Detroit Boat Show Delivers Splash of Summer
Shark tank, SpongeBob and the Time Bandit race boat are just some of the attractions to see when boat show returns to Cobo Center Feb. 12.
More than 60,000 consumers are expected to stop in Feb. 12-20 to browse all things nautical, including boats, equipment, accessories, dockage, artwork and gear for fishing, skiing and wakeboarding.
And no wonder, since Michigan has nearly 1 million registered boaters and more than 11,000 inland lakes, according to the Michigan Boating Industries Association.
“The Detroit Boat Show is a great family event to attend whether you are in the market to buy a boat or if you are just looking for an opportunity to have nine days of fun,” says John Ropp, MBIA president and boat show manager. “We bring hundreds of boats for fishing, skiing, wakeboarding, pontooning and cruising to Cobo for easy comparison shopping and fill the hall with great activities and promotions for those looking for something to do with their family or friends.”
Even though the action is at Cobo, it’s important to St. Clair Shores since the city hugs the shores of Lake St. Clair and boating is big business and big entertainment around these parts.
Tom Haag certainly agrees. And he should know since he wears many captains' hats in the area, including as vice president of Colony Marine sales and as statewide director and boat show committee chair for the MBIA.
On a personal level, “the Detroit Boat Show is very important to Colony Marine,” Haag says. “A large portion of our yearly new, used and brokerage sales are a direct result of people we speak with at the show.
“With respect to St Clair Shores and the Nautical Mile, there are large numbers of retailers located in this area—marinas, boat retailers, marina stores and associated businesses to name a few, not to mention the service businesses that also benefit from the show—which also display products (there),” Haag says.
“Indirectly, the local restaurants and stores along the Nautical Mile benefit from the large number of boaters who are concentrated in the St Clair Shores area during the boating season. The draw of Lake St Clair is an asset to both individuals and businesses alike,” he added.
As for Colony Marine’s presence at the boat show, Haag says “This year we will have boats from 13 feet to 45 feet on display, as well as representatives from our brokerage company and two marinas: the Algonac Harbour Club located in Algonac, and Michigan Harbor which is located in St Clair Shores."
That makes for good comparison shopping and fine entertainment, as those nine days are jam-packed with things to see and experience.
Good pricing is vital since the economy has been lackluster for the last few years. MBIA officials have found that boat prices remain competitive and interest rates continue to remain low.
On the viewing end, a number of special features are in the works, including the live shark encounter show, Time Bandit race boat, an appearance from SpongeBob SquarePants, discover boating center, be a diver pool, adopt-a-pet weekends, antique and classic boat displays, hydroplane race boats, kids boating clinic and a free boater safety class.
Whether you go to eye or buy, you'll see the value of all things nautical at the show. “Boating is an activity that offers value far beyond the cost to participate and Michigan continues to be one of the finest boating states in the country,” Ropp says.
Show hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sundays and 3 -9 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
Admission: $12; children 12 and under are free with an adult; seniors 62 and older receive free admission on Feb. 14. Admission includes a free annual subscription to one of three boating magazines.
Discount tickets and promotion schedules can be found at www.detroitboatshow.net.
Parking is available at Cobo Center and surrounding lots.