Longview Boat & RV Show Becomes A Family Affair

Robert Worrell Junior is keeping a family tradition alive.

He's bringing his six year-old son, Trey, to the boat, RV, and camping exposition at Maude Cobb Convention Center in Longview. "He enjoys coming out here to these shows," Robert says. "We've gone to several since he was little and I carried him to these places, and he's always enjoyed it."

As for the show, the latest styles and trends of 2003 are on display. Among the popular new boat styles is "The Hurricane," a cross between a pontoon boat and a deck boat. J.D. Shipp of Shipp's Marine Service says the new style involves something for everybody. "What they're trying to do," Shipp says, "Is take in the people who want to fish, the people who want to cruise, and those people that want to enjoy watersports in one boat."

With additions like changing rooms and fresh-water sinks, the emphasis in boat design seems to be changing from single fisherman power to family comfort. "There's an increased interest in fishing with a spouse," Shipp says. "And the kids want to come along as well. The boats that we're selling are boats which were meant to accommodate more than one person. It's more of a family boat."

As for other on-the-watercraft, the new wave is sleeker and stronger. "It's not only new technology," explains Don Moudy of Z-Team Powersports. "It's a new body style. They're sleeker in the water, and they run smoother in the water." "They won't be any faster," he clarifies. "We're not looking for speed from a safety standpoint, but they do accelerate just a little bit smoother."

Robert and Trey Worrell checked out all the new models today, with Robert passing on lessons he learned long ago when he was Trey's age. "My daddy carried me to boat shows and gun shows and such," Robert says. "It's very much a family tradition." When Robert was Trey's age, his father taught him the importance of nature. Now, Robert understands what that time with his father meant. "It got me more in the lines of the outdoor world," He says. "Now, hunting and fishing is what my son and I do." The Boat and RV Show is an annual event for the two Worrells. It's a chance to see the latest innovations, but more importantly, it's a chance to spend time together. "I like coming to these places," Robert says. "it gives Trey time to go out. He's wide open with it." "We have a large time with it, it's one of the best things Longview does."

Thanks to Robert, and shows like the Boat and RV show, Trey is growing up with his family's love for the outdoors. Trey can remember the day he became a fisherman. "I was three years old," Robert "Trey" Worrell the third recalls. "'Cause that's when I got my first fishing pole." "It was a rhino," he says. For a father, that shared experience is worth everything.

Reid Kerr reporting.