Patience and Preparation: The Keys to Boat Show Season


Being surrounded by beautiful boats is exciting, but it can be overwhelming. Boater Rewards has pointers to help you accomplish more at the upcoming boat shows!

International and local boat shows across the United States are a great place to get excited about getting out on the water. They’re also filled with an astounding amount of boats and information that make it hard to know where to start.

Last year, we talked about which shows to check out and how to manage the timeline of buying a boat. This time around, we want you to take on these events like a veteran, so we put together a list of boat show to-dos.

Get Behind the Wheel

Many manufacturers and dealers offer demos. This is your chance to get a great feel and an up-close look at all kinds of makes and models, even some that you might normally pass over. We would even say it’s a good idea to look at dream boats regardless of your budget. It’s a great way to find features and specs that you didn’t even know you wanted.

Take Your Time

Shows are usually multiple days, and if you’re in it for the full duration, you should get your money’s worth. Get into a wide selection of boats. Take notes about what you see. Make connections with dealers and get contact info to follow up about your questions. You never know where you’ll find the perfect vessel and a great deal.

Come Equipped

We recommended that you take notes, so a notebook and pen or pencil can be very helpful. If you’re more into entering notes into your phone, that works too. Comfortable shoes that come off easily are a must as well. Walking around for hours takes a toll on your feet, and when you’re boarding boats for demos, you’ll want to make sure your shoes are easy to remove. Other important materials include a camera or cell phone to get pictures of prospective boats and a bag to keep brochures and other materials you pick up along the way.

Take Pictures

It can be tempting to go for a wide shot of a boat, but manufacturers provide photos of vessels in their brochures and online. When comparing boats, you should get snapshots of things that are a bit more nitty gritty. Where are the storage areas? Do they have locks? How do the amenities, like a fridge or bathroom, look? Are they spacious? Your photos can capture all the specific details you’re comparing.

Think Outside the Boat

Take advantage of all the resources that come together, beyond the boats themselves. Insurance companies, marine financing entities and educational organizations are present at most shows, and they are happy to talk with you about your questions and concerns.

We hope this year’s guide has you excited and ready to go for the upcoming boat show season. Check out international shows in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New York, Chicago and Detroit, and be sure to ask your local dealers about shows near you.

As always, we are happy to answer your questions at Happy boating!

Read more from the Boater Rewards December Newsletter: