June 24, 2018
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Visitors invited to dream big at boat, home show

By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — About 10,000 people are expected here this weekend to attend the Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show, which will feature about 300 exhibitors and 100 boats.

Harbor Park in Rockland will be filled Aug. 13-15 with tents of boat builders, furniture makers, jewelers, antiques vendors, yacht companies and others who will sell wares and give demonstrations. The show will also offer book signings, a dog show and lectures on maritime history, fishing and boating.

“It is an unbelievable collection of the talent of Maine,” said John Hanson, the publisher of Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors magazine, which puts on the show. “If you tried to see all these companies, it would take you all summer to go up and down the peninsulas.”

New to the show this year is an exhibit about the evolution of the working lobster boat. That exhibit will feature about 20 boats spanning generations. Also new is a lecture, “Sea Glass of Maine” by diver Rick Carney, a treasure hunter who scours the ocean floor for glass and pottery fragments that he then turns into jewelry.

The show is a place for dreamers, according to Hanson.

“You don’t have to own boats or homes to dream of boats and homes,” Hanson said. “You can come in here for $12 and feed your dreams all winter long. That’s the first part of anything: thinking and dreaming.”

Hanson is a self-proclaimed boat freak, but he said one of his favorite parts of the show is the book vendors.

“We have a couple of antique book vendors. I love old books. I can usually be found there,” he said.

Another attraction that brings people to the docks of Rockland is the annual World Championship Boatyard Dog Trials, which will be held beginning at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The trials, show manager Leila Murphy explained, are just plain silly.

“It is our least serious event, so anything goes,” Murphy said.

Dogs — or their owners — have to write in and ask to be selected to compete. This year six were chosen, including the defending champion Pancho Villa, a half pug, half beagle from Camden.

The trials consist of three primary events: the dockside obstacle course, in which dog and handler negotiate a maze of lobster traps, piles of rope and other funky dockside paraphernalia; dog and handler hop into and out of a tippy dinghy that is tethered to a float; and the “freestyle” segment, during which the dogs and handlers show off their special talents.

The three rules of the dog trials are: either the dog or handler must finish completely soaked, cheating is encouraged, and there are no other rules.

“The dog from Port Clyde wrote in that he will not get wet,” Murphy said.

The show runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug, 13-14, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15. Tickets are $12. Children get in free. No pets, except the six dogs that will fight for the boatyard championship, are allowed on the show grounds.

For more information, visit www.maineboats.com/boatshow.

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