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Highlights of the 2011 Newport RI Boat Show

November 1, 2011

Highlights of the 2011 Newport RI Boat Show

The 2011 Newport Boat Show

You are probably like most boaters who consider attending, or plan to attend, or actually visit one of the many boat shows that travel up and down the US coasts every fall.  The three most popular shows in the east are those in Miami FL, Annapolis, MD and Newport RI. We had a chance to tour the Newport show last month and, like every other boater, searched for items that would provide us with a combination of thrills, chills, and ways to avoid spills (or in other words, boats and new stuff for boats that are more than “cool”, and provided added value in terms of safety or enjoyment).

Newport’s docks were filled with both new and “experienced” vessels for sale. Exhibitors,

Part of the 2011 Newport Boat Show's lecture Series schedule

both on and near the water, were plentiful. Many familiar exhibitors were present and, pleasantly, a variety of new faces and ideas were on display. NFTB is pleased to bring you a flavor of the Newport Boat Show (see accompanying photos), along with a review of two items discovered at the show that we feel are worth purchasing.  These two items were chosen because they are basic boating  products and either re-invented and sold at a lower cost than competitors (Spiroll Chafe Guard) or offered at a lower price than previously available (“The Rope Store”). New products that offer quality at a reduced cost will no doubt be of interest to every boater.

Discount Nautical Rope

Norm Grant owns “The Rope Store” located in Ontario, Canada. Norm sold his rope manufacturing companies a few years ago (located in the US and Canada) and retired after a 30-year career dedicated to manufacturing and selling rope. He now manufactures and sells rope as a hobby at his factory in Trenton, Ontario.

Norm Grant of the Rope Store

Norm uses the latest high-speed rope manufacturing equipment, and nylon from Firestone, to produce nautical rope in a variety of types and colors. Special orders often include unique color combinations, custom ropes, splicing (onto old and new hardware), and the creation of running rigging, varieties of sailboat rigging, and mooring pennants.

All items exported to the US qualify under the NAFTA free trade agreement, so no duty or border fees apply. No sales tax is charged for items brought into the US. Payment arrangements are through any major credit card or Pay Pal on-line. The Canadian dollar is currently equal to the US dollar, therefore no price adjustments are required when ordering from the company’s Canadian website. Items are shipped via UPS and arrive in 2-3 days. While the cost of shipping may diminish any tax-free benefit, shipping fees are routinely waived for  “boat show special” orders.

Examples of Ropes available from The Rope Store

Prices appear to be 30% to 50% less than those charged by major US retailers. Norm reports that most orders are placed on-line via the company’s website. Special order items can be arranged either by phone or email. A majority of customers are located in the US, but ropes are shipped regularly all over the world.

Norm and The Rope Store can be contacted as follows:



Tel: 866-609-2468

Durable, Easy to Apply Chafe Guard

Mark O’Donnell is the inventor of Spiroll Chafe Guard, and owns the company that

Mark O'Donnell, inventor of Spiroll Chafe Guard

manufacturers this unique product. The concept began as a term paper, the goal of which was to design a hypothetical product for Mark’s masters program in engineering. As a rock climber who used various materials to protect rope edges, Mark developed chafe protection using several types of flexible plastics. The current product emerged after successes in tooling and testing. Boaters who discovered and used the climbing product to protect dock lines prompted Mark to develop chafe protection for larger lines, including those used in the boating industry.

Spiroll Chafe Guard at the 2011 Newport Boat Show

Initial tests on lobster boats and large vessels anchored year ‘round provided the opportunity

One-year (right) and four-year (left) test samples of Spiroll Chafe Guard

to conduct real-life torture tests. Data on one-year and four-year old dock lines were collected in actual field conditions. “We concluded that at one year the Chafe Guard’s exterior begins to take a beating while the inner layer remains untouched. At four years it has definitely taken a beating but for the most part is still worthy, and has not been compromised.” After four years the lines under the chafe guard material were, according to Mark, “untouched”, who adds “and although conditions are going to vary, the average boater at a dock or a mooring, with occasional storms, is going to find that our chafe guard lasts a long time.”

Mark and his Spiroll Chafe Guard company are located in Andover, Massachusetts. They can be contacted as follows:


Tel: 888-621-5152

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