January 2, 2019

The Best Boat Show Tips for 2019

The Best Boat Show Tips for 2019


With the winter boat show season in full swing, we’re already looking forward to the upcoming spring shows. Have you ever been to a boat show? If so, you know that it can be a little intimidating. There is so much to see and do – where do you start? There are a few things that you should know before attending a boat show, so we’ve collected a list of our favorite boat show survival tips that will make any boat show in 2019 a success!

The skinny:

  1. Calculate Your Budget
  2. Find a Show near You
  3. Map it out
  4. Enjoy

Let’s get a little more in depth (pun intended)!

Calculate Your Budget

This is the first and most important tip we can give you. You need to have a clear plan of action when attending a boat show especially when you plan on spending money. If you’re in the market for a new boat, you’ll want to know how much you can actually spend and what that means for you and your family financially. At the very least, have an idea in mind of what you’re looking to spend on a boat giving yourself some wiggle room for other expenses. Take into consideration taxes, shipping and dealer costs. Dealing with real numbers will help you make a confident buying decision.

Now that you have an overall picture in mind, don’t forget to consider what this looks like on a monthly basis. You’ll want to have an idea of what expenses will be for routine services & maintenance, marina fees and offseason storage fees. If you’re planning on financing the boat, make sure you have the loan locked in before you get to the show.

Find a Show Near You

Now that you have a budget planned out, it’s time to find the nearest show (or shows) so you can add it to your calendar. A quick online search of “boat shows near [your location]” will reveal the closest shows to you. If you’re the adventurous type, you can find nationwide and worldwide boat show calendars from organizations like NMMA.

Want to know where we’ll be exhibiting? Check out our show schedule here!

Map it out

If you’re able, we recommend attending a boat show during the week. Exhibitors will have more time to talk with you and answer any questions you may have. On weekends, boat shows will bring in extra entertainment to draw crowds. This can be a little overwhelming, and difficult to get to an exhibitor to ask questions. If the boat show is going on the weekend only, don’t worry. Take your time maneuvering through the crowds, and remember to stick to your plan!


Boat shows are meant to be an enjoyable experience! There will be plenty to see and do, and you should take your time to explore and have fun. Most boat shows have other watercraft (think jet skis, wake boards, etc.), gadgets & gear, fishing poles & equipment and a wide variety of other things to do and see. If you’re at the show to buy a boat, it’s important that you accomplish that goal, but don’t forget to make the most of your time there. You might even find other unique ways to enjoy the water!

Final Thoughts

If you attend a boat show and don’t find what you’re looking for don’t be disappointed. The last thing you want is to be caught up in the moment and settle for a less than what you really want boat. Even if you find the boat of your dreams, but the dealer is giving you a less than perfect deal, you can walk away.

We’re excited for all of the upcoming shows in 2019! If you’re attending the Mid-Atlantic Boat Show in Charlotte NC January 25-27, we’ll be there. Stop by and see us!  

If you need help finding the right parts for your project, or need help installing a part, assistance is available with one of our Product Specialists over the phone (800-230-6752) and on Live Chat

*For additional help check out our How To series on YouTube!  

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