The Impact team just returned from the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Not only was it our first time exhibiting at Ft. Lauderdale, it was also the first show we’ve been able to attend since March due to the pandemic. And the verdict is in…

It. Was. Amazing. 

It inspired new product ideas for boat protection and custom order ideas that we can produce right now. (See below.)

Mountains to the Ocean

Traveling in the time of COVID definitely adds another layer to the experience. With multiple clean face masks and enough hand sanitizer to fuel a small nation, we left home ready to social distance and rejoice with our community of fellow boaters. 

We love our home base of Durango, Colorado. It’s where we live and where we make every single Impact fender and bumper. Our lakes are fantastic, mountain biking is world-class, and we can ski all winter long. But can we take a moment to geek out over how revitalizing it is to be at the ocean?

Fort Lauderdale, if you haven’t been there, is life on the water. Some people use their boats to run to the grocery store and the post office. The air is thick with salt and the coastal water is the same crystalline blue you expect to find only in the tropics. 

If we weren’t so excited to be at the Boat Show, it would have been easy to spend all day on the water. But we wanted to check out what’s new, what’s trending, and to mix it up with boaters. 

And we’re even more excited to share it with you. 

Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show Vibe and Attendance

Ft. Lauderdale is open to everyone, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect given the state of the world. Organizers said attendance was down significantly. We can tell you this: Everyone who showed up was extremely serious about boating and ready to invest more time on the water.

We were humbled and pleasantly surprised that lots of people had heard of Impact and sought out our booth on the show floor. We spoke with sailors who were planning huge trips, and many people who have turned to (more) on-water time as a break from the realities of terra firma right now. The unifying thread was passion.

Product and Boat Trends

What’s hot in Florida? Big ol’ boats! Seriously. 

Center consoles are having a moment. They’re spacious for families and for fishing. Bonus: They’re fast! Like jot-down-to-the-Bahamas-for-lunch fast. 

On the Impact front, one of the fun curiosities for us is figuring out which of our colors are popular by geography. We never would have guessed going in, but it turns out a strong color theme emerges from every show we do. We can now decisively report that Ft. Lauderdale boaters love the classics: dark blue and white. 

Custom Orders and Product News That’s Too Early to Share

We’re not spilling the beans on what exactly they’ll be, but we will say that the show and the Ft. Lauderdale marinas inspired several new product ideas. Stay tuned, especially if you dock with pilings. 

If you need a custom solution now for your boat protection concerns, call us. We’ll design a bomber Impact fender or dock bumper suited to your specifications. Water fluctuations? Wind? High traffic? We have the solution. 

We keep waiting to grow tired of traveling to boat shows. People tell us one day it’s going to feel like work. So far, that’s not our experience. 

We left inspired and happy. Inspired to keep building the best performing boat protection on the market. And happy to be surrounded by boaters who love being on the water as much as we do. 

‘Til next time!

Thanks and happy boating, 

Brian and Courtney

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