The Boat Show in the South Loop

The Boat Show in the South Loop
Boat Show Brochures photo/Bonnie McGrath

Everyone knows the Car Show at McCormick Place is a South Loop event.  But no one ever seems to talk about the Boat Show in the same place, just a few weeks before.  Why that is I can't figure out--because the South Loop contains and relates to and interacts with some of the best boat harbors in the City:  Monroe and Burnham.

I just visited the boat show over the weekend myself--for the first time since I moved to the South Loop in 1994.  So whatever keeps people from going was keeping me from going, too.  Maybe it's the PR.  They must not have enough.

In any case, I liked it.  It was worth the $12 admission.  I only visited for about an hour early Saturday evening.  But I saw a lot.  Picked up a lot of literature.  Wandered onto a lot of boats.  Boats that went from about $50,000 to well over a million smackers.  I didn't visit the ones that required the taking off of shoes.  Because I had a hole in one of my socks.  And I also didn't have enough time to keep taking my footwear off and putting it back on again.

One thing I did was sign up for a free subscription (one for me and one for my boyfriend Bruce) to Yachting Magazine.  Because we might buy a boat.  Especially after we visit the in-water boat show at the 31st Street harbor in June.  (Also a popular harbor for South Loopers, not to mention the place Burnham and Monroe harbor inhabitants were allowed to put their boats during NATO, when the former two had to be completely evacuated.)

I was surprised how much I really loved just the plain old power boats.  I always thought my life would be totally perfect if I had a yacht.  But for some reason, the yachts at the show didn't send me.  But the completely comfortable--lots of seating and lots of storage--but totally unprotected, bedroom-less boats I really liked.  They all have small heads (bathrooms), although it's a bit of a chore to get into them.  But I still liked them.  They also all have plenty of spots to store ice and provisions and other necessary gear.

I told Bruce the point of boating is being out in the water, out in the sun and the air.  Who needs a floating house, with mini-rooms, a teeny kitchen and cramped walkways?  Like a children's playhouse.  Why not just get a nice, cheap, roomy floating deck-type boat, load it with lots of food and drink (as I said, there is a head aboard them all) and invite friends to lounge around in the comfy, cozy seats?  Maybe go out in the middle of the lake and swim?  Or just talk?  Who needs to sleep on the darn thing in a room that feels like the walls are caving in on you?

If we park it at Burnham--which we will if we get one--why not just walk home and sleep under our high ceilings, revel in the use of a full-size bath?  And make use of the burglar alarm, totally fresh-made ice cubes--and the company of our cats?  Bruce said it sounded so good he'd like to park one in the middle of my living room.

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