CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - The 86th annual ‘Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail Show’ is currently setting up at McCormick Place.
“I want people to show up when we open and think oh my, this is magic, this is unbelievable,” said Keith Ogulnick.
Ogulnick is the "cod-father" of the Chicago Boat, RV, and Strictly Sail Show. He knows getting 900-thousand square feet in "ship shape" is quite the "oar"-deal.
However, he has managed not to capsize the show for 10 years.
“We have hundreds of laborers, we've got four cranes, we've got dozens of forklifts and so there's a lot that goes into the process,” said Ogulnick.
More than 6-thousand people - riggers, teamsters, carpenters and drivers – are making sure the coast is clear for opening day.
“We have a floor plan that's meticulously put together months ahead of time,” Ogulnick said.
Keeping the more than 600 boats afloat, with competition everywhere, he's gotten stern looks but won't bow to the pressure.
“So there's a lot of pieces that fall into place,” Ogulnick said.
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“Always a challenge! These people are competing for the same dollar, they really are,” Ogulnick said.
Another potential may-day is steering the massive, multi-million dollar fish out of water using a giant crane.
“The greatest risk always (is) you never want to drop a boat!” Ogulnick said.
The Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail Show show begins Thursday, January 14th and runs through Monday the 18th.