Boat show makes a comeback

Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show
Boats on display at the 87th Chicago Boats, RV and Strictly Sail Show on January 11. (Puja Bhattacharjee/MEDILL)

By Puja Bhattacharjee

The winter and rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the hundreds who attended the 87th Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail show. The show hosted at McCormick Place from January 11-15, featured over 600 boats, a dozen RVs and over 200 boating and sailing seminars.

The French-made Prestige 500 S valued at $1,049,000 was the biggest boat at the show. The boating industry has made a comeback after a period of slump. Gordy’s Lakefront Marine has been exhibiting at the show for the past 20 years. Co-owner Tom Whowell said that the boat show could represent up to 20 percent of the company’s yearly business. Vendors agree that they have had good results from the show and that is why they keep coming back.

Photo at top: Boats on display at the show (Puja Bhattacharjee/MEDILL)