On Wednesday the Cleveland Boat Show at Cleveland's I-X Center played host to a mostly seasoned, old-timers crowd, though the aisles were pretty clear of foot traffic; typical for a mid-week afternoon matinee.
That gave me ample elbow room to look at the many boat packages - many of which were steal deals of outstanding value.
Whether it is an aluminum model for near shore angling or a more powerful 'glass version for blue-water walleye fishing, there are good prices to be had.
The problem with purchases is, says Boat Show officials, that the banks aren't letting loose on credit so that people can actually buy the recreational boat of their choice.
Pity, too, since, the only way the economy will recover and grow is if people have access to credit and feel comfortable in spending money.
Other Boat Show thoughts include that the event is smaller by about 25 percent this year with a really compacted Angler's Alley.
I also think that the $8 parking fee charged by the city is pretty high as is the $2 for a coat check.
At least the talk on Lake Erie walleye dynamics by Ohio Division of Wildlife fisheries biologist Travis Hartman was worth the 45-minute sit.
And in all fairness to the dealers displaying their wares, the general impression is that attendance is as good as could be expected for an economy that just can't seem to recover.
When economic conditions improve, I predict, then expect a watershed of people wanting to upgrade their boat or jump into the water with their first-ever boat purchase.
Question is, just how long it's going to be before we begin to see a turn-around in that economy.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn