joined the party this year. (During a recent endurance challenge, the electric, hydrofoiling Candela C-8 set a new world record for the longest distance driven by an electric boat in a day—420 nautical miles in 24 hours.) Along with those vessels, come a slew of companies touting hybrid and e-products: Propel, makers of electric propulsion systems; Blue Marine, installers of electric propulsion for sailboats and tenders, plus lithium battery upgrades, solar and system monitoring; Greenline Yachts, brokers of hybrid yacht lines; and Mercury Marine, with their two new electric outboard motors, the Avator 20e and Avator 35. Also creating buzz in other markets: Stabicraft, which opened a Port Angeles facility in 2022, is bringing their new amphibious StabiX craft to the show floor; La Mare debuts a modern house-yacht concept; and, yet another Swedish darling, Jaxtar, is set to appear with their tough aluminum exploration boats. The future of boating is bright indeed. 

Raise a Glass, Poise a Q to Top Local Experts

(Occurring daily during the show; The Tunnel Club; 4-6 p.m.)

Curious about a particular area of boating? Flummoxed on the fine details of the hobby? Don’t know where to start? Then get yourself to The Tunnel Club for a happy hour discussion with an expert that does. These daily sessions will run from 4-6 p.m. and feature an array of specialists in the field. Mark down the following dates and subjects, grab yourself a glass, and pick these experts’ brains to your hearts’ content.

  • Getting Out on the Water; Weather & Routes (Friday, February 2nd,with Mark Bunzel and Mike Beemer)
  • Interested in Fishing? (Saturday, February 3rd, with Tom Nelson and Tommy Donlin)
  • All About Alaska (Sunday, February 4th, with Leonard and Lorena Landon, Mike Beemer, and Mark Bunzel)
  • Women’s Day Meet & Mingle (Monday, February 5th, with Carolyn ‘Ace’ Spragg, Jamie Peth, and Scott Propst)
  • Offshore Sailing (Tuesday, February 6th, with John Neal and Gio and Julie Cappelli)
  • Meet the Waggoner Team (Wednesday, February 7th, with Waggoner staff and correspondents)
  • Purchasing a Boat? (Thursday, February 8th, with Area Surveyors & Inspectors)
  • Dinghies & Building Small Boats (Friday, February 9th, with Sam Devlin and Mike Beemer)
  • Maintaining Your Vessel (Saturday, February 10th, with Nigel Calder and Mike Beemer)

Seek out Boat Show Bill….and Bill Murray

(Friday, February 2nd; all day long during show hours)

Punxsutawney Phil might be looking for his shadow on this date, but is the weather in Pennsylvania really a good indicator of what we can expect in the Northwest? Instead, you can ask the SBS resident groundhog, Boat Show Bill, who will be roaming the halls at the show on February 2 and making his predictions for spring and summer boating. Then, it’s time to go on a scavenger hunt for Bill Murray, the star of the 1993 film “Groundhog Day.” Seek out a photo of the famous comedian—there will be one in each Hall—for a chance to win a whimsically curated themed gift basket containing a DVD of the movie, popcorn, a Bevmo gift card, a Yeti tumbler, and 4 tickets to the 2025 Seattle Boat Show. If you find Murray, stop by the info booth before you leave. In exchange for his whereabouts, staff will issue participants an enter-to-win form for the prize.

Whet Your Whistle; Be a Kid Again

(Both Saturdays, February 3rd and 10th, and Sunday, February 4th; Youth Boating Center; 12-3 p.m.)

You’ve spied them out on the lake, now sweeten your day by sleuthing them out on land: The young sisters behind Lemons For Good, Lake Union’s famous floating lemonade stand, will be setting up shop in the kid’s zone to serve up free glasses of lemonade for attendees. With a loan and a little help from their father, Quinn and Kate Carner started their business in 2021 to earn money and to give back. One-third of their proceeds support micro-loan programs for women in developing countries and their favorite charity, the Rainier Animal Fund, which provides free veterinary care to families and pets in need. Bring the kiddies by for some inspiration, and then be sure to stick around for the other activities happening in the Youth Center, which include a toy boat building station, STEM-based activities centered around the marine world, and the ever-popular paddle boat pool. (Maybe have them practice there before challenging them to the “landroplane” races nearby; see page 21 in Making Waves for more info.)

Watch a ‘Live’ Build A Boat

(Daily and continually throughout the show; East Hall across from the Youth Boating Center)

Theexperienced boatbuilders from Duckworks Boat Builders Supply, folks from local boatbuilding nonprofits, and even some volunteers will be working together to assemble a stitch-and-glue boat kit over the course of the nine days of the show. Stop by and follow along to witness the transformation of two-dimensional plywood parts into a pretty, polished, and portable dinghy—a lightweight 10-foot Scout crafted from a Duckworks kit. This is more than just a spectator sport. The fully-assembled boat will be raffled off at the end of the boat show, so snap up a few raffle tickets to get some skin in the game. Proceeds from raffle sales will be donated to the participating nonprofit organizations that are providing volunteers to help with the kids’ boatbuilding activity and the boatbuilding demo. The raffle winner will not only win the boat, but also gets to choose which of the participating maritime nonprofits receive the proceeds from the raffle!

Go Behind the Scenes with the Boys in the Boat Story

(Sunday, February 4th; Club Level; 1 p.m.)

In addition to stopping by the 1936 cedar coaching skiff known as Conny (located in the Antique and Classic Boat Society area in the East Hall; read more about Conny on page 16), aficionados of the beloved The Boys in the Boat story can delve even further into the intricacies outlined in Daniel James Brown’s 2013 book and the recently released movie directed by George Clooney. Pose your burning questions to an esteemed panel comprised of: Kirk Knap, owner of Conny; Melanie Barstow, founder of the ASUW Shell House tour; John Tytus, president of Pocock Racing Shells; and Yaz Farooq, a two-time Olympian and the current UW women’s rowing head coach. The panel will be hosted by the incredibly knowledgeable Eric Cohen, the resident UW Rowing historian, who will lead a presentation on the team’s epic quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics before the Q+A portion. “The level of rowing experience, and inside knowledge of the Boys in the Boat story and movie is unsurpassed with this group,” states Cohen. “And this is the first time all of them will be together at one time. It will make for a highly entertaining and fascinating inside look at this story.” (In other words: Be sure to snag a spot early, this one will be packed; tickets for this event are $20.)

Meet Eba, the Celebrity Orca-Scat-Sniffing Dog

(Thursday, February 8th; Seminar Stage #3; 3 p.m.)

Attention all furry first mates: Be sure to bring your humans along to this paw-sitively fascinating presentation from Dr. Deborah Giles and Eba, the dog, from the local organization Wild Orca. They are part of the annual Dogs on Deck Day at the show February 8. Eba, a pit bull-corgi-terrier-mix rescue, works along Giles to detect the scat of our local orca whales, which is then collected and studied. The hope is to glean important information about killer whales, ranging from nutrition status and stress levels to the presence of parasites, fungus, and pollutants like plastic—all data that can help explain the threats facing the endangered species. Listen in at the aptly named “From Poop to Policy” presentation at 3 p.m. or stop by for a snap with the pair at the Dogs on Deck Day photo booth from 4-6 p.m. Remember, pooches are welcome all day long February 8, but must be pre-registered on the website ahead of time.


Boating show novice? No worries. Tackle the experience like a longtime SBS vet with these five handy tips.

Two for one Tuesday; special free passes on Women’s Day; free admission with Boat Show University packages: There are loads of ways to save on attendance, with specials running almost every day; plan ahead, check the website, and save some cash.

Parking is notoriously expensive at the event center garage, but show attendees get $5 discounted parking at Bell Street Pier Garage located just across the street from Bell Harbor Marina. Pull into a parking spot there and then hop on the free shuttle over to the events center when you are ready.

After you’ve toured the Boats Afloat portion at Bell Harbor Marina—where you will also find such favorites as Chuck Hovey Yachts, Jeff Brown Yachts, and Silver Seas Yachts—pop by the neighboring Anthony’s for a free bowlful of their signature chowder, which will be available on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Weekends are an easy time for many to come to the show, but, naturally, those days are also the busiest. Instead, plan to come mid-week and you’ll find dealers, brokers, and factory reps have more time to give you their undivided attention.

Tackle the seminars like a pro: Study a copy of the fishing and boating seminar schedule in advance as you may find there are seminars on multiple days that you want to attend. Can’t make all the seminars on your wish list? The sessions are all being recorded and will be available on demand post show with the BSU All Aboard Package ($249) that also includes nine days admission to the show.

>> For complete show details, including information on specific hours, promotions, seminars, and admission, go to: seattleboatshow.com, and don’t forget to come say “hi” to us in the Northwest Yachting booth in the East Hall.

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