With seminars, gear and boats galore, a walk through the Seattle Boat Show is always a great time for every boater from novice to old salt, but the question for many who attend the show every year is, “What’s new?”

While finding exactly what’s new can be somewhat of a moving target, I spent the better part of Tuesday morning at the show looking for new products and for things that simply piqued my interest. The show runs through Saturday, so you may want to check these things out (if you already haven’t) or find things that are new and interesting to you.

Here’s a quick rundown of what I found:

Refrigerator Optimizer


When inquiring about what’s new at this year’s show, multiple people pointed me in the direction of Sure Marine and a new Refrigerator Optimizer that is being sold at their booth (East 1101). Created by Seattle liveaboard Arvid Elias, the Refrigerator Optimizer is designed and built to, as Arvid put it, “Make your onboard refrigeration as efficient as a household fridge.”

The Optimizer helps to eliminate hot and cold spots, reduces your energy consumption, automatically defrosts and provides exact temperatures and humidity levels for your fridge. Most onboard refrigerator compressors and boxes and can be fitted with the unit, and Arvid gave me a quick demo on how installation works — which seemed pretty simple. There is quite a nice boat show discount on the unit, too. And here’s a nice write-up on Arvid and his wife Annika from panbo.com.

Seattle Boat Company’s Virtual Reality

Enjoying the virtual reality experience
Enjoying the virtual reality experience

It is hard to miss Seattle Boat Company’s expansive display on the main floor of the show inside CenturyLink Event Center (West 51). And what I found at the center of all their shinny new boats was a very cool virtual reality experience that they created. Using GoPro cameras on a cold but sunny January day, SBC team-members shot footage of a boat being launched at their facility on Lake Union, heading through the Montlake Cut and out onto Lake Washington.

The experience was surprisingly authentic, as you are offered 360 degree views from inside the boat as well as up and down. At one point, another boat comes racing by and crosses in front of you, and you can actually feel the wake they leave. This is worth checking out.

Sirius Signal Electronic Flare


Ok, so this new product got me at, “Never buy flares again!” Seriously? Seriously. The Sirius Signal Electronic Flare complies with USCG requirements as a “Night Visual Distress Signal,” as found in the Code of Federal Regulations. Found at the Captain’s Nautical Supply booth (Concourse 2240), Owner Jim Wheat told me it has been one of the hottest sellers of the show — which makes sense.

Running off three, C-cell batteries, this non-pyrotechnic floating signal flare turns on with a twist and has no expiration date. A daytime distress signal flag comes with it and fulfills all USCG federal requirements for day use in lieu of traditional flares. Buy this and you’ll “Never buy flares again!”

Point 65 N Modular Kayaks

Touring, recreational and SUP modular boats are all available
Touring, recreational and SUP modular boats are all available

Point 65 N Kayaks of Sweden has an entire line of recreational, fishing and touring kayaks, SUPs and paddles to choose from, but what caught my attention at the Mountain to Sound Outfitters booth (North 142) was how the boats can be assembled and disassembled, and how the parts can fit inside one another.

As a cruiser who has a kayak aboard (and loves it), what instantly came to mind was how easy these boats might be able to store on the deck of a sail or powerboat, in a car, storage locker or garage. The boats are connected with their patented Point 65 Snap-TAP technology that quickly and snuggly locks them together. Also, an air seat on the touring kayak (the blue one above) allows you to adjust the comfort of your seat as you paddle.

EFOY powers the Fisheries Supply booth


Walk up to the Fisheries Supply booth (which spans both sides of the aisle at Concourse 2208/2108) and you’ll notice all their usual product displays. But what doesn’t immediately jump out is that one side of the booth is being powered entirely by the EFOY Comfort Fuel Cell. Hooked to a house battery similar to what you’d find on a boat, the EFOY is powering banks of light displays and overhead lighting.

Given the EFOY’s capabilities, the fact that the unit is powering half of Fisheries’ booth isn’t all that remarkable in and of itself, but that they went to the length of setting it up for the show and actually having it run something is pretty cool. To read Marty McOmber’s test of the EFOY unit on his Passport 40 Meridian, go here.


What have you found at this year’s Seattle Boat Show that is new or interesting?

4 Replies to “Finding new and interesting things at the Seattle Boat Show”

  1. Regarding the Sirrus Electronic Signal Flare is it 1:1 for USCG APPROVAL. In other words will I need three of these devices to be USCG compliant?

    Thanks…. Fun Show

    1. Good question. I asked the USCG Auxiliary guys the same thing and they said it replaces all flares (though I’m still looking for a stronger confirmation on this). The thing is, it’s not yet certified in Canada so if you’re going back and forth you still need to have the requisite number of flares for Canadian waters.

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