Big boat shows like the one held in Ft. Lauderdale every year offer a remarkable potential—just when you least expect it, you can find yourself sitting in the saloon of some boat some place with a bunch of people you’ve only read about, or who know way more about boats than you do, or who are well above average in their ability to please and handle an audience. I remember stumbling into a wild little gathering several years ago. It just sort of materialized in the saloon of a Nordhavn 47 trawler, with globetrotting passagemaker Bruce Kessler (and his sidekick Joe, of course) on hand, a couple of the Nordhavn principals, and several hard-core bluewater enthusiasts, one who’d written extensively about his travels. It’s not like the get-together was planned—it just sorta happened. But it turned out to be freakin’ fascinating—inspired at least for starters by the recent circumnavigation of the world by a Nordhavn 40 with Nordhavn folks as crew. It just went on from there, touching upon topics too diverse to even begin listing here. I’m not guaranteeing you’ll get yourself into such a memorable confab at this particular show, but pay attention—one may be out there, just waiting for you.