With the best time of year for boating quickly approaching, the 32nd Annual Bonita Springs Boat Show is a great opportunity to set yourself up to enjoy our beautiful waterways. The show runs March 4-7 and features everything a boater could want. Visitors can explore hundreds of boats from the area’s top dealers, all kinds of gear and accessories, and marine service pros. Coastal Angler and Fish Face Charters will also be on hand to share great fishing tips during free seminars each day. Read more “Coming Soon: Bonita Springs Boat Show”
Ring in the New Year with a visit to the 20th Annual Charlotte County Boat Show! Hundreds of boats and all kinds of marine exhibitors will take over the Charlotte County Fairgrounds from January 7-10. The show offers a FREE opportunity to check out the latest boat models and loads of marine equipment and accessories. Plus, get answers to all your Florida fishing questions as we celebrate the return of Fishin Frank! Read more “Join us at the Charlotte County Boat Show”
Whether you’re shopping for your dream boat or just need a great excuse to get out of the house, the Fort Myers Boat Show is the place to go. The show runs November 13-15 and offers the largest display of boats, boating products, and services on our coast. The show features 600+ boats from 130+ manufacturers, plus accessory and equipment displays, so there’s a lot to see. Here’s some insider advice for making the most of this year’s show. Read more “What to Expect at the 2020 Fort Myers Boat Show”
The 31st Annual Bonita Springs Boat Show begins next week and runs Thursday, March 5 through Sunday, March 8. With hundreds of boats on display from the area’s major dealers, there’s a model for every boater and every budget. In addition to boats, the show features a variety of marine accessories, engines, electronics, boat lifts, services, helpful how-to information, plus plenty of food and cold beverages. Check out the full event details and start planning your visit! Read more “LOTS TO SEE AT THE BONITA SPRINGS BOAT SHOW”
Whether you’re hoping to score a boat show special, want to trade fishing secrets with local pros, or just enjoy spending the day playing with the latest marine gadgets, having a plan of attack pays off. The Fort Myers Boat Show is just over a week away and with so much to see and do, we gathered our favorite boat show survival tips to help you make the most of your experience.
The 46th Annual Fort Myers Boat Show will be hitting the streets and waters of the River District from November 15-18, 2018. The event will run Thursday through Sunday, bringing all the top marine industry brands, products and services together in one place. Although construction on the Harborside Event Center is underway, it’s not stopping us from putting on the biggest and best boat show yet!
Living on a planet that is 2/3 water might qualify a boat as a necessity rather than a luxury. We could not agree more! So let’s get down to the necessities of your shopping criteria and get you started.
Question 1 – What kind of boat?
Your first step is to determine the type of boat that will suit your needs, and that is based on how you plan to use the boat. There are three main boating activities: cruising, fishing, and watersports. While many boats can be used for two or even all three activities, the chart below shows the type of boat and its primary use.
Day boats are designed to entertain guests and deliver good performance. They are intended (as the name implies) to be taken out for the day and not stayed on overnight.
Cruising boats are also designed for entertaining guests but are not typically as fast or agile as a smaller day boat. They offer cabins and overnighting capabilities, and typically include a head (toilet area) and some form of galley (kitchen) equipment.
Fishing boats are designed with open cockpits in the rear of the boat to maximize the deck space needed for fishing. Plus, they are usually equipped with specialized storage areas and compartments for rods, tackle, bait and the day’s catch.
Watersports boats are designed for waterskiing, wake boarding and towing various water toys at speed. They range from basic sport boats and jet boats to specialized tow boats—which tend to be for the more experienced tow sports enthusiast.
Question 2 – What Size?
Boat size is an important consideration. The bigger the boat, the more features it typically has—like cabins, galleys (kitchens), heads (toilet areas), and so on. The downside to bigger boats is they are more costly to buy, operate and maintain, have more systems to understand and operate, and might not be trailerable. When you’re first getting started in boating, we recommend your first boat be no larger than 24 feet. This, of course, must be balanced with the amount of passengers and gear you plan to bring aboard. Resist the urge to go too big too soon.
Question 3 – New or Used?
The next step is to decide if you want to buy a new or a used boat. Each has its pros and cons—not unlike cars. New boats should provide you with trouble-free operation right from the start. They are sold by dealers who order them direct from the factory and, provided they get the right dealer-prep, are in first-class condition.
Before buying a new boat, make sure the dealer you are considering will support you after the sale throughout your term of ownership. Ask around at boat shows and at the dealer’s location to make sure you’re buying from a reputable dealer with a strong commitment to customer service.
The downside to new boats is they cost more than a similar used boat, but when you buy new you are entitled to all the warranty coverage and manufacturer’s support that comes with buying a new boat.
A used boat may or may not still be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. These can be sold by a) dealers (who’ve taken the used boat in on trade), b) brokers (who don’t own any boats, they just represent them for sale), or c) private individuals. You take a greater risk on the overall quality of a used boat than you do on a new boat since you don’t know the history of the boat, its maintenance, or whether it’s been involved in any type of accident or suffered any damage.
Many of us will bring a used car to our mechanic prior to finalizing the purchase of a used car. By the same token, you can (and should) hire a marine surveyor to go over the boat carefully. The survey will uncover any problems with the boat, and let you know whether you’re getting a good deal or just buying somebody else’s headache.
Question 4 – Which Make and Model?
Once you decided which type of boat and whether to buy new or used, the next step is to narrow your search down to which boats you want to actually see firsthand and take for a test drive.
There are several magazines and websites that regularly do roundups and buyers guides to help you with your research. BoatTEST.com is one good example. They classify boats by type and have helpful video tests online so you can see the boats run and get the tester’s opinions on where can save you countless hours as you do your research.
Fort Myers, FL – Southwest Florida’s prime boating season is fast approaching and the Bonita Springs Boat Show, March 5-8 at the Naples Fort Myers Greyhound Track is the perfect chance to get ready. Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association’s 26th Annual springtime show offers a wide variety of boats and accessories.
“This is just a great location for a show in the very heart of our boating community,” said show manager John Good. “We have a huge display of boats and products and more parking than we could ever use. Some shows are such a hassle to get to, but this location on Bonita Beach Road between I-75 and U.S 41 is perfect.”
Nearly every major area dealer is on hand, representing almost 60 different boat lines. Just about every type of boat used in Southwest Florida up to about 35’ will be on display. A 180’ tent houses accessory displays. Everything from engines and electronics to boat lifts, to marine accessories to clothing and gifts items, to a wide variety of services.
Fishin’ Frank and his crew will be conducting seminars throughout the four day show. Fishing guides and experts will be on hand to answer questions and just talk fishing. The U.S. Coast Guard and Power Squadron can answer questions about boat safety and visitors will find lots of information about where to go and how to enjoy Southwest Florida waters.
Show hours are 10AM-6PM, Thursday – Saturday and 10AM – 5PM on Sunday. Admission is $8.00 (kids under 16 are free with paid adult admission). Parking is free. The Naples Fort Myers Greyhound Track is located at 10601 Bonita Beach Road SE Bonita Springs, FL 34135.
For more information about the show and about boating in Southwest Florida, visit goboatingflorida.com or contact: Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association at 239-656-7083.
THE 14th ANNUAL CHARLOTTE COUNTY BOAT SHOW JANUARY 15-18, 2015
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL – Charlotte County is home to just about the finest boating waters in the United States and The 14th Annual Charlotte County Boat Show is coming to the Charlotte County Fairgrounds, January 15th – 18th. This is the area’s largest showing of boats and marine products and a great chance to see what is new in 2015.
Every major dealer will be on hand with more than 250 boats estimated to be on display. The Fairground’s Expo Hall will be loaded with a variety of marine accessories and services. There will be supplies and accessories, boat lifts, clothing, yacht brokers, marinas, boatyards, service suppliers and more.
The show is a great opportunity to learn more about area boating and safety. The U.S Coast Guard Auxiliary, Power Squadron, and local Yacht Clubs can answer just about any questions you may have about where to go and how to enjoy the amazing boating waters of Charlotte Harbor.
The ever popular Fishin’ Franks Bait & Tackle will hold Fishing Seminars throughout the four days. You can learn from and talk with area guides about both inshore and offshore fishing. You’ll never find a friendlier or more experienced crew than Fishin’ Frank’s team, always happy to answer all your questions. With Frank’s popular Fishing Simulator, you can experience the excitement of catching everything form a bass to a marlin. It’s all free. Just stop by the seminar area.
Admission to the show is free. There is a $5.00 parking fee for very convenient on-site parking. The show is open from 10AM-6PM Thursday through Saturday and 10AM-5PM on Sunday.
The Boat Show is located on the north end of Port Charlotte at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. 2333 El Jobean Road (Route 776), Port Charlotte FL 33948. About 3 miles west of U.S. 41. Across the street from the Charlotte County Sports Complex (Spring Training site of the Tampa Bay Rays).
The CHARLOTTE COUNTY BOAT SHOW is owned by the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association. The association, whose membership includes virtually every boat dealer and marine related company in Southwest Florida, has protected the rights of boaters and promoted boating and the marine industry in Southwest Florida for more than 40 years. The association also owns the BONITA SPRINGS BOAT SHOW, held at the Naples Ft. Myers Greyhound Track in March and the FORT MYERS BOAT SHOW, held in downtown Fort Myers in November.
Southwest Florida’s largest and most anticipated boat show returns for it’s 42nd annual exhibition of boats, equipment and seminars. The event will be held in the Harborside Event Center and the City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin Thursday, Nov. 13 through Sunday, Nov. 16. The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
“Few other shows in the country are able to offer both indoor and in-water viewing of boats and accessories.” says show manager, John Good. “This promises to be our largest in-water display in many years!”
The Harborside Event Center will be filled to capacity with boats and marine accessories. A new accessory display area has also been added along Hendry Street facing the marina. This leads to the “Welcome to the Water” Boating Lifestyle area in the City Pier Building on the river.
Fishing, Diving, Paddlesports, Boat Maintenance Tips and other boating how-to information will be on display inside and outside. Local fishing expert Fishin’ Frank will host a series of seminars covering techniques to catch many popular Gulf Coast species. Frank’s guides will be on hand throughout the show to offer advice on making the most of your fishing time on the water. The popular “Fishing Simulator” returns giving show visitors the chance to catch everything from bass to billfish.
Saturday and Sunday, one of Florida’s top divers, Jim “Chiefy” Mathie will hold seminars on spear fishing and catching lobster. Mathie is the author of two books, “Catching the Spear-it” and “Catching the Bug” that offer detailed information on improving your diving skills.
Boats however are still the show’s main draw. Every type of boat from kayaks and inflatables to yachts and everything in between. There will be more than 40 companies displaying boats, representing more than 90 boat lines, plus over 40 brokerage boats in-water.
Food and beverages will be available inside the event as well as several new downtown restaurants. Admission is $10.00 per person, per day and free for children under 16 with a paid adult admission. Tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information about the show, click here.