Chicago Boat Show to celebrate 90 years

The 90th Annual Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show returns to Chicago Wednesday, Jan. 8 – Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, with new features and events.

The event will showcase over 700 boats, 100 RVs, sailing and boating educational opportunities, plus the latest in technology and outdoor accessories, the show will also introduce the new Discover Boating Experience and a special $5 ticket price after 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 9.

Throughout the show, guests can make the most of their experience by taking part in a number of new features and events, including the Discover Boating Experience (DBX). DBX is the ‘Hub for Boaters,’ an educational marketplace immersing guests in a nautical atmosphere where they may mingle, enjoy short form seminars from experts, explore new products, learn boat care tips, discover new technologies, learn how to navigate a boat show and much more. DBX offers guests a place to relax and have a drink while enjoying a variety of topics, from hearing inspirational stories to listening to live music. DBX connects people to the boating and outdoor world through a variety of avenues, and ultimately gets more people on the water and outdoors. 

New to the show this year, guests can take advantage of $5 after 5 on Thursday, January 9. After 5 p.m., guests can enjoy $5 tickets to the show, as well as $5 food and beverage items. Attendees may also bring their parking receipt to the show office (Room S401) that day to receive $5. The receipt must indicate arrival to McCormick Place after 5 p.m.

Offering a number of family-friendly features, the show invites guests to go fishing at the Huck Finn Trout Pond and try their hand at Remote Control Sailboat Racing. The Chicago Maritime Arts Center also invites guests to learn tool and boat building skills. Attendees will be invited to build a boat from a sheet of aluminum foil and compete to see whose design will hold the most golf balls without sinking. The competition is open to both kids and adults, and the top competitors from all categories will win prizes. Those interested in learning to sail can also try their hand at the Chicago Sailing Sail Simulator.

Attendees looking to test their boating IQ can drop into the Progressive Insurance Boathouse. Here, attendees may experience Progressive’s state-of-the-art Oculus Rift virtual reality experience, putting themselves at the helm of a virtual boat race. For those looking to improve their nautical know-how, the Annapolis School of Seamanship will be on deck with an array of hands-on boating courses, from “Docking De-Stress” to “10 Steps to Being a Good Gilligan.”

More than 100 hourly boating and sailing seminars are available for attendees of all levels, featuring some of the most recognized names in sailing including Pam Wall and John Kretschmer. Full and half-day paid seminars will also make for the most comprehensive sailing education program under one roof. The nation’s leading RV expert, David Solberg, will also cover many topics including cool RV tools, gadgets and must-have apps, and practical advice for your next road trip.

Several new power boats, sail boats, and RVs will be debuted at the 2020 show, and guests will have the opportunity to experience the Queens of the Show, Skipper Bud’s new 2020 46 Cantius, a new 46-foot express cruiser, and the new 2020 Prestige 460, a 46-foot, luxurious yacht from Springbrook Marina. 

The Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show will be open Wednesday-Sunday, Jan. 8-12, 2020. Show hours are as follows: 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 8, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday, January 9 and Friday, January 10, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday, January 11, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, January 12.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online for $15 for adults; children 12 years old and younger are free. Tickets are $10 on Wednesday, January 8 for Seniors (62 & older), and on Thursday, January 9, tickets are $5 after 5 p.m. and guests will be treated to other $5 specials such as food and beverage items.

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