No Fluke

Rhode Island Boat Show continues to grow


Debbie and Russell Wood of Wood Boat & Motor, Warwick are hardworking business people. And, they are smart business people dedicated to promoting the Ocean State. They were smart to continue the tradition of a winter boat show, the Rhode Island Boat Show, held this weekend at the Convention Center in Providence. I am a Rhode Island fishing and boating advocate and was proud to hear these two entrepreneurs jumped on board a couple of years ago to continue a tradition that was dying after the RI Marine Trades Association abandon the boat show. Russell and Debbie Wood jumped on board to continue the tradition with some great personal sacrifice and business risk.

Our state’s boating industry needs to jump on board and support this show with enthusiasm. This year it grew by 43 percent, that’s 43 percent more exhibitors than last year. No doubt it is still a small show but the spirit of the show continues to push the event and industry forward in Rhode Island. Each year the show has shown improvement in the number of exhibitors, attendees and sales.

This weekend sales were good. “We had one exhibitor sell over twenty jet skis in the first two days. And this is the first year for pontoon boats at the show and that exhibitor has sold eight vessels so far,” said Debbie Wood.  “This is a buyers show, those hear are serious buyers,” added Russell Wood.

To be successful marketing Rhode Island as the Ocean State with its beautiful coastline, bays, range of boating experiences, and arguably the best fishing in the northeast, we need to continue to make believers out of the people that live here in Rhode Island. Our residents need to be good boating and fishing ambassadors as they become our best sales agents to promote Rhode Island boating and fishing to other states and nations. The boat show fosters a positive boating business tone and helps us all to become boating ambassadors of the Ocean State.

At 3 p.m. on Sunday you didn’t need to convince Lydia Pires of the value of the Boat Show as she was called by Jack Martone, show director, to inform her that she was the winner of a 17.5 foot Carolina Skiff, complete with 70 horsepower Suzuki Outboard and matching trailer. Pires won the $25,000 package for entering a drawing at the boat show contributed by Rhode Island Boat Show sponsors Suzuki Outboard, Carolina Skiff Boats and Wood Boat & Motor, Inc.

Innovations at the Boat Show

There was a lot I liked at the boat show but Smart Mooring from Bristol was an innovation that turned my head.  Smart Mooring is the first of its kind mooring that brings your boat to you, whether on shore or at your dock.  

The Smart Mooring is solar powered, GPS enhanced with a mobile app, features remote recharging and can act as a power boost for boat batteries. Here’s how it works… a chain runs from your mooring anchor to Smart Mooring that floats on the surface.  The chain passes though the floating unit and back down to the seabed to a second anchor close to shore or your dock. Smart Mooring moves itself and the boat along the chain line to bring your boat to shore (or dock). When finished boating it will bring the boat back out to deeper water to the mooring field.

A 3/8” chain option for boats up to 26 feet and a ½” inch chain option is available for boats up to 37 feet. For information visit or contact Leonora Valvo, Director of Marine Technology at

Angler regulations to be discussed

Now is the time to express your point of view on proposed fishing regulations. A workshop will be held Thursday, January 9, 5 p.m. at the URI Bay Campus Coastal Institute Building, South Ferry Road Narragansett.  A second pre-hearing workshop on striped bass well be held at the same location on Monday, January 13.

Fishery Management Plan requirements and 2020 proposed management considerations will be discussed on January 9 for recreational summer flounder, black sea bass, scup, bluefish and tautog. Commercial tautog, skate and monkfish aggregate possession limits will also be addressed at the meeting.

Recalibrated recreational harvest data and stock assessments on important recreational species such as black sea bass, summer flounder and blue fish have shown that recreational anglers are catching fish at a much higher rate than originally thought and therefore new proposed catch limits are lower than most anglers expected.  So it is important for anglers to attend to get an understanding of how regulations for 2020 are being impacted.

The striped bass workshop will cover new regulations and conservation equivalency proposals being considered.

Anglers are urged to attend and express their point of view on proposal options and inquire about other options that could be reviewed at a subsequent public hearing.

The public hearing for all above species is scheduled for Feb. 10. For additional information visit and click through to the Public Meetings/Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council.

Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association, the American Saltwater Guides Association and the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at or visit and his blog at                                    

Dave Monti

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