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Boat Show Masochist

bobe2The 27th annual Palm Beach Boat Show was held this March. Even though I sold my boat a year ago I thought I’d take a look. My wife asked “why I do this to myself; you know it will be painful.” The show fell on my birthday. What better way to spend my birthday than to roam the boat show; not to mention the free tickets. I had went with my wife and her sister, who also had March birthdays. However, they would not accept the free tickets as birthday presents.

I parked at the garage at City Place. I checked the fine print and calculated that it would cost me about $5 to park. Luckily I had an extra ticket, so I waited by the box office for someone looking to save a few bucks. Admission was $14, so I thought $5 for the ticket was reasonable and it would cover my parking. I sold it to my first customer.

We took the free trolley from City Place to the show. When we got off the trolley I bumped into an old friend who was displaying a boat in the show. He asked why we were there so early? “What do you mean, the show opened at 10:00?” I said. “Better check the fine print on the ticket.” Sure enough the first day the show opened at 12:00. We were only an hour early. It was a long hour as my wife berated me for not reading the ticket. If that wasn’t bad enough, when we picked up our car to head home, the parking cost $10. I got another tongue-lashing for not reading the sign at the garage entrance. You’d think they would cut me some slack for my birthday.



When we finally went in, the ticket taker asked if I had a driver’s license. I said no. Those that produced their license had it run thru some gizmo. I should have asked what the purpose was. Maybe they are looking for any outstanding warrants; or the whole show is a big sting operation to catch deadbeat dads.


I had a good time looking at all the displays of electronics and nautical accessories. I signed up for every drawing I came across. The only thing I won was a free dessert at Duffy’s. I only looked at one boat, “Diamond Girl”, a 103' Johnson Motor Yacht, which my friend was showing. At $6.3 million it was a bargain. You can also charter it for $50,000 per week, plus expenses of course.

One of my favorite boats was on display, a Marlow Explorer 65C. I didn’t bother to take a look, as this would be painful. I actually prefer the 53 which is a little more manageable for a couple. The 65 does have crew quarters should my nephew want a job.

The Palm Beach Show is smaller than the Miami or Fort Lauderdale shows. But, there is still plenty to see with a lot less hassle. There were no lines at the bathrooms, plenty of open seats at the entertainment barge and the Bud Girl was hot.

By Bob E. Sherman
Syndicated Writer