Among items at the Boat Show is the Box Anchor, for staying put no matter what.
If the world needs a better mousetrap, it would seem to need even more a better anchor, given the number of anchor inventors that show up each year at the Boat Show.
This year’s edition of the show, which opened Thursday at the Minneapolis Convention Center, proves the point, courtesy of Ryan Dvorak, a onetime southern California “paint and body guy’’ who now lives in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Judging by photographs in Dvorak’s booth, he believes sales increase exponentially the more often a product is pictured with a bikini-clad young woman. Perhaps this is true, perhaps not. (Full disclosure: It really works.) Regardless, Dvorak, owner of Slide Anchor (www.slideanchor.com), on Thursday had no difficulty gathering a crowd while addressing a common boating problem: anchors that slip.
“In 1995 I was in a monsoon on Lake Havasu,’’ he said. “My boat broke loose and was wrecked. So I went looking for a better anchor.’’
The result is a product Dvorak calls the Box Anchor, which he says is a “state-of-the-art anchoring system for all boats of all sizes and in any water.’’
Which is a mouthful, but you get the point. Dvorak is proud of his anchor.
Except it doesn’t look like an anchor. Instead it carries the appearance of a metal box with teeth. Available in polished stainless or galvanized steel, the Box Anchor is collapsible and can be stored flat when a boat is running (a carrying case is provided).
“When you need it, you just fold it open and drop it overboard,’’ Dvorak said.
The anchor can be set with less line (rope) than traditional anchors require, Dvorak said. Prices generally range from $30 to $130.
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The first boat my dad bought was a 14-foot Crestliner with a 7½-horsepower Johnson swinging from the transom. He towed it behind a Chevy station wagon, oftentimes to Garden Lake in the U.P. of Michigan, where we camped and fished.
As a kid, I remember the thrill of taking that boat out by myself, or with my brother, to run from spot to spot, trying to catch anything that would bite.
Years later, after I finished college, and after spending a few years driving truck coast-to-coast, I quit the road to return to school. When I did, I made three purchases in three days, exhibiting in the process what economists sometimes refer to as pent-up demand: a 1969 Toyota Landcruiser, 40 acres of hunting land and a 16-foot Alumacraft boat with a 10-horsepower Johnson — a rig that, like the old Crestliner, was good for a thrill a minute.
Nowadays, those thrills apparently require more horsepower. Case in point: One of the first watercraft I saw Thursday was a fiberglass Lund powered by a 200-horse tiller outboard.
“Seems like a lot of motor for a tiller,’’ I said to Perry Good, a Lund fishing pro.
Said Good, “You can get a 250 tiller if you want.’’
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Dogs, not bikinis, help Jim Perkins sell his WAG boarding steps (www.getwag.com) at the Boat Show.
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