Boat show season is busy already for several local companies, but it’s about to get bigger. And not just for boating businesses.
The Mid-Atlantic Boat Show returns to Charlotte Feb. 7-10. The show began more than 40 years ago and is one of the largest in the region, this year drawing almost 40 boat dealers and more than 60 marine industry companies or organizations. For people looking to buy a boat, it’s the biggest and nearest to kick-start boating season.
Vic Winebarger at Boat Sales of Lake Wylie is one of several in Lake Wylie hoping that buyers will be out in force, mirroring what’s being seen elsewhere.
“Shows all across the country are up,” Winebarger said.
Lake Wylie Marina has four boat shows in the next two months, and there was one this past weekend in Charleston. That’s where the company briefly docked what Matt Sellhorst is most excited to bring to the Mid-Atlantic show.
“Probably going to be one of the bigger, if not the biggest, boats in the show,” Sellhorst said of a 2013 410 Sundancer by Sea Ray.
That vessel is more than 41 feet long with room for six.
“It’s a cool boat,” Sellhorst said. “Nice, big open cabin.”
Winebarger most looks forward to introducing the lineup of aluminum deck pontoons that made his company the Veranda top seller last year nationwide. All pontoons up to 30 feet will feature the aluminum, he said.
“It’s a patented, no wood,” he said. “It costs more, but it’ll last forever.”
Lake Wylie Marina and Boat Sales of Lake Wylie join other locals at the show including Dock Masters Marine Construction, Tega Cay Marina, Long Cove Marina in Steele Creek, Commodore Yacht Club in Rock Hill, Waterjack Boat Lifts in Fort Mill and A Touch of Glass in Mount Holly.
Safety groups like the Lake Wylie Marine Commission, Charlotte Power Squadron and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police lake patrol also will be present.
Dock Masters owner Perry Johnston will have a dock, boat lift, touchless boat cover and jet ski lift set up. He’s highlighting solid PVC decking boards by Gossen that won’t rot, warp or splinter and has a lifetime guarantee, and the Hi-Tide boat lifts. There’s also a $530 value on some sales.
“We will offer a free remote control this year for any Hi-Tide boat lift purchased during the show,” Johnston said.
Marine industry companies say the past few years have shown steady improvement from a dour few years before that. The Mid-Atlantic has all sorts of gear for boaters, but also has features for non-buyers just interested in the pastime.
There’s a fashion show and bass fishing tub, and another for catfish and trout. Lure and equipment demonstrations will be included.
Show hours are noon to 9 p.m. Feb. 7-8, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Feb. 9 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Charlotte Convention Center. Tickets are $8, with $7 tickets for seniors or military and $5 for age 6-12. For more information, visit ncboatshows.com.