The largest and longest-running in-water boat show on the Great Lakes will return to the region when the Progressive Insurance North American Demo Boat Show opens Sept. 13-16 at Cedar Point in Sandusky.
The 40th annual event will feature new and pre-owned powerboats, sailboats and accessories from more than 60 exhibitors.
“The Lake Erie islands support such a wide variety of on-the-water activities,” said Show Manager Ken Alvey. “This show has thrived for decades because of the region’s diverse boating community. Whether you like cruising, fishing, sailing or picnicking on a pontoon, we’re going to have something for you.”
Alvey spent all summer reworking the event’s dock layout to allow for demos on more than 40 boats.
“We used to be able to demo eight or 10 boats and the demo-accessible spots were always the first to sell out,” he said. “It was a great way to get people out on the water and we knew we had to expand.”
Big boats have sold well at the show in recent years and the 2012 event will include several models longer than 40 feet. Leading the way will be the new 2013 Marquis 500 Sport Bridge displayed by SkipperBud’s. The Italian-designed 500 features a spacious social area that ties the galley, salon, cockpit and swim platform together on one level.
Cruising fans should be sure to also check out the spacious Azimut 45 displayed by MarineMax Ohio and the sleek Sunseeker 48 Portofino displayed by Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales.
On the sail pier, free sailboat rides will be provided by Harbor North.
Several demo-themed features have been added this year, including Flyboard demos and ODNR Division of Watercraft-sponsored close-quarters boat handling lessons in the water.
The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps’ 76-foot LCM-8 retired military landing craft will be open for boarding and island-regular Steve Brownell will provide musical entertainment each day.
The Progressive Insurance North American Demo Boat Show will be held noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Admission will be $9 for adults; children 12 and younger will be admitted free.
For more information, visit cedarpointboatshow.com.