Lake Arrowhead Boat Show Success, In Spite of Clouds and Wind - Mountain News : News

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Lake Arrowhead Boat Show Success, In Spite of Clouds and Wind

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Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2019 9:00 am | Updated: 9:58 am, Fri May 24, 2019.

Launching 40 new boats on Friday was so well organized that it seemed too easy. Rick Reisenhofer, Lake Safety Supervisor for Arrowhead Lake Association (ALA) did a tremendous job of detailed planning.  Most of the boats were new and had never been in the water, so they passed inspection quickly. The boats that needed to be decontaminated were inspected and cleaned efficiently.

At the launch ramp, there were a few hiccups, like a dead battery, a stripped drain plug and a disconnected hose which caused some flooding in the hull. Obviously, professionals need a pre-launch checklist, too.

Boat trailers were stored on commercial lots owned by Clark Hahne, behind Hahne’s office and on Bill Moller’s lot, which is the future location of a Union 76 gas station and car wash at 333 St. Hwy 173. Other trailers were stored at Burnt Mill Beach Club, owned by ALA. There was a cooperative spirit among the three major sponsors, which included ALA, the Village and the Mountain News.

Angela McCaskell volunteered to work at the ALA launch ramp with the ALA team. She answered questions and directed boat dealers to the office to obtain their official ALA Boat Operators license.

Saturday morning I arrived at the ALA docks behind McDonalds at 7 a.m. It was clear, sunny and warming up nicely. By 9 a.m., I had to put my down-vest back on as the clouds began to move across the lake. By 10 a.m., the wind picked up, but Village Cove was somewhat sheltered by the tall pines to the north.

Despite the adverse weather conditions the docks filled with boating enthusiasts and they kept arriving all day long. There were on-the-water trials and some buyers wanted to see if the pontoon would fit into their dock before making the final decision to buy. Of course it fit.  Pontoons look bigger, but they are all standard width.

Grandparents wanting to make summer dreams come true with their families were eager to trade up or buy their first boat. Fisherman, water skiers and cruisers all had dreams to fulfill. It was gratifying for me to experience their joy of boating.

Pontoon boats dominated the agendas of the Lake Arrowhead Boat shoppers. In addition to being practical and spacious, they can be equipped with powerful outboard motors. For the off-season, some pontoon owners have chosen to have their boat shrink-wrapped and towed back to their dock for the winter because outboards do not require winterizing. Many take delivery without a trailer because it is meant to be used exclusively on Lake Arrowhead.  Discuss these options with a boat dealer before deciding what is right for you.

Wakeboarders and skiers had a choice among MasterCraft, Nautique, Tige, MB, Malibu & Axis and Sanger. Supra & Moomba didn’t make it to the show because they were already sold out.  Many of the tow boats looked like works of hi-tech art that should be displayed in a museum.  So people commented about the luxurious interiors and the gorgeous designs and posed for selfies in the boats.

The new Bryant got a lot of attention for its quality, design and value. Of course, Cobalt’s have been a popular brand on the lake for years. Crownline and Sea Ray offered some great deals, too.

On land, All American Dock Pros and Kiwi Docks met old and new customers to discuss all their dock and pier needs. Aaron Lawler, owner of All American, rebuilt and painted the Village docks to look like new in time for the boat show. I heard Kiwi has summer trailer storage available.  There was also a display of pre-owned boats presented by Inland Boat Center along the shoreline.

I enjoyed pacing the dock all day, striking up conversations with readers of the Mountain News and the UPDATE magazine. Their comments give me a reason to keep coming to work and be their advocate for the lake and all the ALA members who enjoy boating.

I took the last shuttle to get a bag of Rotary dogs from my wife’s booth. The hot dogs were a big hit back at the Boat Show. It was so busy, nobody had taken a lunch break.

Even though we packed up the Boat Show an hour early, many of the boat dealers were grateful for the ALA members they met at the Boat Show and who were seriously intent on buying a boat before the July 4th fireworks display over Lake Arrowhead.

The wind was relentless and increased to the point where the Rotary Art & Wine Shuttle boats canceled all departures from the Village to Tavern Bay by 2 p.m. Unfortunately, the wind reached gale force at Tavern Bay and literally blew the Art & Wine Festival away. The Rotarians canceled Sunday, picked up the pieces and returned the artists money. It was a shame, the Rotarians plan and work so hard organizing the annual Festival. Hopefully, their next community fundraising event will enjoy perfect weather.

The weather forecast got worse Saturday night. On Sunday morning, we agreed to cancel the Boat Show and move the boats off the lake. The problem was the visibility in the fog was down to about 30 feet. Greg Daily from the ALA lake safety office came to the rescue. He had been rehearsing for just such an event. With a GPS and flashing amber lights atop his boat, he guided groups of five boats at a time across the lake to the launch ramp.

“I’d rather guide them than go hunt for them in the fog,” Daily said.

On Monday morning, I took photos of snow on the few boats left overnight at the Village docks.  All’s well that ended well. Everybody was safe and sound with many new boats to be delivered to Lake Arrowhead by June. Most of all, I had fun.

Thank you to the entire community who contributed to the Boat Show. This was our twelfth show and the only year in which the weather was uncooperative. Mark your calendars for May 15 and 16, 2020. See you on the lake.

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