a 15 yr. old at a boat show.
December 8, 2011 5:57 PM   Subscribe

Boats and kids. Need some advice here. Taking a friend's son to the NY Boat Show in January. Like most 15 yr old boys, he is attracted to power, engines, energy. Boating is new to me, so this has got me real intrigued in a whole new subject, but I want to attempt a few things here. 1. (my bias) is to introduce him to the wide world of boats out there. Some sense of the range, history, and beauty of design. (get him 'Sailing Alone Around the World'-Josh Slocum?) 2. (fun and free) but he's 15; it has to be fun, not a lesson. There will be babes in bikinis, lots of giveaways, distractions.

3. Yet a bit focused too. I think he (we) should do some homework, (there is a facebook page) get him a sense of it, excited, but maybe also identify some areas of interest? This is a big deal-thousands of boats of all kinds. Lots of people. How big is this, how is it arranged? are there kid things? how can you max a kid's (and my) afternoon w/out getting flattened by hucksterism and power yachts? any suggestions?
posted by ebesan to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've been to camping shows - same kind of thing. Just go and have fun. No 15 year wants to do homework to go hang out with boats and babes in bikinis. Just don't sign any sales contacts!
posted by COD at 6:29 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

The only homework I would suggest is to look at the website and see what attractions will be there so you can make a list of what to keep an eye out for. (This will probably lead to you and/or him googling things to learn more.)
posted by gjc at 6:38 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just trust the 15 year old to learn whatever it is a 15 year old needs to learn from...a boat show. Such as, for instance, sometimes life throws babes in bikinis at you!
posted by bricoleur at 7:41 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

(my bias) is to introduce him to the wide world of boats out there. Some sense of the range, history, and beauty of design.

I have been to the New York Boat Show.

I would not characterize this as a highfalutin' affair. It's a big trade show with lots of over-the-top yacht designs. It's not a museum diorama. It's a commercial thing. The people running this want you to buy stuff. It's none too deep.

I wouldn't bother with homework. Just go to the show and wander around and ogle the purty boats. That's basically what the show is good for. For fifteen bucks, it's a pretty good deal.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:00 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

but he's 15; it has to be fun, not a lesson.

I wouldn't worry about this part. Your young charge will have a blast-and-a-half. This I promise you.

If I'd known about the New York Boat Show when I was his age, I would have been on it like stink on shit.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:03 PM on December 8, 2011

Make sure to hit the aisles in the corners and away from the big stuff; that's where you'll find the [in my opinion] really interesting stuff at any trade show. It'll be some guy who has come up with some novel little gadget to do some task that you will never imagine needed to be done.
posted by chazlarson at 8:55 PM on December 8, 2011

I went to a boat show with my father when I was 15. I have always loved boats and have spent a fair amount of time on the water. They are not really about falling on love with boats or deciding which designs are the best. They are much more about high pressure sales persons selling midlife crisis vessels.

I enjoyed getting all the glossy magazines they make about each yacht. Last time I came home with two large bags of swhagg, hats, t-shits. At one point I pretended my father was a dot com billionaire shopping for my 16 b-day to see if they would try to sell me the mega yachts. They didn't.

If you want to get him to love boating find a F-J class near you, they take two people to man and are a hoot to race. You can learn everything you need to know about sailing from an F-J.
posted by Felex at 11:55 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

He can't go wrong reading Sailing Alone around the World. The book will invite him in, take off, and make him want to try sailing for himself.
posted by thewestinggame at 5:44 AM on December 9, 2011

That you are putting this much thought in it is awesome, is really most of what matters, and will show to him even if you don't think it does.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:07 AM on December 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

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