Page 8 - Mid America Boating - June 2021 issue
P. 8

The Catawba Island Boat Show welcomes boaters with enthusiasm

     ]     8  If there are any doubt boaters want to see shows return, it was laid to rest as thousands

      attended the return of the Progressive Catawba Island Boat Show after a year’s absence.
        “This was the first in-person boat show staged anywhere in the 8-state Great Lakes region in
     JUNE 2021     [     MID-AMERICA BOATING
      over 16 months,” says Michelle Burke, president of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association.
      “We believed boaters love shows and if we brought back the Catawba show now, they would
      come. We’re delighted with the turnout,” she added.
        This was actually the 16th edition of this show held at the prestigious Catawba Island Club.
      Over the years, the event has become more than just the in-water displays power and sailboats
      from small inflatables to 60-foot motor yachts along with over 50 accessory exhibits. To many,
      it’s considered the annual kick-off party for the Lake Erie boating season. It’s the only time each
      year that CIC is open to the public, which adds to its attraction.
        To ensure a successful return, Burke added new features. These included a major Walleye
      Fishing Seminar and a new program called “Daily Dockside Discussions” that featured expert
      anglers informally giving fishing advice. In another area, “Daily Dockside Discussions” boasted
      experts addressing general boating subjects ranging from boating safety to the best phone aps





                                                                                  available for boaters.
                                                                                   To enhance the spring kick-off party atmosphere, live music was tripled with a variety of
                                                                                  groups and entertainers taking the show stage from Miss Kitty and the Litter to Nashville
                                                                                  recording star Steve Brownell. In addition, select food trucks, the always popular daily sailing
                                                                                  trips by Harbor North’s popular “Discover Sailing” demonstrations.
                                                                                   Buyers clearly passed through the gates, too. In spite of the lowest dealer inventory levels
                                                                                  ever experienced due to the Covid-related national supply chain problems, boat and accesso-
                                                                                  ry sales at the show were reported brisk by many exhibitors.
                                                                                   “Every dealer is doing their best to help customers find an available model that meets their
                                                                                  expectations,” says Burke. “The industry experienced record sales in 2020 and that has carried
                                                                                  into 2021. More and more families have been discovering that boating in Ohio is a desirable
                                                                                  outdoor activity. In fact, it’s more than an activity, it’s a great lifestyle,” she boasts.
                                                                                   Perhaps Tom Mack, South Shore Maine, summoned up this year’s show best: “We always see
                                                                                  quality  prospects  attending  this  show.  And  while  inventory  presents  a  problem,  we  have
                                                                                  always been part of this event because it’s in a beautiful facility and something we now look
                                                                                  forward to every spring.” MAB




                 enjoy the experience...



























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