Boats, water toys, music and food await visitors at the Naswa Resort’s Naz Aqua Mania this weekend. (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)
By ADAM DRAPCHO, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — With summer boating season officially underway, aficionados of the afloat might be wondering what's new in the boating world this year. For them, the place to be this weekend is the 2nd Annual Aquamania in-water boat show to be held this weekend at the Naswa Resort.
Looking for something a little more time-tested? Then head to Wolfeboro, which will be hosting an antique boat show on Saturday, and where the New Hampshire Boat Museum will open its doors to its collection and three exhibits on both Saturday and Sunday.
Cynthia Makris, the third generation of her family to operate the Naswa, said the idea for the boat show started last winter with an idea that she shared with Jeffrey Levitan of Mix 94.1, and Kevin Keenan of Paugus Bay Marina. The idea was to jump-start summer with an event in early June that combined fresh air, new boats and beach-side service at the resort's NazBar.
"We just wanted to get people excited about boating on Lake Winnipesaukee," she said. Four marinas agreed to participate, as well as a few other related businesses, who each brought a selection of their newest products. Meanwhile, people were able to walk along the docks to see the boats in the water, then retire to the bar for a drink and a bite to eat while they talked about things that interest them.
"It was such an easy way for people to come and look at boats," Makris said. Marina partners said they were able to meet customers that wouldn't otherwise have come into their showroom, while prospective boat shoppers were happy to survey the latest offerings without any sales pressure.
The Aquamania boat show will be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on each day. Mix 94.1 will be broadcasting live on both days, and giving away a five-night trip to Las Vegas.
Kory Keenan, sales manager at Paugus Bay Marina, said that the boat show offers the ability to display new product to local customers, while surrounded by beautiful scenery.
He'll be bringing boats made by Avalon Pontoon and Bryant, but the one he's most excited about is the Formula 330 CBR, a 33-foot boat that he said is a perfect fit for the local lakes.
"It works well for Winnipesaukee," he said, noting that it's a manageable size, yet can comfortably seat 15 passengers. "It's a big open bowrider. It takes a lot of people," he said, useful for when guests arrive for their first Winni experience.
At HK Powersports, manager Lisa Meeken said she had to jump on the opportunity to bring some of her new watercraft to the boat show. Most of her watercraft customers also own a boat, and a watercraft is a smaller purchase for them. She's planning to bring their most powerful personal watercraft, the new Sea Doo GTX Limited, which costs $15,999 and packs a punch with 300 horsepower.
At the other end of the spectrum, she will also be bringing Sea Doo's Spark, an entry-level craft that sells for less than half of the GTX Limited.
"A lot of our customers frequent the Naswa, anyway. You could make an afternoon out of it," said Meeken.
In addition to powercraft, a vendor will also be on hand to display water toys and human-powered vessels, such as Stand Up Paddleboards.
Now in its second year, Makris was glad to see the event growing.
"I'm glad that it really took off," she said. "People love the lake, whether you have a boat or not, you are enjoying the lake."
Some new old boats
While the season's newest offerings are on display at the Naswa, boats from years past will be available for viewing in Wolfeboro. Antique boats will be on display at the town docks beginning at 9 a.m., as part of the New England Lyman Group boat show.
And on the other side of Back Bay, on Center Street, the New Hampshire Boat Museum has begun its season, and has three exhibits this year. Those exhibits include a 1920s stern-steer ice boat – "It's handmade, it's wood, and it's huge," said executive director Lisa Lutts – a small exhibit on McDuff engines, which were manufactured in Lakeport, and an exhibit of covers for MotorBoating Magazine.
The exhibited magazine covers stretch from 1915 to 1935, a time period well before digital graphic design. Lutts said, "Back then, you would pay someone to paint your covers." The covers feature what were the new boats of the time, portrayed in the manner that boats were used in that era.
Also available for viewing are the museum's collection of antique and classic boats. Lutts said one of the most popular boats in the collection is a 1959 Century Coronado. It's a boat that many visitors remember plying the lake of their youth, and even those who don't have such memories are struck by its presence.
"It's huge. It's a monster boat," she said. Like many other boats of its era, it was designed to appear like a car, especially its cabin. "It's a very fine boat," she said.
If looking at old boats isn't enough, the Boat Museum also offers 45-minute narrated tours of Lake Winnipesaukee aboard the "Millie B," a restored Hackercraft. Lutts recommended reserving a spot on the boat ahead of time, as space is limited. For more information, visit www.nhbm.org or call 603-569-4554.
The New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro will have an exhibit of old boats and a series of historic covers from Motor Boating magazine on display this weekend. (Courtesy graphic/New Hampshire Boat Museum)
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