Boat shows will dispatch thoughts of winter

Published online: Feb 14, 2012 News Matt Markey -
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What promises to be a seasonably cold February weekend should not temper the enthusiasm of the boating crowd in the area, because they will be presented with multiple opportunities to get the 2012 season started -- and do so in the warmth of the indoors.

"This is the ideal time to get the process going," said Jim Sommers, a former commander of the Toledo Power Squadron who is active in the group's educational endeavors.

"The real 'on the water' opportunity will be here before you know it, so it's important now to think about what you need to do, be prepared, and have a good plan before you take that cover off the boat you already own, or before you go out and buy your first boat."

The Detroit Boat Show opens Saturday for a nine-day run at the downtown Cobo Center. Exhibit space has been sold out and show manager John Ropp expects robust crowds and an improving economy to relieve a "pent-up demand" for watercraft.

Bass Pro Shops in Rossford opens its boat show Friday and over the next 10 days the outdoors megastore will host a series of free boating and fishing seminars, including sessions on proper boat-towing methods and how to use the latest marine electronic devices.

"We think the timing is perfect," said Robert Buchanan, general manager at Bass Pro. "February gives folks a great opportunity to shop for a boat, learn about boating, or just get out of the house and see what kinds of boats are out there. It reminds everyone that better weather and the boating season are not too far off."

The Bass Pro boat show features a variety of recreational, pontoon, and fishing boats, special discounts, gift card bonuses, and appearances by professional walleye fisherman Gary Parsons Friday and Saturday.

The Huron Valley Sportfishing Club is sponsoring the Michigan-Ohio Sportfishing Expo at the MBT Expo Center at the Monroe County Fairgrounds on Saturday and Sunday. Boats will be a part of the affair, with Cabela's in Dundee and Happy Days Boating from Port Clinton supplying the watercraft that will be on display.

The Columbus Sports, Vacation & Boat Show opened Thursday for a four-day run at the Ohio Expo Center, while the Spring Boating Expo runs March 15-18 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich. The Catawba Island Club will host its on-site annual boat show from May 4-6 in Port Clinton.


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