Nova Scotia show hopes to grow

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Fourth edition of this north-of-the-border exhibition will feature Maritime styling and local builders

Workboats and pleasure boats will once again meet July 23-25 at the fourth annual Nova Scotia In-Water Boat Show at Bishop's Landing in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The fourth annual Nova Scotia In-Water Boat Show runs July 23-25.

"Our show is very young and we are hoping to hold our own," says Tim Edwards, executive director of the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association, which is presenting the show. "We want to show Maritime-built or -restored boats that are a reflection of Maritime craftsmanship."

Edwards says the show had 22 boats up to 65 feet last year and organizers hope to have that many, if not more, on display this year. Attendees can expect to see vessels from local boatbuilders such as a 53-foot Kasten Marine Design motoryacht from YachtSmiths International Inc. in Dartmouth; a 14-foot Redden catboat from Mahone Bay Boatworks in Mahone Bay, and a couple of traditional dories from The Dory Shop in Lunenburg.

"I didn't want to create yet another traditional boat show. Who needs another one of those?" says Edwards. "We wanted to make this unique and feature not just pleasure boats, but fishing- and workboats as well."

Edwards attended the Maine Boatbuilders Show in Portland, Maine, in March, and uses the show's intimate setting and focus on individually crafted vessels as the inspiration for the boat show in Nova Scotia. The show debuted in 2007 as an exhibitor in the Mahone Bay Classic Boat Festival, but last year moved to a stand-alone event, says Edwards.

Edwards says last year's show, also in the downtown Halifax location, was a three-day event, but only saw about 300 visitors because it took place on a holiday weekend and was held "in the shadow of" a tall-ship parade and celebration.

With better dates and a more aggressive ad campaign, Edwards hopes to see at least 1,000 visitors this year. The show is also expanding its seminars and will add a fashion show featuring Helly Hansen clothing for boaters.

Admission is $5 and children under 12, accompanied by an adult, are free. For information, visit www.nsboats.com/content/boatshow.

This article originally appeared in the New England Home Waters Section of the June 2010 issue.