When the nation's winter boat show season opens this week in New York—to be followed by some 70 other shows from Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Roseburg, Ore.—yachtsmen, boat buyers and curious landlubbers in the millions will turn out to indulge in the harmless vice of boat watching. But, as Artist Marc Simont shows here and on subsequent pages, the most fascinating pastime at any boat show is people watching
While the would-be master surveys the controls of his dream ship, the real captain inspects her headquarters, the galley, peering hopefully into cupboards and crannies for reassuring signs of familiar domestic props.
Conspicuous consumers, insulated from the herd by glass, gunwale-to-gunwale carpeting and the $80,000 it takes to buy the boat, turn a regal ear to an attendant's modest spiel at their private appointment.
Siberia of the exhibit halls, the upper floors, are inhabited only by specialty-seekers, lonely salesmen, inquisitive little boys and their enduring mothers. The mother shown here does not care about display of flagstaff sockets; all she wants is a place to sit down.
Oilskin hats, stretch pants, motorcycle boots and come-hither smiles lure many patrons who might otherwise have managed to navigate safely past the pamphlet table of the Hoboken Varnish exhibit.
Shopping for something snappy to one-up the neighbors at Schroon Lake next summer, two recruits in the army of new American boat buyers succumb to a salesman's glib take-it-for-a-spin attitude.
After four months' fretting—ever since the end of the racing season—a crew-cut skipper and his wife turn sharp weather eyes on a bulldog to replace the one that cost them a fourth place last Labor Day.
Wiped out by a severe attack of museum feet, a virus to which children apparently are immune, a weary father mulls the distance to the nearest bar while his sons decide which boat he must next inspect.