Seattle Boat Show

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We’re rarely in town for the Seattle Boat Show, and have only attended one or two in the past decade. Recent events have held the in-water portion at Lake Union, but this year it was at our old home port of Bell Harbor Marina. This venue worked well for us because it’s only a 10-minute walk from our apartment and an easy 30-minute walk to the main event at Lumen Field, compared to an hour from Lake Union.

After touring the boats at the floating portion of the show, we walked to Lumen Field for the main event. The show felt a lot quieter than past years, but that may be partly due to our attending on the final day. Of the several boats we toured, we walked through a Northern Marine which is a super strong, ocean capable trawler and, at the other end of the spectrum, the Ranger tugs, which are compact but perhaps the world’s best at utilizing space.

Below are highlights from February 9th, 2022. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a map with our most recent log entries always is available at

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Seattle Boat Show
At the floating portion of the Seattle Boat Show in Bell Harbor Marina.
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Mercury Verado
Quadruple Mercury Verado 300 HP engines, for a whopping 1,200 HP, powering an Invincible 39-ft Open Fisherman at the Seattle Boat Show. This style of quadruple engines is common in Florida, but still a rare sight in Seattle.
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1200 HP
Another 1,200HP Invincible Open Fisherman at the Seattle Boat Show, this one 36-ft with Triple Mercury Verado 400 HP engines.
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The beautiful and expansive salon on a Fountaine Pajot MY6 power catamaran. We loved the layout, but 21.6 ft (6.60 m) is a lot of beam.
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Northern Marine
A 57-foot (17.3m) Northern Marine at the Seattle Boat Show. The vessels are built in nearby Anacortes with a similar design-point as Nordhavn: a well-appointed power cruiser capable of crossing oceans.
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Bell Harbor Marina
Our old slip at Bell Harbor Marina, one pier to the left of where the blue-hulled boat is moored. Dirona departed from here in September of 2012 for San Francisco at the start of our trip around the world.
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Main Floor
After touring the boats at the floating portion of the Seattle Boat Show, we walked to Lumen Field for the main event. The show felt a lot quieter than past years, but that may be partly due to our attneding on the final day.
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Sea Legs
We first came across Sealegs amphibious boats in Australia, where we watched in amazement as one rode up out of the water and onto the beach. We later came to know the company through correspondence with their former salesman Ted Dixon, who later purchased Nordhavn 47 Southern Star.
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Pay ‘N Pak
The Pride of Pay ‘N Pak U-1 unlimited class hydroplane, with its revolutionary horizontal wing, won the 1973-1974 national championship. The home improvement store chain Pay ‘N Pak sponsored a series of highly competitive boats from the 1960s to the early 1980s, including the first to win with a turbine-powered engine.
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Foil Board
A Kalama foil board on display at the Seattle Boat Show. Foiling technology is spreading into all forms of water sports.
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Ranger Tug
We’ve always liked the Ranger Tug line of power cruisers, built locally in Auburn, WA. The designers do an incredible job of packing all kinds of innovative features into a small space, producing a boat that feels much bigger and versatile than its size and we always spend a ton of time touring them at any boat show we attend.

They are an ideal craft to do the Great Loop, a system of internal waterways circling the eastern US, where the lowest non-opening bridge is 19.6 ft (6m). We designed Dirona with a folding stack specifically to clear that bridge (see pictures at 5263 Delivery).

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map. And a map of our most recent log entries always is available at


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2 comments on “Seattle Boat Show
  1. John Schieffelin says:

    I’ll take some issue with your assertion that the Ranger Tugs are perfect for the Great Loop. When I traversed the Erie Canal in a 35-foot Albin, I was grateful for the wide side decks in locks. The side decks on the Ranger Tugs are really skimpy, not great in locks where you are pressed close to the lock walls and not safe for seniors in any sort of rolly conditions. But they are cute boats and offer a lot of space for people UNDER 6’1″ tall.

    You are right about triple and quad outboards in Florida — I live on the ICW and half the center consoles zipping by have three or four big Mercs or Yammies strapped to the transom. In fact I am considering buying a boat equipped with triple Yamaha 300’s. Good speed, great reliability, joysticks ease of control, noise and vibration all aft, no through hulls, lots of pluses.

    • Thanks for your perspective John. I think it’s pretty close to a universal truth that no boat is truly optimized for sufficiently general set of missions. We’ve never seen a boat that does everything we want — invariably there are compromises. Our 52′ Nordhavn was an amazing boat taking us around the world but it was less comfortable in tight waterways like the canals between Amsterdam and Brussels and is unable to pass through some of the European canals we were interested in exploring. It’s a great boat but not a great boat for every possible mission.

      We would love to have a high speed multi-engine small cruiser for inland cruising. We would love a 60′ ocean crosser like a Nordhavn for high latitude cruising and ocean crossing. We think a multi-engine center console would be just plain fun but it probably wouldn’t work as our only boat. We’re interested in catamarans of different sizes but they don’t seem to scale down well so most of the really nice configurations seem bigger than we want.

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