Summer boat show returns to Sheraton Harbor Island
by NICOLE SOURS LARSON
Jun 20, 2014 | 2329 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Colorfully arrayed sailboats are exhibited in the water at a previous Progressive Insurance Sheraton International Boat Show. Photo by Nicole Sours Larson
Colorfully arrayed sailboats are exhibited in the water at a previous Progressive Insurance Sheraton International Boat Show. Photo by Nicole Sours Larson
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Mexican boating and sportfishing seminars, tours of the Maritime Museum’s newly restored Vietnam-era “swift boat” and superyachts, plus free sailing lessons aboard the Sailing Simulator, are among the highlights of the 11th annual summer in-the-water international boat show.

The Progressive Insurance San Diego International Boat Show will splash into the Sheraton Harbor Island and Spanish Landing Park on Thursday, June 20 and run through Sunday, June 22.  Show hours are noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are $12 for adults, with children 15 and under and active-duty military, police and fire personnel with ID admitted free.

This year’s show continues to expand its international focus and emphasis with greater participation from transnational vendors and larger yachts.

“We have a lot of big boats coming this year, at least 10 superyachts over 80 feet,” said Dave Geoffroy, vice president of sponsoring organization National Marine Manufacturing Association. “We have a lot more new boats this year, as well as brokerage (used) boats. Buyers are starting to gravitate towards new boats again.

“Our shows are very interactive, with lots of things to do, including kids’ activities,” he said. “At our event there are seminars where people can take powerboating or sailing lessons or learn about fishing, SCUBA, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding.”

The show will feature about 150 new and used boats exhibited on land and afloat, reflecting the improving economy and the public’s renewed embrace of boating, Geoffroy said.

Visitors can expect to see vessels ranging from personal watercraft, paddleboards, kayaks, dinghies and inflatables to mid-size sailboats and powerboats up through luxury superyachts.

South Coast Yachts will be exhibiting five new Bénéteau yachts, both sail and power, ranging from 34 to 48 feet, said Barrett Canfield, South Coast’s president.

“We’re very excited having this show to start off the summer,” said Canfield. “It brings out more people encouraged by the warm weather who know they can use their newly purchased boats right away.”

This year, a record 150 vendors will exhibit under tents in Spanish Landing Park, offering an array of boating accessories like electronics, canvas, anchors and other marine gear, as well as boating services.

Guests can choose from dozens of educational seminars and skill-building clinics focusing on south-of-the-border boating, sportfishing and both sail and powerboating subjects, including boat-handling and seamanship, docking and maintenance and repair.

The show website lists both free seminars and Discover Boating’s on-the-water “At the Helm” clinics, for which advance registration is recommended and extra charges apply.

Fees for each Discover Boating clinic include same-day boat-show admission.

The show also features a “Be a Diver Pool,” where guests equipped with a swimsuit can experience an introductory diving lesson and opportunities to try stand-up paddleboards, kayaking and other paddling sports.

The family-friendly boat show offers food for sale from the floating Fiddler’s Green Tiki Bar, the Rotary Club’s barbeque and gourmet-food trucks. Paid parking is available at the lot adjacent to the hotel.

The show is located at the Sheraton Harbor Island Hotel & Marina, 1380 Harbor Island Drive.

For the latest exhibitor, seminar and advance ticket-purchase information, visit www.sandiegointernationalboat-show.com.
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