Boat Shows The Place To Be


The boating season has ended, and the new year will be here soon.   Like many boaters the lurer of a new boat, bigger boat, different style of boat or add the newest accessories to improve the performance  and comfort in boating.     Or maybe you are happy with your current boat but want an automatic boat lift. A bigger dock locker. Dock furniture.

The question is, where can I go and have access to various vendors, experts and get the information the I need at one convent stop. To make the right choice for what I need? 

The answer is a Boat Show!!!

Boat shows allow you to see the newest models on display but they can also be a wealth of knowledge. Boat shows typically will host many new products reveal events, as well as offer information and training. Keep in mind that all boat shows are different and let's face it, that's what makes them awesome!

Lets start with the obvious purchase of a boat.

Buy new a boat, or buy a used boat? That’s a tough call for a boat buyer, especially a first timer. There’s no right or wrong answer. It all depends on you: your tastes, your budget, and your mechanical aptitude. but you decide. Here's some factors to consider...

Benefits Buying a Pre-Owned Boat

  • With a used boat, you get more boat for fewer dollars, lower cost per year of ownership, and less on the line if you decide a different style or size boat would better serve you.
  • It sounds funny, but there’s peace of mind in knowing you’re not going to put the first scratch or ding in the boat.
  • Any initial bugs in boat or motor have likely surfaced and been dealt with. For reassurance, and before signing, get a marine survey. Marine surveyors see what you can’t and look where you won’t. First, get a survey. Then smile and buy, whittle down the price, draft your own to-do list, or walk away.
  • You get time-tested technologies. If a manufacturer brought out a bad boat or balky motor, the Internet and other sources will wave you off.
  • You can choose a style of sale—from the trade-in or used stock of a dealer, who has to cover overhead but has a reputation to guard and a service bay; from a broker, who has reduced overhead costs; or from a private seller, who may be most motivated.


Benefits Buying a New Boat

  • Who doesn’t like a shiny, new toy? No need to wonder how the boat’s been used or misused, or if it’s been adequately winterized and commissioned. There is no history to uncover, because you’ll write this boat’s on-water history.
  • You can buy exactly what you want and not just what’s on the preowned market. You’ll be getting the latest, greatest technology and innovations.
  • If something does go awry, you’ll have a manufacturer’s warranty to back you up. That warranty is served by the selling dealer, which is a good reason to buy nearby.
  • You can rig it the way you want with the latest gear selected precisely for your purpose.

Why You Should Buy a Boat at a Boat Show

Boat shows not only give you the opportunity to look at dozens and dozens of the latest competing models in the same place at the same time, they also often offer some of the best special deals, incentives, and pricing of the year.

Depending on location, time of year, model, inventory, and other factors the amount will vary from 10 to 20%. You may do even better on a closeout of a previous year model since it is already a year old

Pick a price that may be 5% to 10% off the ask, but not so much lower that the seller is offended. You may go lower, but the price point should tell the seller you are serious about buying the boat, not just getting a steal on it, and will negotiate.

Progressive Insurance suggests the following to prepare to negotiate the best new boat price

1.    Research Prices Thoroughly. ...

2.    Consider Waiting for Off-Season Sales. ...

3.    Get Quotes from Multiple Dealers. ...

4.    Point Out Any Flaws or Issues. ...

5.    Ask About Discount Programs. ...

6.    Negotiate the Trade-In Separately. ...

7.    Master the Art of the Counteroffer. ...

8.    Sweeten the Deal with Extras.


So now you are ready to go to the boat show.  According to BoatUS.  Here are 7 tips for attending a boat show.


1. Dress comfortably. You'll walk miles, so comfortable slip-on shoes are best for getting on and off a lot of boats. Most dealers ask that you remove shoes before boarding. Wear loose-fitting clothes, avoid dangling jewelry, pack light, and bring your own water, hat, and sunscreen.

2. Attendance cost. Tickets typically range from $12 to $35, depending on the venue. BoatUS members get special discounts at many shows (visit Most shows host a "VIP Day" before the show opens. These special-admission tickets are more expensive but often well worth it. Crowds are lighter, with more serious buyers. You'll get more attention from dealers on these days, and unhurried tours of the boats.

3. Security. Especially at the bigger shows, expect a screening at the entrance. Your bags will likely be scanned and/or inspected. Lines back up during the opening rush.

4. Getting around. Most shows divide boats by category — dayboats, cruisers, fishing, sailing, sport, etc. Every show will have a brochure with a detailed floor/dock-layout map. Larger shows have free-download apps for their specific show.

5. Electronics. Take cellphone pictures of your boat and nav station so the salesperson will have an idea what you're looking for, and your installation. If you plan on fitting, say, a new chart plotter into a spare spot on your dash, take a few dimensions along so you'll know if the unit you're considering will fit.

6. Homework. A productive show starts at home. Narrow the list of boats you're most interested in. All shows provide a list of exhibitors, and (often free) seminars on their websites. Before you go, dig into the manufacturer's websites to learn boat details. Think about a list of questions about the priorities on design and accessories you're most interested in, including specifics on warranties, servicing options, and any training options. Be prepared with a good sense of your financial abilities, including what it will cost to insure your new pride and joy.

7. Getting the best deal. "Special boat show price" signs are seen at every show, and the discounted price can be significant. Dealers offer that price "while the show lasts," but the reality is they want to sell boats, so they will hold that price for serious buyers ready to move. As a further show-only incentive, many dealers will include significant "packages" of products you'll need anyway, which could include gear such as electronics, docklines, life jackets, or extended warranties or service contract.

The boats are the main attraction, of course, and a boat show offers the opportunity to see a lot of them all in one place. Larger national-level shows will often feature boat displays presented by the manufacturers, which may be staffed by the factory or by local dealers. New boats are often debuted at these shows.

Boating Accessories

Vendors offering everything from dock lines to electronics to wake boards to foul weather gear to fuel additives will be at the show. Where else can you compare 20 different styles of boat shoes, and actually try them on? See new fenders in every size and color? Meet an artist that will hand-letter a boat name on your transom, or even paint a portrait of your boat? In a marketplace increasingly dominated by on-line shopping it’s almost a joy to be able to actually see and touch a product before your buy, and to speak to a real expert about it.

Boating Education & Seminars

 Boat shows often have a number of demonstrations or seminars, most free to attend, on topics ranging from boating safety and seamanship to fishing tips from pro anglers. Each is a great way to rest your feet and learn something new.

Boat Show Locations & Venues

At many boat shows you’ll also be able to visit booths promoting marinas and boat-rental or boat-sharing businesses operating in your area. You’ll be able to compare amenities and fees, and ask questions, without tapping away hunting for websites.

Lake Ozark Marine Dealers Association promotes and presents four (4) boats shows annually they are:

·       Overland Park Boat Show February 15th-18th, 2024

·       St Charles Boat Show February 29th -March 3rd, 2024

·       Lake of the Ozarks In Water Boat show Dog Days 

April 19th-21st, 2024

·       Lake of the Ozarks, In Water Boat Show, Captains Rons

September 20th-22nd , 2024


For more Information on the above boat shows go to

Be prepared, be informed, Have fun, enjoy the shows and then… Enjoy the Boating life.


Popular posts from this blog

Don't Become An Statistic

Before you Rent a Boat or PWC for a fun Day On The Water

Memorial Day On The Water