During the winter, many who can’t go to warmer climates daydream about the beach, sand, and waves. On the other hand, boat and sports displays are an excellent antidote to the winter blues for people who enjoy being outdoors and sailing boats.
In 2003, retail sales of boats and goods related to boating in the United States totaled $30 billion, and this number is swiftly climbing higher. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, seventy-two million people participate in recreational boating. This is more than golf and tennis players combined.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) puts on boat exhibits all around the country, from coast to coast, and anybody can attend. Both seasoned boaters and those just starting out will find the environment at these exhibits to be friendly and easygoing, with knowledgeable individuals standing by to provide objective guidance.
“We want you to come in here and feel the joy of boating,” said Steve Tadd, NMMA’s Discover Boating program director. “Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or someone who’s never been on a boat, we want you to come in here and feel the excitement of boating.” “One is never too old to start enjoying themselves on the water with some boating. We are here to show you how much fun you can have and how simple it can be, no matter how old you are—whether you are eight or eighty.”
Most NMMA boat and sports exhibitions feature entertainment geared toward families; some of these performances border on the spectacular, incorporating aquatic animal touch-tanks, sea lion shows, remote-control boat racing, and other interactive activities. Most concerts either do not charge an admission fee or are significantly less for children.
In addition, industry professionals provide fishing instructors, boat maintenance demonstrations, one-on-one casting demonstrations for novice anglers, and even scuba diving classes who make appearances at many exhibitions. The following are some of the most notable exhibits and attractions that can be found at some of the NMMA exhibitions taking place this winter.
- Scuba diving: At certain boat shows, guests can try scuba diving by submerging themselves in a tropically warm pool designed exclusively for the activity. The use of scuba suits and equipment for diving is included in the price.
- Indoor lake: In preparation for the Toronto International Boat Show, the Ricoh Coliseum will be filled with 1 million gallons of water, making it the world’s largest “marina.” Guests can wander along the docks, board boats, relax, engage in social activities, and dine dockside. On the lake, there will be more than fifty boats anchored, and there will be live entertainment every day.
- Women at the helm is an exhibit that may be found at some shows and is geared toward providing boating information to women. The display places a focus on boating as an activity that can be enjoyed by families.
- Fishing seminars: From fly-fishing for trout to big-game fishing for marlin, many exhibitions have displays and seminars with angling ideas, equipment, and travel information. Fishing seminars range from fly-fishing for trout to big-game fishing for marlin.