Boat shows help chase away the cold-weather blues
When it comes to outdoor fun, Ohio is a four-season state. Yet for boaters and other water sport enthusiasts, winter’s freezing temperatures leave many of them feeling like ducks out of water. Fortunately, the traditional wave of winter boat shows is now underway in the Buckeye State a timely reminder that cold weather is only temporary and that the next good boating day is just around the bend.
These extravaganzas provide you a chance to slip the confines of winter and dream of warm summer days spent on the water. All under one roof, you can navigate your way past sailboats, pontoons, power boats, canoes, kayaks and jet skis; plan a family-fun vacation on the water; and discover the hottest new gadgets in watercraft accessories.
The boat show line up begins with the Central Ohio Marine Dealers Association Boat & RV Show, January 8-16, at the state fairgrounds in Columbus. The Cincinnati and Cleveland boat shows run simultaneously in opposite corners of the state, January 14-23. The Miami Valley Boat Show in Dayton’s Hara Arena is held on two consecutive weekends January 27-30 and February 3-6. Marine dealers then return to the state fairgrounds February 10-13 for the Columbus Sports, Vacation and Boat Show.
With Lake Erie to the north, the Ohio River to the south and thousands of assorted waterways in between, it’s no surprise that recreational boating is one of the most popular pastimes in the state. In fact, an estimated 3 million Ohioans enjoy boating each year. The Buckeye State is a highly popular boating destination, ranking 8th nationally in watercraft registrations. Statistics also show that 75 percent of those who boat also fish. Together, these two activities provide families and friends excellent opportunities to share fun and quality time together while enjoying the great outdoors.
Boating is a fun, safe and enjoyable pastime that is affordable for most people. If you are exploring the idea of boat ownership, there are many things to consider, such as what kind of boating interests you? Do you want to fish or ski from this boat? Will you be towing it from one waterway to another or seeking a permanent dock? The variety of vessels and options are as numerous as they are exciting, so while you’re at the boat show, take time to talk with the experts let them help you choose the boat that best meets your desire to enjoy the water.
Because boating is so intertwined with other outdoor pursuits, these shows offer a little of something for everyone. For example, anyone interested in fishing won’t want to miss one of the hands-on clinics led by professional anglers. Beginner and veteran anglers alike are invited to discover the most effective techniques for catching Ohio’s top sport fish, such as walleye, bass and steelhead. Other seminars offer instructions on fly fishing, the use of snag-proof lures, and more.
Boat shows are exciting, family-oriented events that include plenty of fun for youngsters. Kids can practice casting a line and learn how to tie a lure. After mastering the basics, the young anglers can try their hand at catching a live fish. They also can join their parents to climb aboard and explore many new boats perhaps one that will be taking the family out on Ohio waterways this summer.
For dates and locations of the boat show nearest you, visit ohiodnr.com/watercraft.
The weather outside might be frightful, but inside these boat shows there is so much for the boater and angler to find delightful. Happy sailing!