ROCKLAND — Whether it’s to look at boats, or to look for a boat to buy, the 16th annual Maine Boat & Home Show on the Rockland waterfront is the place to be this weekend. The three-day show opens Friday morning and runs through Sunday afternoon.
Billed as the largest in-the-water boat show north of Boston, the event features more than 100 craft, large and small, luxurious and down-to-earth, power and sail, displayed both on land and in the water. Tickets are available online.
“It’s an absolutely wonderful array this year,” said John K. Hanson, Jr., publisher of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine, which produces the event.
New models making their Maine debut at the show will include hull number one of Hinckley’s Picnic Boat 40, launched less than a month ago, and the distinctive Axopar line of Finnish-designed sport boats.
In addition to boats that are for sale, the show will include a wide variety of privately owned small craft in Buoy Park at the “Small Boat Love-In.” Several larger “icon” working boats will visit the docks, including the Maine’s Seacoast Mission’s Sunbeam V and Maine Maritime Academy’s R/V Friendship.
Lovers of vintage yachts will enjoy the lavishly restored wooden Bunker & Ellis 36 Vera Lee, a downeast cruiser presented by Classic Boat Shop.
In a contemporary take on vintage, Hylan & Brown Boatbuilders will showcase one of its retro-looking custom builds, a sleek power cruiser named Gatsby that was designed by Doug Hylan.
For those who prefer sail power, long-time exhibitor Classic Boat Shop will have one of its ever-popular and classy daysailers, the Pisces 21, on the seawall.
Morris Yachts will bring a sleek and swift M42 daysailer, while Bremen’s Maine Cat is set to showcase its Maine-built 38-foot catamaran, which combines speed and cruising comfort.
The show also features a number of special events.
In addition to the Small Boat Love-In and the featured visiting icon boats, the show ends with a Lobsterboat Sunday when visitors will be able to see one of the oldest lobster boats around—the recently restored Friendship sloop Blackjack—and one of the newest, most fishing machines, the Osmond 49 Claire Elizabeth.
The show also devotes a healthy percentage of its display space to the home side of things.
“New for 2018 is a section we’re calling Life at Home,” Hanson said. Nearby, volunteers from the Midcoast Chapter of Habitat for Humanity will be building a tiny home on site and there will be home-oriented exhibitors and displays throughout the grounds as well.
Gates open at 10 a.m. daily for the three-day show. Admission is $15 for an adult ticket that is good for all three days. Kids under 12 get in free. Special Access Passes, which include parking and other perks, are also available.
For information and to purchase tickets, visit maineboats.com/boatshow or call 800-565-4951.