For three days, from Nov. 23-25 in the first-ever Eastern Seaboard boat show, the expansive property was completely covered with craft, fittings and everything possible to “put people on the water”. The exhibition ran the gamut from sleek sloops to kevlar kayaks; it catered to aficionados of wind surfing to wake boarding, from sail-boats to speed-boats and everything in between.
Dignitaries and event organizers pose for a group photo at the opening of the first Ocean Marina Boat Show.
Huge crowds packed the facilities, even though a battle for supremacy raged out on the Gulf, with the south-westerly monsoons still dominating the up-coming north-easterlies; the former winning the day, bucketing frequent rain-storms onto the scene. As one drenched enthusiast noted: “So what? This is all about the sea, the water and the marine environment”, as he purchased his dream boat.
And, speaking of dream boats, George Foose’s newly-imported Tartan 4000, a magnificent US-built sloop, aptly named “Dream” was a dominating feature among the on-water exhibits.
A James Bond pleasure cruiser?
Scott Finsten, Ocean Marina Yacht Club Manager and Harbour Master of the facilities, was most enthusiastic about the event, noting, “people came from near and far, from all over Thailand and from the region, to look, browse and buy from the huge range of artifacts on display.” This is just the beginning, said Scott and “we can look forward to bigger and better boat shows in future”.
The Tartan 4000 was once of the star exhibits at the show.
Another enthusiastic voice was that of “Man-about-the-Gulf” Bill Gasson who sees the boat show as a great benefit to the development of marine leisure sports along the Eastern Seaboard. As the man who has inaugurated numerous regattas along Thailand’s splendid coast-lines, Bill sees a direct influence on his forthcoming 9th Top of the Gulf Regatta, to be sailed off the Ocean Marina in early May next year.
There was something for everyone at the boat show, whether buyers, exhibitors or simply day strollers enjoying the splendid ambience, fresh air and excitement of the event.
There were over 60 exhibits on shore and some 20 more afloat in the Marina bay. There were outboard and inboard engines, scuba equipment, diving, fishing and related paraphernalia and even sunset cruises provided free of charge for the adventurous/romantic and other types.
There were free demonstrations and hands-on operations for many of the craft on display and the huge crowds availed themselves of the opportunity to experience the sea – many for the first time.
And, of course, being a marine ambience, there were liberal drafts of Singha beer, served on the lawns by the lovely Singha ladies, resplendent in gold – or, should that read “amber” outfits.
It was a superb maritime fest and, with Pattaya City Mayor, the city fathers and the private sector strongly supporting the event, the Ocean Marina Boat Show did – and will continue to do - much to promote Pattaya as a “maritime magnet” and the place for clean family fun, year round.
Montebello Charters takes passengers onboard for a free sunset cruise.