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New Orleans: International Workboat Show –

At the International WorkBoat Show, over 1,000 marine product and service suppliers exhibited their watery wares. The conference had strands on Business Management (“Explore the various challenges and opportunities that come with running a maritime business); Safety (“For most marine operations, maintaining a safe workplace is a top priority and an ongoing challenge, requiring updates on current standards, best practices, and new maritime safety solutions”; Technical (“The marine industry is a constantly evolving technological environment, showing how the latest innovations can bring efficiency and enhance quality from the corporate office to the vessel engine room”); plus Legal and Regulatory (“Understand marine law, current rules and regulatory trends, and learn the status of key pending legislation so you can plan ahead to keep your business in compliance”). Remember, the Sea is a harsh mistress, and seafarers must obey her laws…. #wbmr15 #workboatshow

Louisville: IBEX

Sept. 17-19, 2013. IBEX is the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference, and its slogan is “Designed to Build Better Boats”.  You have no idea how technical this can get.  For instance you probably didn’t know that the most valuable pieces of equipment in your shop is your molds, since bad mold makes bad parts, and bad parts cost valuable time and money.  Composite Infusion Technology, we heard,  has become a standard manufacturing process in the marine, public transportation, wind energy and industrial markets. A team was on hand to explain the latest in gelcoat, barrier coat, and resin technology designed to help improve the appearance and performance of marine customers’ products. Another big topic was fiberglass boat repair, where show-and-tells covered basic repair techniques with epoxy, fastener bonding, composite technology, composite repair, fairing, gelcoat blisters, advanced composites, and more.  Delegates could tap into a wealth of structural marine repair expertise.  But it was important not to miss the boat…

New York City: New York Boat Show

January 3-6, 2013. The New York Boat Show bills itself as being “Progressive”.  And why wouldn’t it be?  (Except that in this case Progressive is the name of the insurance company that sponsors the whole jamboree).  The organization behind the show is the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which claims pre-eminence as the world’s largest producer of boat shows. NMMA is the association that represents the $39.5 billion-per-year recreational boating industry. Member companies produce over 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers in the U.S.A.  The Boat Show is a once-a-year opportunity to compare makes and models, secure insurance and financing, and gear up with the latest accessories.  And yes, there was quite a lot of ‘showboating’ going on…

New Orleans: Workboat Show

Dec. 3-5, 2012. The International Workboat Show is the largest commercial marine tradeshow in North America, serving people and businesses working on coastal, inland and offshore waters.  1,000 companies displayed products and services for commercial vessels and the companies that build, service and operate them. The commercial marine industry is pretty big, we were told, and what with fluctuating market sectors it seems to be continuously changing. Staying ahead of change and keeping the business profitable can be tough, so visitors where looking for an event where they could meet face-to-face with thousands of colleagues and suppliers, while sourcing and researching new products, technologies and ideas.  They were rewarded with over 1,000 exhibiting suppliers, touting everything from pushboats and barges to patrol boats and military vessels.  Hey, mind that buoy…!

Louisville: IBEX

Oct. 2-4, 2012. If you were wondering “where the future of marine technology begins”, look no further than IBEX, the International Boat-Builders’ Exhibition and Conference.  There was a palpable buzz around new products and processes at the show.  For instance: “Caterpillar announces production of propulsion and maneuvering solutions for yachts”; “direct-sunlight multitouch viewing monitors for boat and yacht — one of the world’s most innovative products”;  “remote tracking, monitoring and diagnostic solutions for Cat powered vessels” (NOTE: a huge advance on the Dog-powered ones… sorry, couldn’t resist that); and “21st Century Chemical has developed a new solvent-replacement pre-wipe that eliminates the need for rags and flammable solvents”.  That last one must be bad news for molotov cocktail enthusiasts, but hey….