Boats, Blind Faith and Bitcoin

Andy Adams


Feb 23, 2021

My late father-in-law was a big rumpled old lawyer who wore a suit at the cottage and he never left the house in the morning without a big wad of cash. Two to $3000 would be typical. He believed in “coin of the realm” not plastic cards. My younger son is 23. It was almost a decade ago when he came to me and said, “Dad, I want to buy a Bitcoin.”

I think at first I said sure, go ahead and then he told me how much a Bitcoin was, and I said that he didn’t have that much money. Anyway, he did a lot of research, he found a place on Spadina Avenue at King Street in downtown Toronto and he convinced me that we should go downtown and buy a Bitcoin. Apparently, they sold them there. It seemed sketchy to me.

However, as a fatherly gesture of blind faith I said, “I’ll tell you what; I’ll give you $100 and I’ll drive you down to this place.”

There were a few people in the building on Spadina, but it was basically an empty old storefront except for a red machine that looked like an ATM, but with markings I had never seen. The blind faith part really was when I stuck my credit card into this unknown, unmarked machine and it spit out a receipt for my hundred dollars.

My son had brought a school friend along with him and the friend happened to have an iPad that he was playing games on. The people in the store put some kind of a code on his iPad and when we brought it home, we transferred the code onto my sons notebook.

My son still has his fraction of a Bitcoin. He had faith that it would go up and I used a little blind faith to support my son and his adventure. The $100 Is now worth about seven grand. He still has it. I wish I had given him my RSP. His grandfather would be amazed.

Last month, the first-ever Virtual Toronto International Boat Show ran a full week and this coming week,  we will have the first-ever Virtual Vancouver International Boat Show. Toronto got significant numbers of people registering and again, Vancouver seems to be getting good numbers. The Canadian Boat Shows team probably feels a little more comfortable doing Vancouver with the learning they gained from Toronto. I expect things will again go well.

I believe it is too early to know for sure what the actual sales impact will be, but exhibitors at Toronto reported that they sold boats. It’s always a question though; did they sell a boat to anybody they had never met? A repeat customer sale is far different than gaining a new customer.

The role that the boat shows have always had in the sales process is not in dispute. Whether or not the virtual shows are as successful as the traditional in-person shows will be determined later, but the level of participation demonstrates that the industry has faith in the shows. I think that the exhibitors had to get more creative and develop more digital materials and follow up marketing than they had done in the past, but my bet is that those new marketing activities will become established as a valuable part of their program in the future. 

Those investments may not have the return that my son’s Bitcoin has had over the past decade but then again, maybe they will. ‘Just gotta have faith.

Andy Adams – Editor

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