Some of the biggest and best boat shows happen over fall and winter. People flock to large shows in Fort Lauderdale and Annapolis, and take in the latest vessels in smaller shows in places like Seattle and Vancouver.
How can you make the best of your boat show experience? Here are a few things that will help you get the most of your next boat show visit.
Boats, boats, boats!
If you’re looking to buy a boat, there’s no better place to start than a boat show. Boat shows are like a super-dealership when it comes to offering the most variety of brands, models and styles.
Looking for a sailboat? An express cruiser? Power yacht? Trawler? Boat shows have them all.
I make a point of visiting as many boats as possible, even boats I may not be interested in. Quite often I’ll discover a feature I like or don’t like, and can add it to my list (or cross it off). Knowledge can only help you with your boat buying decisions.
Take a sea trial
If your boat show features and on-the-water portion, quite often you’ll be able to do sea trials. This is a fantastic, and efficient, way to get on a few boats you’re considering and see how they feel. More than that – it’s just plain fun. Getting behind the wheel of a new boat is always a blast. You also might learn a thing or two from the other captains out there handling the vessel with you.
Ask the experts
You’ll find many of them at boat shows. From yacht centres, sales booths, scheduled speakers and other attendees – you can pretty much find out just about anything you want to know at a boat show. Someone will have the answer, or at the very least, a really strong opinion. Experienced Captains are plentiful.
A great big boat mall
From gizmos and gadgets to canvas makers and dock lines, shopping is my second favourite thing about the boat show. Depending on the boat show, you’ll find shops for everything. It’s a great way to get new safety gear, and all the comforts that make boating just a little easier. It’s also where you’ll discover the latest and greatest in the tech world for boats. It’s really easy to get caught up and come home with more than you expected.
Kill the winter blues
Lastly, if you boat in most parts of the US and Canada, boating season ends far too soon. This is a great way to keep enjoying your hobby even while your toys are put away for the season. However, if you’re anything like me – it will really make you yearn for springtime!
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