The Hartford Boat Show will be held Feb. 9-12 at the Connecticut Convention Center. Produced by the Connecticut Marine Trades Association and powered by Evinrude, the show will feature over 150 exhibitors and 250 boats and watercraft.
For 2017, the 48th event has expanded and will cover the entire space available at the convention center on two levels.
"February is a great time for a boat show. It's a perfect winter activity for boaters who are starting to plan their spring and summer water activities and purchases, and it's truly a family event that everyone at every age can enjoy indoors," said Kathleen Burns, executive director, CMTA.
In addition to Evinrude/BRP being the official sponsor of the 2017 Harford Boat Show, The CT Buick GMC Dealers are the official vehicle and Helly Hansen is the official apparel supporters of the event. Products being exhibited at the show include boats of all kinds and sizes, personal watercraft, paddle sports, kayaks, marinas, motors, slip rentals, servicing, fishing gear and tackle, educational programs and materials, insurance, trailers, electronics, sanitation, air conditioning, real estate, attire, nautical home décor, decking, dock building, winter storage, and financing.
"The show really represents every aspect of recreational boating in the state, from the sound to the lakes and the rivers. We are pleased to be able to showcase some of the newest trends that are emerging such as new deck and fishing boats, personal watercraft, paddleboards, flyboards and kayaks, as well as electronics and accessories," Burns said.
Thursday, Feb. 9 has been designated as Industry Day at the show. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 3 p.m., with numerous personalities expected to be on hand. An industry career fair, CMTA scholarship award ceremony and live demonstrations in the Paddler's Paradise Pool highlight the day, with the show open 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 10 is Senior Skip'rs Day, and a discounted ticket price of $8 for those over 60 will be offered from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The evening will feature a Boat Row Happy Hour with live entertainment and a Boaters Fashion Show. Show hours are 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Special weekend events include appearances by Shelby Ebert, the Fastest Woman on the Water and Kristen Smoyer the top Pro Ladies Flyboard Athlete in North America; as well as Sunday's Boats and Brunch. At 21 years old, Ebert is the only professional woman driver to run the entire Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series, and the youngest ever, having won five world championships, with three by the time she was 20. The Hartford Boat Show will be open Saturday, Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Throughout the show, visitors will have the opportunity to see the SeaBreacher Killer Whale boat, which jumps out of the water and dives back under by nearly ten feet; test their skills at the Dish Frontier Virtual Fishing Tournament; take the Blackhawk Fishing Charters Fighting Chair Challenge, attend seminars presented by the Annapolis School of Seamanship; watch paddleboard demonstrations in the Paddler's Paradise Pool, follow the remote controlled flying fish of Air Swimmers, and attend Tips and Tricks sessions to learn about traveling with children, boating with dogs, long trip preparation and other topics.
Tickets for The Hartford Boat Show are available at www.hartfordboatshow.com. Pre-show online tickets are $10 and a multi-day pass is available at $18, which allows access to the show any two days. The Senior Skip'rs pass for Feb. 10 is $8. Admission on-site at the Show will be $12. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free.
For more information, visit www.hartfordboatshow.com.