A little glimpse inside my personal world – Fort Lauderdale Boat Show & Key West 2015.

I don’t want to always be serious on this blog because I want to share my experiences as I’m working AND living in this salt lifestyle. So….I’ve been thinking about Key West an awful lot lately. This happens certain times of the year, just like “Jimmy Buffett season” hits me hard at certain times, too.

Last year in November I took about 10 days for a vacation — Fort Lauderdale for the boat show, down to Key West, back home for 2 days then to see my parents in Kentucky. I will be sharing some of my favorite photos from the boat show and boat related in Key West.

For some reason I always get shots like this and they end up my favorite. Every. Single. Time.

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Very boat.

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This was just super duper gorgeous in person.

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I am mad for the 7 engines! Power! Not just my favorite number either ;)!

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Very, very slick look inside:

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I am also mad for the Ulysses Nardin / Midnight Express boat. I have to snap a photo every time I see it.

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This had to of been my favorite display… mostly because of the crab pillow. I was missing my Eisenhower so very much at that point.

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I also loved/favored this Everglades boat too. Super nice looking for fishing… awesome color too. Everglades always end up being my favorite boat at the smaller shows.

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Fort Lauderdale was extremely hot for a November day, so I was lucky that I had a “home away from home.” My company’s Monterey rep allowed me to come in their a/c tent room and I stayed in there reading and working on my book. I’ve seen that same rep several times and he keeps asking if I’ve finished my book. Well, the answer is no, but one day soon. I hope. 

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After Lauderdale, I left for the Keys. A1A was the most beautiful drive I have ever driven. I love that highway. There is something about A1A that made my heart extremely soulful and being surrounded by water made me want to sing all the Jimmy tunes in the world! I was smiling from ear to ear, that’s for sure.

Any trip that I take I play this game of “find the Pirate” and guess what?

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I found the Pirate… inside of the coin shop there.

The next day I went to the famous graveyard. Something else about me, I absolutely love looking at what is said on the tombstones. I imagine what the person is like and sometimes I also write poetry about that too.

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This one has a boat on it, and starts out “Like the waves and time…”

There is something so poetic about the water, and the talk about “time” while on the water; it’s like a song that never ends no matter the silence or sound.

I went other places exploring KW. I came up on the memorial down by one of the waterfronts.

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And found my most favorite poem in the entire world. This is exactly how I have lived my life and will continue to live my life.

I left there and went to Mallory Square area to the aquarium to visit my sea friends.

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He reminds me of some of the fish characters off Spongebob, haha. Of course, I got to see some alligators, seahorses, stingrays, happy lobsters and other creatures.

I hung around Mallory Square for the sunset. This was also such a soulful experience. Nothing in the world mattered besides the happiness bursting out of my heart that I was standing there witnessing one of the best “gifts” in the world.

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Not intentionally but I went and got… fish… after looking around a while. It was super delicious! The place right next door to the Green Parrot.

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Then, I went for a super late night drink at Captain Tonys. I felt his spirit, and Jimmy’s too, but mostly his. I was reaching to the sky for a verse of Last Mango in Paris. I felt the Woman Goin’ Crazy on Caroline Street was near, as well. I looked up to Captain Tony for advice, and it seems his words of ‘be your own Captain’ was right. I am steering my own ship and I get to pick the direction.

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I had so much fun between the Lauderdale show and Key West. There’s nothing better than Boats & Keys… keep a look out in the future because that is the title of the book I’m working on, which will be finished some time this year.

What is on Boat Show Girl’s mind?

There are a lot of things on my mind about my industry, but there are a few pointers that I feel like I am being called to address. I will lightly touch the subject today, as I have plans on going into more detail in the future. I just want to get this out to the world right now.

First we are facing the issue of millennials affordability to purchase boats. Even with a full time and part time job, I wouldn’t be able to afford another payment, especially committing to a long term payment for a boat. (And I really do want to live on a reasonably sized boat someday.) So the question arises, how in the world do we get millennials involved in boating? Because, most likely, it won’t be by purchase at a younger age.

Every single business that wants to survive the next several years will need to come up with an interactive plan to not only attract millennials, the people who want to own a boat but can’t afford it and even some sort of plan to catch the attention from people who never even thought of owning a boat.

There’s a lot to be said about the companies people chose to use nowadays–Uber vs. Taxi. What is it that they like better? Yes, the cost is lower, but… I’m thinking the affordable route to go is renting boats, or joining boat clubs. The more and more digital this world gets, the more and more harder it’s going to be to really truly attract someone with so many choices in front of them. Is it affordability? Is it convenance? What is it that will get someone to choose your brand?

The next problem I see the industry facing is hiring young people to be a part of their team. The older employees who have been at the company for many years, or even started the company, are now retiring or will be retiring in the future. Who’s going to take over? Who’s going to be on that future team of the industry? The ones that will fight and survive and overcome all things in this digital world?

Is this lack of interest that I’m seeing? Maybe it’s because it really is a luxurious business, or are (younger) people afraid of this industry? It does take years and years of knowledge to really become a staple in certain positions. So how are we going to take care of that?

I’ve always thought that if high schools had a career day, there should be tons of options, including getting into marine tech school if they are interested in not going to college. Or perhaps other jobs in the field that just need trade school training. That sort of stuff. But we as an industry really need to reach out to millennials because they are the future of this industry. It’s super important to start training them now.

The last problem that I think everyone needs to pay attention to is protecting our waters, sea animals and anything down below. 

This is yet another thing, as Boat Show Girl, I want to get involved with. We’ve got to protect our oceans/lakes/etc so that we can keep our boats in the water, because without that, our industry wouldn’t even exist. There’s the fuel issues, there’s the anchoring issues, there’s saving the coral reefs / fish / sea floor, and there’s the environmental issue that came out of where we just recently had the Miami Boat Show. Those are the things that we need to be really smart about—learn, react, fix if there is a problem.

If you’re in the marine industry—what’s weighing on your mind these days? 

How the boat shows led me to becoming Boat Show Girl.

Now that I have (finally) attended all of the Show Management boat shows, I can say that every single one that I have been to since 4 years ago have all been different in their own way. And, that’s not the only thing that is different–my experiences have been too–and you wouldn’t expect that when a good portion of exhibiters are repeats in some of them especially when I’ve been to a couple of shows multiple times.

Four years ago when I started traveling around to the shows, it was mostly local and it was just an event in my industry for me to take photos, blog, learn of new boats/products and collect the boat literature so that I could write poetry. Then, I started going to the larger shows out of town. But in the last year, things have changed because of my career goals, and I started BoatShowGirl to become a standing professional in the marine industry.

From my previous work background, I usually tend to look at the pretty side of the boats, even though I currently work at a service center and know what it’s like on that end. With boats I tend to look for design, style and fonts of boat names/brands that really catch my eye. For products, if there’s something new and amazing I will sing praises about it, I will also do the same for accessory vendors because I’m big on supporting retailers. Oh, and I also choose my favorite “boat literature” look as well.

As Boat Show Girl I am realizing that the most important professional review that I can give is the overall look and feel of the show, including anything unique to the individual shows, new products and new boats. I also have my own review of how the show turned out for me personally. Those comments mixed together makes a review that would be from Boat Show Girl. I have to remember that I do not have an assigned area, I am assigned to the entire show.

From day one, boat shows have become my savior from stress. Let’s talk about the latest show at Palm Beach for instance. I had been so caught up in the day to day that my mind was been completely clogged, but as soon as I went to the show, my body/mind/soul just cleared out. Now that I’m home I feel like a different person, have a clearer mind for what I need to do, and ready to get to the next step.

The way I feel leading up to going to the boat shows, while there, and the feeling that I come home with–I really do belong at boat shows. I know I have a little ways to go before I perfect my intentions on going there but all of this is a learning experience. The people (new friends), boat brands, products, and industry companies that I have found because of the show have been amazing. The journey going from just an attendee to exhibiter to having my own badge with BSG on it has been the most unbelievable… and it’s all happening pretty quickly.

I am so ready to get started on my next goal for Boat Show Girl and cannot wait until the next show which is Suncoast! See you there!

Palm Beach Boat Show 2016

This was the first time that I went to the Palm Beach show. I arrived by shuttle from the hotel, got dropped off at the location and waited until the media tent opened up to get my name tag. Then I walked down two blocks to Starbucks because I needed a quick pick-me-up.

To me, it didn’t look like there was much parking. I saw a lot and some people parking among the street but other than that, I didn’t see much.

So the last couple of boat shows I have walked away with something special and this time, it was this…

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I am officially official all by myself. Yes, it is a huge deal for me. Yes, it made my day. 🙂

Moving on – overall the entirety of the boat show – it was extremely huge from one side to another full of yachts down to normal sized fishing boats. They had two open tents with accessories / parts then one large air conditioned tent with more accessories / parts. It was definitely different than Miami and Ft Lauderdale which I’ve been to twice each now.

The only display that really caught my eye this time around was this…

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I am really curious as to why the boat was like that.

I have to give a shout out to BoatShowHotels, of whom I’ve been admiring since the early days of my love for boat shows.

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My favorite new accessories / fun booth goes to…

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I got a “K” signal charm. The ladies behind the booth was super nice to me, and I think their product is very cool because I honestly haven’t seen any more booths like this while at the other shows.

Next up – I got some really cool boat literature from this booth and I can’t wait until I start reading them:

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The coolest “random thing” was this….

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You definitely don’t see that every where and never have I ever seen that at previous shows. I also saw a shark and it was a representation for a boat company that was giving out magnets in the a/c building.

This boat below was probably my new favorite boat, one I haven’t seen before, and I adore the font on the windows. There were a few of them like that but I really liked that one.

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The next two photos are my favorites that I took.

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Around 2-3, when I was on the radio with World of Boating, the storm was getting ready to happen. It was just a matter of time.

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And, the final photo of the night of everything that I brought back from the show. I’m not nearly as bad as I used to be, but then again, I do visit a ton of shows so I don’t need to pick up the same things I see elsewhere.

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Overall, besides the rain coming in and ruining it for me, it was a good time. It was also really cool being live at the boat show while live on air with World of Boating. Speaking of which, I got to meet one of the guys that calls in to WoB. It was an awesome meet!

Keeping my head above water.

The last couple of months, probably since the middle of last year, I have struggled immensely to enjoy and live this salt life lifestyle. Having to work two jobs (one full time, one part time) you kind of forget that. I’ve realized for a long time that working isn’t everything, and you only have one life so get out there and live it. Unfortunately, I’ve put myself where working is everything and my only thing. It’s not that I regret it, because of how much I do love my jobs, it’s like I’m hardly working but I have completely lost myself.

My soul is fed by the water, and I’ve been lacking being fed. I have forgotten my dreams just a little bit, I have forgotten my love for Jimmy Buffett (even though it’s always been there) and I’ve forgotten to sing my song. I’ve missed out on many afternoons of having the sun bare down on my skin, countless sunsets, and boat time. Not to mention, writing poetry about this industry…one of the more important reasons I fell in love with boat shows years ago.

This is me putting down my foot. I am developing this brand, and myself, so that I don’t have to spend one more day missing out on anything in this industry or this lifestyle that keeps me going. Here is to me keeping my head above water by taking crazy risks to earn opportunities of a lifetime.