Because I live locally, and because it sounded like a nice way to spend the day with my little girl, I made the drive to downtown for the first day of the Los Angeles Boat Show on Thursday.
changes at the L.A. Boat Show, I knew the performance-boat draw was going to be less than usual. While it was noticeably down compared to five to 10 years ago, where custom powerboats were a major draw to the show, the good news is that the builders that were in attendance were optimistic.Obviously, since I wrote a story a couple of weeks ago about the
“Honestly things are a little more positive, I really feel that way,” said Jerry Barron of Hallett Boats. “I’ve been in this business so darn long—you just get feelings, you know? And it hasn’t felt good the past couple of years.”
Barron had two reasons to feel good as he stood between the company’s 290 V-bottom, which features a new Michael Peters-designed step bottom, and the drastically redesigned 285 Party Cruiser deck boat. The new dual-console 28-foot catamaran had sleek lines and, in typical Hallett fashion, appeared to be constructed to perfection.
“This is probably the happiest I’ve been with the design of a new boat,” said Barron, adding that he sold five 285s in the few weeks leading up to the show. “The boat is just incredible.
“Another endeavor Hallett has going on is that we’ve taken on the line of South Bay pontoon boats,” he added. “Many of our customers have gone that route. We researched all of the pontoon boats and obviously we wanted to find a company that can build the same type of quality product that we have. I think we found that in South Bay.”
Bob Leach, owner of Eliminator Boats, had four boats in his company’s booth, all of which were catamarans. The eye-candy boat of the bunch was the latest 27 Speedster, but the most newsworthy model was the new 27 Speed Deck—an open-bow/walk-through-style 27 Daytona catamaran with striking gelcoat graphics.
Check out the photos below for more coverage from the likes of Eliminator Boats, Essex Boats and Shockwave Custom Boats.
Photos by Jason Johnson. Click to enlarge