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Reworked Providence Boat Show to begin Jan. 31

By Rhode Island Marine Trades Association

Providence (R.I.) January 2, 2014 —The Providence Boat Show will bring summer to Rhode Island this January with a three-day indoor expo that features attractions for all levels, from experienced veterans to those taking their first steps into the sport. The boat show will be held January 31 to February 2 at the Rhode Island Convention Center and will re-create a Northeast boater’s favorite season with the latest in boats and gear, free seminars to help more mariners enjoy their time on the water, and plenty of inspiration from experts.

Now in its 21st year, the Providence Boat Show was purchased by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) this fall, and show organizers have brought a fresh perspective and new attractions to this annual happening. This year’s show will include over 150 exhibitors, a stronger sailing component, expanded seminar offerings, and a mix of special events and exhibitors that reflects the boating diversity found inside the Ocean State. 

“The Providence Boat Show is the prime venue this winter for discovering what the Ocean State and its surrounding region offer to boaters—whether you want to learn more about our stunning coastline,  our excellent marinas and service facilities, or the many boat builders, dealers and equipment manufacturers located in this part of the country,” says RIMTA CEO Wendy Mackie. 

New this year is a Show Pavilion that will crown the event with special attractions and interactive activities for all ages. Visitors to the Pavilion can try their hand at a bridge simulator, a great way to develop a feel for navigating a computer-driven boat in the safety of a landlocked convention hall. Showgoers can also learn about the building of Rhode Island’s Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry or meet John Fulweiler, who captured the harrowing story of a man who fell overboard and spent 11 hours treading water in the Atlantic Ocean in his book, A Swim: The Rhode Islander Who Refused to Drown. Boaters intrigued by surfing and standup paddleboarding can take a spin with instructors from FloorTime Studios (Middletown, R.I.) on a SURFSET board—a total-body surf trainer designed to simulate the physical demands of surfing without the ocean.

Two expanded series of free seminars are included in the price of admission. Fishing enthusiasts will learn about a range of species—from fish caught from the shore in Rhode Island to those caught out past the continental shelf—in a special Sport Fishing Series organized by Captain Jack Sprengel of East Coast Charters (Warwick, R.I.). The series also incorporates an emphasis on sea-to-table, with demonstrations by leading chefs such as Executive Chef John Kolesar of the Ocean House in Watch Hill and Phyllis Affra of Blaze Restaurant in Providence. Captain John Martino of the Annapolis School of Seamanship has coordinated a series of seminars on Navigation & Seamanship in conjunction with Rhode Island outfits Confident Captain, Safe/Sea, and Captain Frank “Skip” Litterer of Boatwise Marine Training.

The Providence Boat Show is a prime venue for regional boaters who want to take advantage of Rhode Island’s no-sales-tax policy on boats that are delivered and registered in the state, as well as on boating services such as mooring and slip fees, winter storage, and refit and repair work. Showgoers considering Rhode Island as their new boating home can do their homework on marinas, boats, cruising grounds and service providers while at the show.

A new hub of the show for small-boat enthusiasts is the “H20 Zone,” where showgoers can learn about the different ways they can get out on the water—in whatever way suits their skill-level or style. A joint effort of Zim Sailing (Warren, R.I.), Laser Performance (Portsmouth, R.I.), and community-sailing organizations Sail Newport and the Community Boating Center of Providence, the Zone will feature a fleet of small watercraft that will range from a simple Blue Dragon Pram to the high-performance Moth—the single-handed hydrofoil considered by many to be the fastest dinghy on the planet.

The 21st Annual Providence Boat Show will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center from January 31 to February 2, 2014. Tickets are $12 for general admission; ages 12 and under are free. Special ticket packages, such as a Two-Day Pass and a Family Pack for two adults and up to four children, can be purchased online at the show’s website.

For more on the Providence Boat Show, connect with the show on its Facebook page or visit www.providenceboatshow.com.


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