Boat Show Season 2021 Begins This Weekend

The 2021 boat show season gets underway this weekend! The calendar of boating shows is pretty full this year, even with the ongoing global health concern. Many boat shows will be outdoors, of course, but some are not. So, ask ahead of a show what precautions are being taken before appearing at the given venue. 

What is a boat show?

A family sitting in a boat at a display
A family tests out a new boat | Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Boat shows are great opportunities to take the family and see all the newest boats, marine gadgets, and gear. The shows also offer opportunities to get education about boating through workshops and seminars. Additionally, many shows also offer swap meet areas so people can shop for elusive parts or vintage equipment and decor. There is a lot going on all in place.

Boat shows range in size from large international shows to smaller regional or local shows. Many of them are on the water at marinas. But some, are in the parking lot of a local venue or even an indoor mall or convention center. 

Find a boat show near you

Below is a listing of some of the major shows scheduled so far for the year across the country. But there are plenty more that pop-up through the year with announcements online through social media. 

  • The Cleveland Boat Show and Fishing Expo started January 15, 2021, and runs through the 24th.
  • The Daytona Boat Show also started on January 15, 2021. This show runs through January 17th.
  • EZ Marine and Storage Wilton Mall Boat Show – January 17-26, 2021
  • The Seattle Boat Show – January 28-31, 2021
  • Downtown Richmond Boat Show – February 19-21, 2021
  • Michiana Boat and Sports Show – February 19-21, 2021
  • The Boat Show in Springfield – February 26-28, 2021
  • Lake County Boat Show – February 26-28, 2021
  • Progressive Akron Boat Show and Water Sports – To Be Determined February/March 2021
  • Downtown Knoxville Boat Show – March 4-7, 2021
  • Progressive World Fishing and Outdoor Expo – March 4-7, 2021
  • Orlando Boat Show – March 5-7, 2021
  • Progressive Atlantic Boat Show – April 7-11, 2021
  • Tampa Boat Show – September 10-12, 2021
  • Progressive Norwalk Boat Show – September 23,-26, 2021

Plan ahead

The sun sets behind a sailboat belonging to Escola de Navegação Treino de Mar (Navigation Training School of the Sea)
A sail boat in Lisbon, Portugal | Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

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Shows can be large. So, come with a plan of what types of boats or gear to look for. Some venues will provide maps of the vendors at the location, which can be helpful. If it helps to keep thoughts straight, take lots of pictures, or take notes. Keep in mind that if one purchases a boat at a show, many contracts are contingent on a sea-trial. One should plan on taking advantage of that sea trial. It will provide insight into the vessel’s ability to meet the family’s space, and performance needs ahead of solidifying a purchase. 

Boat shows are a great opportunity to see pretty much everything related to boating. They are also great times to purchase a boat for those that are ready. Often, the manufacturers will have representatives there ready to make great deals with huge discounts. So, if a boat show is nearby, use the opportunity to get acquainted with the different vessels, gear, and their values. A little bit of time spent there might be just is needed to fill that marine tranquility prescription.