Vendor Conversations at the Seattle boat show

A boat show is always fun. For me this, this was like going to the local shopping mall on a weekend when I was a teenager: friends abound.

I haven’t felt as  much a part of the boating community and Seattle as the first two hours of the show when I ran into personal friends and vendor friends (Eli at Fisheries and Diana at Captain’s to mention two).

I spent some time speaking to reps at electronics companies about software MFDs (multi-functional displays). The reps at traditional vendors basically looked at me like was ill-informed and a novice, which is never pleasant. But then they’re sales reps.

Cy, the marketing guy at RosePoint software, the makers of Coastal Explorer, immediately understood what I was speaking about. He said Rose Point had the product under development and asked if I would like to be a beta tester…They’re about 8 miles from here in Redmond.

The Rose Point NEMO box is the first step for a PC-based solution, or any solution taking NEMA 2000 and 0183 devices and making them accessible on Ethernet. A great step forward. (The website says it will be released in spring 2016, though there is a Blog post from some saying they were installing it, which I cannot find again.)

The Nemo translation box.
The Nemo translation box.

Most of the boxes and apps that I am looking at are WiFi only and will work either as a router or connect via a router (witness the Vesper XB-8000). I personally have stopped thinking in terms of cabling. Nemo requires an external router, Wifi to achieve wireless, or an ethernet router for cabling. I think part of the raison d’être of this box it to get that data into their Coastal Explorer app (which is applauded by everyone I know who knows the product and the company).

The downside to Coastal Explorer is that their products are 100% Windows. They have great support for the Windows Surface tablet as well. I can run their software in emulation on my Mac, but I would personally like a broader platform palette. (It’s difficult to do so, I do understand the difficulties in port, emulate, or rewrite. Each with its upside and downside.) mentions the NEMO in one of their official documents. These are some links: Rose Point web site and the Coastal Explorer website.

The people I would also like to look into a software MFD are the people at Pocket Mariner. They write quite nice, very affordable software and are a good portion of the way there with AIS overlays and the ability to read PGNs over WiFi.

One note on the new, very wide transom boats I am visiting on the in-the-water portion of these shows: They all look principally alike down below.

I’ll update this post with a link to an article in one of the major pubs that argues that these boats that carry they’re maximum beam so far aft sail, when healed and close hauled, with the bow point downward, rather than in the line of travel. The Jenneau sales guy convincingly told me that there was no truth in this, basically insinuating that no designer would design such a thing. Does anyone know differently?

I’ll hunt up the reference.


Comment to vendors I’ve worked many dozens of trade shows. I don’t understand reps who are too busy speaking to colleagues to speak to me, or when they make eye contact with me do not engage me. When I make contact with a vendor I want to speak with the vendor. When they break eye contact and look away, I figure they don’t really want my business and walk away. A little hurt, I must admit. It does the vendor no good. But then at the consumer level trade shows, that rep is not compensated for sales that come from the show, unlike commercial big-ticket-item trade shows. So I guess for the rep at a consumer trade show it doesn’t really matter, does it?

Author: johnjuliano

One-third owner of Caro Babbo, co-captain and in command whenever Caro Babbo is under sail.

One thought on “Vendor Conversations at the Seattle boat show”

  1. John, I speak only for myself here. When a rep at the shows, the reps I brought with me were reminded that they represented the company and it’s image. That was what 50 -60 years ago? Today some things seem different but in reality they’re not. “You wear the badge, you are the company.” No matter who gets the sales.
    Knowing you, I’m sure that’s what’s surprising you about the “New” “Company Rep”

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