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On the water -- A show to get powered up about

May 06, 2002

June Casagrande

Organizers of the largest in-water boat show in the West are declaring

success for their innovative idea to separate the sailboats from the

power boats.

Boat lovers who showed up at the Newport Dunes Resort and Marina for

the Newport In-Water Boat Show, which ended Sunday, got an eyeful of

impressive power boats -- from some compact and efficient fishing vessels

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to some eye-popping yachts. But that's not all, those who wanted it also

got a free ride on a double-decker bus to the Newport Harbor Nautical

Museum, where more than 50 sailboats were on display.

"The sailboats can't get under the bridge, but we want them to have a

spot in the show," said boat show organizer Duncan McIntosh, who

explained that the Dunes Lagoon can be accessed by water only by going

under the Coast Highway bridge. "It's been working pretty well."

Don Franken, also a planner and promoter for the show, said the

experiment with the split exhibit could allow the boat show to grow

indefinitely.

"It's only about a six-minute ride, unless they're stopping off for a

drink at a bar," Franken joked. The bus stops only at the two boat show

sites. "Really, though, we've been trying to expand the show and this

looks like a way to make it work."

The Newport In-Water Boat Show just wrapped up its 29th year -- its

biggest ever with 360 boats in the water (an increase of 15% from last

year), including 150 vessels 40 feet or larger, and with 16% of

additional dock space. In fact, the sailboats at the nautical museum were

attached to a portable dock set up there just for them.

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