On September 29, 2012, I loaded my suitcase, books, and cooler into my car, then started on my journey to Louisville, KY where IBEX was being held this year. The journey was supposed to be just a little under 1000 miles from door to door. I opted to take my time and drove all the way there without paying tolls – time wise it was foolish, but I had the time and prefer driving the secondary highways.
My first stop was in Willington, CT where United Congregational Church was offering free coffee, soda, juice, donuts, hot dogs, and brownies as a good faith jester to keep drivers awake. They had a good little business going and people were donating for their food.
The next stop was in PA at a rest area to check out how far until I reached the Ohio border. I still had two, maybe three hours to drive. The woman at the visitor center gave me a book for coupons to use and a list of hotels/inns along the way. Three hours later, exhausted, I stopped at another rest area.
IBEX (International Boatbuilder’s Exhibition and Conference)
IBEX is owned and produced by Professional Boatbuilder Magazine and National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). The show ran for three days from October 2, 2012 to October 4, 2012.
Manufacturers from all over the world come to this, many displaying products for the first time. The overall consensus from the exhibitors was mixed; a few felt this show was the best in two years. I found it actually depended on the product and what people were looking for. What was really nice was meeting a lot of the resources in my book Boating Secrets: 127 Top Tips to Help You Buy and/or Enjoy Your Boat. It brought a whole new meaning to it [the book and interviews].
Roughly 100 different seminars were held throughout the three days, each lasting 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Topics ranged from Vacuum Bag Basics to Getting the Most Out of Your PR Efforts.
Here’s a few of the exhibitors I had a chance to talk with:
Quality Thread & Notions Co – Celebrating 90 years of service. Michael Sandercock was at the show to display some of their new threads.
Pettite Paint – Manufactures and markets marine coatings both American made and complete line of high performance. Bob Harris was on site for questions.
My-villages – This company has a new product coming out sometime in December 2012. Bob Beckley was kind enough to give me a demo and their product is impressive. But I was sworn to secrecy until they’re ready to tell the media, then the world. Once I hear more, I’ll let you know.
Mercury Marine – These guys have a new app for iPhones called Ship’s Log which looks pretty cool. Louis Miller and Kevin Hellman spent time demoing the Ship’s Log on Kevin’s phone and answering my questions. Unfortunately, this app is not available for Androids.
Just Ducky Products – This company is not at all what the name implies. Owner, Deborah Dershem was on site displaying the perfect bungee, dog collars, and leashes. Their products are made to last; they won’t break or dry rot, and will always remain stretchy.
Corsa – Until IBEX I never knew who made the loud exhaust systems for boats. Now I know. Jeff Post showed me the advanced 3-D Modeling Corsa uses with boat builders to ensure a seamless fit into the engine system, boat deck and hull. They create the “perfect” level of sound boaters want.
Taylor Made – Taylor Made’s famous mermaid boat fenders turned 40 and went pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness. At IBex they [Taylor Made] also introduced an upgraded, enhanced version of their Edge Windshield System.
Orion – Kerry Stark spent some time going over the various first aid kits and other marine safety products Orion supplies.
Jabsco – Jabsco displayed a variety of products such as: HotShot Series washdown pumps, solid-state water sensing technology in their bilge pumps that eliminate a separate float switch, multi-function “one touch” electrically operated marine toilets.