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On the Waterfront: The WorkBoat Show Network - 12/8/2011 -

By Kathy Bergren Smith -

The 2011 International WorkBoat Show might be over but there is still much to absorb from the three days of total industry immersion that went on in New Orleans last week. Across the country, nightstands are stacked with brochures that need to be studied and desks are littered with new business cards. Emails are exchanged at the show, deals are struck and relationships nurtured all within a few days.

Networking on the WorkBoat Show Floor

Kerry Thompson of New Jersey-based Mack Boring Parts and Co., Mitsubishi dealers, said people were more optimistic at this year’s show.

"There was more decisiveness, people who have been standing on the sidelines are now ready to move forward and build that boat or repower, realizing that you can’t wait forever.”

The atmosphere at the WorkBoat Show, much like the city of New Orleans, is welcoming. You can strike up a conversation with just about anyone and learn something. I had many such encounters. One person I met while roaming around was Elwood Scully Jr. of Morgan City, La.

Since 1981, Scully’s Custom Aluminum Boats has been building boats at their yard. The company began by building small fishing boats for the recreational market. Today, Scully’s specializes in several types of vessels including survey boats, security vessels and fire and rescue boats like the one on display at the WorkBoat Show. That boat was one of two fire rescue boats for Plaquemines Parish Port Commission.

Elwood Scully greeted old customers and chatted with strangers with the same easy charm for three days. On someone’s nightstand there is a Scully’s brochure which might eventually turn into an order.

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