Lakeshore, Manufacturing, and Travel & Tourism

Boat Show docks downtown

February 18, 2014
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Boat Show docks downtown
Action Water Sports uses a crane to move a MasterCraft boat into DeVos Place for the Grand Rapids Boat Show. Photo via fb.com

While much of the Great Lakes might be frozen, the promise of a thaw isn’t too far away, and boat makers want to help along your summer fantasies this week.

More than 30 regional recreational boat dealers will dock inside DeVos Place this Wednesday to Sunday, to show off their products and accessories at the 69th Annual Grand Rapids Boat Show.

More than 300 boats — including cruisers, runabouts, trawlers, Catamarans, fishing boats, ski boats, pontoons and kayaks — will be on display, spanning five acres of the main convention center and Steelcase Ballroom.

“If any boater hasn’t boarded a current-day model in the last 15 years, they will be amazed at the advances in design, creature comforts, power systems and materials,” said Henri Boucher, show producer. “Think of the advances you have seen in your cars, computers and communications. The same can be said for the boating industry.”

Exhibitors

This year’s “Queen of the Show” is a 46’ Regal Sport Coupe, which will be showcased in the Grand Bay Marine exhibit.

Manufacturer Chris Craft also makes a return to this year’s show, after a multi-year hiatus.

Other manufacturers at the show include Tiara, SeaRay, Cutwater, Great Lakes Catamaran, Pursuit, Cobalt, MasterCraft, Malibu, Monterey and others.

The show also features ship stores and ski and wakeboard shops and boat-related services.

Boat owners will find a broad selection of accessories, including new advances in lifts, hoists and docks.

Entertainment

The Boat Show won’t lack in entertainment: The Don Middlebrook Band will perform daily throughout the show; Key West Crab Shack will offer seafood dishes; pro wakeboarders Rusty Malinoski and Erik Ruck will do meet and greets on Friday evening and Saturday in the Action Water Sports booth; and the MasterCraft VR Express Wakeboard Simulator will present a simulation of throwing back a roll on a wakeboard or hitting a ski jump at 80 mph and flying in the air.

Other highlights include the Great Lakes Diver Locker Dive Tank, the Grand City Show Skiers and a display by the Michigan Hydroplane Racing Association.

Education

There will also be a free Boating Safety Certification Course offered on Saturday afternoon, and Greg Hoffman from Mariners’ Center returns to offer a series of marine electronic workshops.

Tickets

Boat Show tickets are $10 for adults, $4 for children ages six to 14 and kids five and under are free.

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