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Montreal boat show features the latest in water vehicles

BY Prem Lee Prasannan Apr 11, 2023

Companies from around the world showcased hundreds of vessels – from the million-dollar boats to small dinghies – at the Montreal International Boat Show February 9-12. This family friendly exhibition at the Palais des Congrès gave visitors a close look at rare and pricy exhibits from popular world-class brands. 

With the warmer months fast approaching, boat owners and new customers are getting prepared for the upcoming boating season. The boat event was an opportunity for visitors to compare the many marine products being marketed. Plus, they could attend free on-site workshops and presentations from the manufacturers.

From deck boats to pontoons to small fishing boats, the dealerships at the venue offered great tips about their buying incentives and the cost of owning one of these fabulous machines.

The fishing, hunting and trapping sector in Canada contributes $1.13 billion to the national economy, and marine manufacturers are all in to get their market share.

A range of sport-fishing products with the latest gear and modern electronics were displayed, specific to lakes and rivers. Some of these boats were designed to catch specific fish species. If you are considering buying a boat, you need to know where to use the specific boat types, in deep lakes or shallow water, and the type of fish expected in the water.

The Princecraft Starfish base model, starting at $7,822, is a five-person aluminum utility boat, and can handle an outboard engine ranging from 15 to 40hp. The top end Platinum SE 227 starts at $111,005, comes with a range of hull and deck functions and other fishing features. It includes a multifunction touch screen with VesselView Link instrumentation display, GPS functions, sonar and DownScan imaging. Supposedly, aluminum boats with high free boards work better in unpredictable weather and water.

The Tahoe Sport Series showed an interesting lineup, with luxury, style and performance. With comfortable seating, decent storage and advanced instrumentation, it caught the attention of visitors. The entire sport boat series from T16 to 210 Si Limited, all looked sporty and with decent deck space to enjoy the warm sunny days.

The baseline Tahoe T16 came with a standard 7-inch touchscreen multifunction display of GPS-accurate speed, water depth, and the motor’s vitals. It has twin forward lounges, ample under-seat storage and boasts good fuel performance.

The top-end Tahoe 210 Si Limited brings the sporting experience to the next level. It offers soft-touch flooring and amble power delivery without compromising the economic angle. The new 8” touchscreen multifunction display unit keeps tabs on all vital data.

The inflatable Suzuki Suzumar MS-250-OKIB starts at $3,296 and is available in 2.4m and 3.2m lengths. The floor and keel have a solid feel and are designed to enable more speed and comfort. It is perfect for fishing or exploration without worrying about towing or heavy trailer transporting. When you’re ready to pack up for the day, you can store it in a travel bag and put it in your trunk. The Suzumar is powered by Suzuki engines that feature enhanced performance and efficiency.

It comes with a seat, oar locks, oars, plus hand holds, lifting handles, mooring rope, and other accessories. This solid five-layer construction is easy to set up, disassemble and transport. It can be deflated and folded into a carry bag and when you are ready to put it back into the water, use a handy foot pump to bring it back to its normal form.

If you are looking for a lighter tow, then the Suzumar MX-380-ORAB D/H is a more impressive inflatable product priced at $20,040. It has a 3.86m deep V-hull and features an offset centre console to maximize space for a more generous seating area. This model offers greater fuel efficiency and is easy to launch and operate.

Lund displayed its core fishing models, Bass and Crappie and other utility and hunting boats. The moderate Angler starts at $17,777 and goes all the way up to the high-end luxury class Baron, at nearly 23 feet long and a 400-max horsepower for serious fishing dudes to hover in large lakes, price tagged at $97,987. It claims to be perfect for big-water fishing to catch salmon trout or walleye.

In the deck boat category, the Princecraft Ventura 23 RL is quite spacious and starts at $89,246; this 23ft aluminum deck boat comfortably seats up to 11 people and can be powered by an engine ranging from 150 to 250hp. With its generous space and lounge seats, it is ideal for fishing or simply cruising.

The Tracker Targa V-19 WT seemed well built to fish in big waters. The wraparound walk-thru windshield looks nice and gives added protection. The large 47-gallon fuel tank can keep enough juice to give you long trips. It also has extra-wide gunnels with storage inside.

In the pontoon boat collections, the 27ft Princecraft Vogue 27 XT was stunning with all the comfort and convenience one needs. It has advanced instrumentation and even includes a wireless smartphone charger, cup holder modules and USB ports. Spend $127,454 for a 450hp engine, and you can easily organize a party with up to 13 friends.

Also, the G3 SunCatcher Pontoons series comes with good quality creature comforts, advanced Garmin electronics, and a top-end entertainment system with a subwoofer.

In the big boat class, the award-winning design from Marex showcased its largest seaworthy Marex 375. It has two large seating areas and gives the passengers a yacht experience.

The presence of the Italian company Italmar made the event truly international. They boast expertise in the pleasure boat sector. The AS 26 GL is well designed with all essential amenities and an Italian touch to its accessories.

The show also presented smaller water sporting equipment like Yamaha Sea-Doos and Happy Cat surfboards, and easily transportable catamarans. Overall, the boating event gave businesses and customers a jumpstart on the upcoming new season.

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Prem Lee Prasannan has a passion for green technology. He has been a freelance writer since 2011 with a special focus on electric vehicles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering and currently works at Air Canada.