The Record - Hackensack, NJ
Hey people, whatever floats your boat

January 7, 2005

WHAT: New York National Boat Show.

WHEN: Noon to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St., Manhattan. (212) 216-2000;

HOW MUCH: $15, children 6-12 $5, children 5 and under free. Women $8 today on Ladies Day if purchased with a full-price adult ticket.

Kathy Magers remembers stretching her neck like a giraffe to look over the windshield of her grandfather's boat as they skipped over the waters of Galveston Bay in Texas.

"I used to go out fishing with him and he would let me steer the boat on the way back," said Magers, Women's National Fishing Champion and Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Famer. "I still love boating, the feeling of the wind in my ears and the sensation of being on the water. Water has a magnetism about it. When it's placid it's calming, and when it's rough it can be very exciting."

Today, the Texas resident will share her enthusiasm for boating as well as trade secrets on luring fish during a series of seminars at the New York National Boat Show.

Magers will focus especially on women during the event's Ladies Day. There was a time when boat show aisles were filled with men, she said, but that's no longer the case. More than 40 percent of boaters are female, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

"Women have discovered that boating and fishing are great family activities," said Magers, who frequently takes her mother, daughters and granddaughters along on fishing trips. "Now when you walk down the aisles at boat shows you see women pushing strollers and men with toddlers on their shoulders."

This year's show is the 100th, and organizers are celebrating with a retrospective video featuring images such as horses hauling a boat to the show in 1913 and female models posed on top of boats in the 1930s to persuade male visitors to spend more money.

Also this year, a Mystic Seaport exhibit salutes U.S. maritime heritage and a Mahogany Memories exhibit features eight restored antique boats from 1906 to 1955. Among them: Merry-Go-Round, a 20-foot Palmer Launch, built in 1906 and originally used for the inspection of railroad trestles. Keego, a 27-foot Fay & Bowen long deck, built in 1927, was originally used by a family to get to and from their house on Upper St. Regis Lake in New York. It's one of only five of this model built and one of only two still in use.

Besides looking at the classics, the show previews what will be on the water in the upcoming season, said Rae van Maanen, public relations manager for the event. The show features boats for many budgets and lifestyles, with more than 1,000 luxury and cruising yachts, sport fishers, bass boats, personal watercraft, pontoon boats and inflatables on exhibit. Also on display will be engines, marine accessories, electronics and fishing equipment, and nautical gifts and apparel.

Other attractions include the scuba diving pavilion, where a pool is filled with 26,000 gallons of tropically warm water. Visitors age 10 and over are invited to try out state-of-the-art scuba diving equipment under the supervision of expert divers. And not to worry about that wet hair - the pavilion dressing rooms are equipped with blow-dryers and towels.

Freshwater fishing enthusiasts will find casting and luring demonstrations at a giant mobile aquarium filled with 4,000 gallons of water and a large variety of fish. Following each demonstration, young visitors are invited tank-side to do some fishing of their own.
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