Trade your winter blues for thoughts of blue skies and blue waves when you visit the Baltimore Boat Show. The show, sponsored by Progressive Insurance and produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, will sail into the Baltimore Convention Center Thursday – Sunday, January 24 – 27.
If you’re in the market for a new boat, need accessories for your current vessel or are just dreaming about a future purchase, the Baltimore Boat Show is the perfect place to be this weekend.
Maryland’s longest-running indoor boating sales event features boats for every lifestyle, activity and budget; plenty of boating-related exhibits; and family fun. Board the boats and browse the booths showcasing the latest in engines, marine electronics, accessories, fishing tackle and gear. Also be sure to check out the free educational fishing and boating seminars and kid-friendly activities.
On Friday at 6 p.m., show goers can check out the 9th Annual Crab Pickin’ Contest. Contestants will pick for great prizes from Conrad’s Seafood Restaurant and more.
According to Jim High of Baltimore Boating Center in Essex, this is the 12th year that Baltimore Boating Center has been an exhibitor at the boat show. High’s family has been participating since 1965, back when it was called the Chesapeake Bay Boat Show held at the Fifth Regiment Armory.
Baltimore Boating Center will have approximately 75 of their boats for sale at the show, including two 2019 KenCrafts.
“As I look out my window and see 5 inches of snow, I can tell you that a benefit to going to the Baltimore Boat Show is you see the boats, and the lawn furniture and the tiki bars and you get a warm fuzzy feeling,” said High. “You break up the monotony of winter and it makes you feel like it’s spring for a little while. It’s great to come and recharge your batteries.”
“This is the best time of the entire year to buy. You have all of the dealers together,” added High, who will have show-only specials running throughout the show.
Baltimore Boating Center has won the “Best Booth Award” every other year at the show. High notes that companies cannot win two years in a row. If you’re looking for his booth, he said follow the Jimmy Buffet music. High will also have information available on the Freedom Boat Club, an affordable alternative to boat ownership.
Here are some other highlights of the Baltimore Boat Show:
For the Fishing Enthusiasts
NEW! Go Fishing Friday
Find all things fishing on Friday at the show. Enjoy a fish fry, sharpen your angling skills at one of the Discover Fishing seminars, or enter the Friday Fish Fighting Tournament. Think you have what it takes to land the winning fish?! Stop by the virtual fishing simulator with your friends and battle to earn the best score for giveaways—or to win the grand prize—a fishing charter!
NEW! Virtual Fishing Simulator
Feel the strike! Watch the rod bend! Experience the pull as your fish runs for the bottom! This interactive fishing simulator is as “reel” as it gets without getting your line wet. Will you land your trophy fish? Or just tell the tale of how it got away? Stand shoulder-to-shoulder and enjoy a friendly competition with your fishing partner to see who can land the big one.
For the Kids
NEW! Touch-A-Boat Tour for Kids
The Touch-a-Boat Tour features actual working vessels from the USCG as well as a variety of recreational boats throughout the Show floor. Kids of all ages can climb aboard, talk with to captains, snap a pic at the helm and learn the ropes of life on the high seas.
Kids’ Build-A-Boat—Toy Boat Building
If they can imagine it, they can build it! Little skippers will have boatloads of fun creating a one-of-a kind nautical masterpieces to take home as a show souvenir.
Junior Captain’s Program
Interactive boating education for kids ages 11–15. A great way to introduce youngsters to the fun of boating.
Progressive Insurance Boat Club
Progressive provides education and inspiration in partnership with the Annapolis School of Seamanship so you can get the most of your boating lifestyle! Stop by to master your docking technique at our docking pool or take a spin at a Virtual Reality boating experience. You can also chat with a Progressive Insurance expert to ask any questions about boating coverage or get a free quote. Children younger than age 13 can participate in the virtual reality activation with parent’s onsite permission.
Boating Skills Virtual Trainer—Test Your Boating Skills
Take the helm and set out on a simulated ”boat trip” to practice boating skills such as docking, pivot turns, stopping and more. The America’s Boating Club Boating Skills Virtual Trainer is equipped with a steering wheel and real Mercury throttle to give you hands-on experience as you pilot your virtual boat on a lake with other powerboats, sailboats, navigation aids and a marina.
Boat Buyers Toolkit
What makes a boat show the best place to buy a boat? You can: compare a wide variety of boats; talk to experts, dealers and manufacturers; and take advantage of special deals and incentives
Women at the Wheel
Want to get out on the water solo or take your girlfriends for a cruise? Join former Chesapeake Bay Magazine editor Janie Meneely as she discusses how to get off the dock and expand your comfort zone at the wheel. The program is for women only and due to limited availability, attendees should register in advance at the Show Information booth to receive a boarding pass for this program.
Dock & Dine on the Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay offers a spectacular range of cruising opportunities, great places to stop and see the sights and fantastic places to eat. Lifelong boater and publisher of Chesapeake Bay Magazine, John Stefancik shares insights on where to go, what to do, and where to find the best eats along the way.
Boating for Beginners
New boaters are often overwhelmed with information. Safety, good boat-keeping, navigation and maintenance—whew—having a good time is overtaken by sweating all these details! Join Stefancik for an easy and straight-forward talk about the important things to know when you are just starting out.
Cruising the ICW
Whether you’re heading for Key West or the Great Loop, one leg of the voyage is the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). Join liveaboard cruiser and Chesapeake Bay Magazine cruising editor Jody Argo Schroath for a discussion about the joys and pitfalls of cruising and navigating this famous inland waterway.
Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show
January 24–27, 2019
Baltimore Convention Center
1 W Pratt St
Baltimore MD 21201
Thursday 10:00 AM — 8:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM — 8:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM — 8:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM — 5:00 PM
Admission: $14.00 Adults, 13 & up
Children 12 and younger— FREE (when accompanied by a paid adult)
On Super Thursday, January 24, tickets are $5 off after 5 p.m.
Save $2 on full-price admission when you purchase tickets in advance online.
Active Military: Show your active military ID at the Box Office onsite for FREE admission.
For more information, go to www.baltimoreboatshow.com.