Outdoors: Boat show can be a family affair
by Charles Johnson
Jan 14, 2014 | 1085 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thursday begins the 43rd annual boat show at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. This is one of the oldest boat shows around the Southeast. Anything that floats can be found inside the halls of the BJCC. Families can search out the best deal afloat during the show.

Kids may be eyeing a personal watercraft. Wives and moms are dreaming of a pontoon boat with a sun deck for a peaceful outing on the lake. Husbands and dads have their sights set on a fishing or high-performance bass boat. Some families will have to compromise and find a boat for everyone to enjoy.

Over the past few years, the boating industry has seen some choppy waters. During the downturn in the economy, marine dealers have literally been trying to keep their heads above water. Some dealers have succumbed to the crisis. However, for those that have weathered the storm, calmer seas are ahead.

Today marine dealers have to specialize in a few brands or types to stay afloat in the market place. Some marine dealers offer other products to offset the boating season. Golf carts, ATV’s, generators and boat storage are some of the other products and services offered up by marine dealers to fill in the gaps. Boat dealers have to be creative to get the attention of potential buyers.

The boat show is a great place to compare models, equipment and pricing. Marine dealers from across the state will be on hand displaying the latest and greatest watercraft of all sizes. Representatives will be available to answer questions about their boats and offer suggestions for new buyers.

The show is loaded with other activities and seminars for all ages. The trout pond is always a favorite stop for youngsters. Also, there is the Oklahoma bass tub with pro anglers giving bass-catching tips. Fishing tackle booths and related accessories are also in the mix.

Potential boat buyers can take their time and look over the various models available. Check off each feature of what gear is standard and what equipment can be added. Boaters will want to check for storage and required towing capacity before settling a specific model.

Something new this year at the boat show is information about Smith Lake and Logan Martin Lake. Chamber of Commerce representatives will be on hand to talk about what is available on each respective lake. Fishing guides from each lake will be present to discuss fishing techniques for the various species in the lake.

There are also door prizes and draw prizes throughout the show dates. The doors open at 6 p.m. Thursday and the boat show continues through Sunday. Admission is only $10 for adults and children 12 and under are free.

Charles Johnson is the Star’s outdoor editor. You can reach Charles at ChrJohn7@aol.com
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