Eli Dana is masterful at multitasking. Last weekend, the general manager of Newport Shipyard (NSY) took his one-year-old and his four-year-old out on his Holland 38’ Lobster boat by himself. “That was interesting,” he said.
Dana, 35, started as dockmaster at NSY in the fall of 2003, then took over as general manager in 2013. The 2016 Newport Charter Yacht Show is now under his management.
With the help of his Dock Master Mindy Campbell and Show Director Veronica Brown, Dana said opening day of the show went smoothly despite the thunderstorm and hail that visited Newport early in the morning. By sunrise, crew were drying off yachts and, once the sun came out, the blue skies followed.
“It seems to be going well so far,” Dana said.
According to Dana, the show was held at the NSY from 2002 to 2008, then it went to the Newport Yachting Center. In November, the NSY purchased the show from the Newport Exhibition Group.
“When they were interested in selling, we thought it would be natural to bring it back here again,” Dana said.
“With a slightly bigger marina than the yachting center, it’s a little bit scalable. If there’s 40 boats around, we can fit 40 boats. If there’s 20 boats, we can do 20 boats and fill it with our regular customers.”
Show Director Veronica Brown agrees that the NSY staff have brought the event together and that the Newport Exhibition Group has made the transition a success.
“They’ve been excellent helping us during the transition of the show,” Brown said about the Newport Exhibition Group.
“And our dock masters have been working very hard designating where the boats will dock on a dock plan.”
Dana said he had planned for up to 40 boats to be in the show, but the NSY location allows for flexibility that benefits sponsors and vendors if that number isn’t reached.
“We can change the mix of what we have,” Dana said.
“There’s 23 boats in the show, but there’s another 25 big boats here, so the vendors get exposure with all of those boats also.
“Two weeks ago it looked like we were going to have over 30 boats,” he said. “But we had schedule changes and weather changes.”
Some charter boats got hired out just before the show, he said. “Plans change, it’s the nature of it.”
Brown agrees that the staff has tried to accommodate everyone.
“Hopefully we have satisfied all the needs of the captains and the brokers,” she said about the event that runs through Friday, June 24.
Suzette Cook is editor at The Triton. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.