Tens of thousands of boating and fishing enthusiasts start their season at the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show — now in its 108-year. Credit: Contributed
There are plenty of ways to start 2014 on the right foot at the New York Boat Show. Whether you attend to buy, browse, learn, or support the boater in your life, there is a way to stay busy and spend a memorable day.
It goes without saying that the Boat Show is a great opportunity to buy a new boat. “You’ll have dealers from several different states, all in one spot,” said Jon Pritko of the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association. “It would take you forever to go out to all of them yourself.”
Of course, manufacturers use boat shows as an opportunity to debut new models and technologies, like jet-propulsion engines, fish finders, and navigation tools.
Several seminars and workshops offer great learning opportunities at the show, ranging from consumer education for possible boat owners to hands-on demos on diesel engine repair. Boat owners can acquire skills that will help them save thousands on maintenance and upkeep.
Live Entertainment is also on the docket. Audiences can watch the Swampmaster Jeff Quatroochi dodge a snapping jaw as he handles a wild alligator. They can also hear Captain Dave Carraro of National Geographic Channel’s Wicked Tuna, tell unbelievable stories of life on the sea.
Those feeling lucky even have a shot at two major giveaways. This year’s big ticket items are a $10,000 Yamaha personal watercraft, and a cruise for two in the British Virgin Islands.
And of course, as Pritko knows, not everyone who comes to a boat show is a boater themselves. There are non-boating business booths for spouses to enjoy, like nautical jewelry makers and spas.
There is also good news for the boaters of the future. “There are more kids’ activities than ever this year,” Pritko said. Kids under 15 get into the show for free, and can get their faces painted, build their own model boats, play with Bluebear the Pirate, and even try their hands at paddle-boating.
But parents can rest assured, Pritko said. All activities - even the paddle-boat pond - are inside. “If it weren’t, we’d just have an ice rink!”