VIDEO: Boutique boat show

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The fifth annual Essex Spring Boat Show returns to the Connecticut River in Essex, Conn., during the weekend of April 25-27.

The show brings together Soundings magazine, Brewer Dauntless Shipyard & Marina and Essex-based dealers and brokers Boatworks Yacht Sales, Eastland Yachts, Prestige Yacht Sales, Oyster Harbors Marine and Essex Marine Group.

More than 50 boats from 23 to 60 feet will be on display — sail and power, new and used. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at the Brewer Dauntless Marina at 9 Novelty Lane. Admission and parking are free.

“The show really is an effort on all our parts to bring boating traffic to Essex for the benefit of all involved. Primarily it is a show to promote the local brokerages and dealers,” says Doug Domenie, manager of the show and Brewer Dauntless Marina. “I have a fairly upbeat feeling as to where we are right now. I am seeing a nice flurry of interest in slips in Essex, and it seems the brokers are seeing some nice activity.”

Tom Pilkington, a broker with Prestige Yacht Sales, says the show has found a niche among buyers and browsers.

“In the past five years, we have seen an explosion of the ‘boutique boat show’ concept — intimate, smaller shows, less sales pressure, and lacking the hassles and expense to the customers spending the day at the show with their families,” Pilkington says.

“Spring shows also give customers that have not had the time to shop over the winter — or if the weather precluded them from traveling to look at boats — a great opportunity to shop for a boat that is available for the upcoming season.”

After a brutal winter in the Northeast, here’s to spring — and getting back on the water.