Boat Show Is Boon to Businesses As Well As Boaters

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I have had numerous inquiries asking about the new docks being installed out into the turning basin from Lido Marina Village.  Well, twice a year, temporary docks occupy this section of the harbor: for the upcoming Lido Yacht Expo every fall and then the Newport Boat Show held in the spring

Duncan McIntosh, the boat shows’ producer, is underway, plotting the logistics to not only install the docks, but most importantly to install them perfectly.  You see the trick is that the boats to be docked in the inner lagoon have to arrive on time and then the lagoons are sealed off, and then the outer boats arrive, creating a huge in-the-water boat show.  Not to mention the miles of electricity ines, phone lines, and fire water plumbing that all must be in place before the show opens for the public.

You might recognize his name as Duncan is a local Newport resident, recently appointed to the City’s Harbor Commission, and publisher of numerous boating newspapers and magazines.  Additionally in 2007, then- Mayor Steven Rosansky officially proclaimed Oct. 23 as Duncan McIntosh Day at the Inaugural Marine Industry Good Sea Scout Luncheon.

Duncan’s two boat shows are a huge boost for our local economy and especially for our marine businesses.  However, marine businesses are not the only ones to benefit as the hotels, restaurants, and shops will see an influx of business from exhibitors participating in the show and numerous visitors from other states and thousands of people from Southern California.

Additionally, I have stated numerous times in the past that boating generates huge dollars for the local economy.  Recreational boating contributed over $30 billion to the nation’s economy in past years, but I will await the updated reports to see how boating faired in these difficult economic times.

This is a good time to purchase a boat as prices are good and, due to the recession, this is the first time in decades that marinas have vacancies, so you can slide your newly purchased boat into its new home slip.  Newport Harbor is home to many magnificent yachts; however, the majority of boaters are not wealthy, but middle-class working people who seek boating for their recreational enjoyment.

As a matter of fact, the average boat size is less than 26 feet with the median annual household income for new boat owners falling between $75K and $99K, and the household income for pre-owned boat owners falling in the $50K-to-$74K range.

Speaking of pre-owned boats, this is a large segment of the inventory for sale and you can find great bargains on boats in excellent condition.

Newport Harbor is home to more than 9,000 vessels and our harbor is known as the largest small-craft harbor in the world.  While there is no legal definition of “small craft,” I usually refer to boats less than 75 feet, and I have seen some references for boats under 65 feet.  Either definition will work as the majority of boats moored in the harbor are vessels under 65 feet, with numerous larger yachts and megayachts scattered throughout the bay.  As you chat about boat sizes at the yacht club’s watering hole, you can mention that there are no superyachts hailing Newport as their home port.

The boat show will open the gangways next Thursday through Sunday and you can find out more information at  There will be free satellite parking with a shuttle service that is very convenient and easy to use that is listed on the website.  See you at the boat show.

Tip of the week: Have you applied for your MMSI number for your VHF-DSC marine radio aboard your boat?  What am I taking about?  Well, all boaters should know by now that your marine radio needs a MMSI number to utilize the Digital Select Calling (DSC) features and to fully utilize the Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 communication improvements to be implemented in our area in the near future.  An MMSI number is the maritime mobile service identity number that you can receive free from BoatU.S. at http://www.

If your radio is interfaced with your global-positioning system, then with the push of one button, your boat’s latitude and longitude and your unique nine-digit number will be transmitted over channel 70.  The Coast Guard uses this number to access its database about you and your boat, which helps remove the “search” from search and rescue.

And don’t forget: Tune in to the No. 1 boating radio talk show in the nation, Capt. Mike Whitehead’s Boathouse Radio Show, broadcasting coast-to-coast on the CRN Digital Talk Radio syndicated network every Saturday at noon, Pacific Time.  Join Chandler Bell and me as we talk about “all things boating,” and news reporter Matt Prichard will be returning soon.  You can find the station listings, cable TV channels, live streaming on the Internet, and now available are apps to listen to the show for your iPhone, Blackberry, Itouch, Android, Palm, and Windows Mobile at or

Until next week, Safe Voyages!

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