Business roundtable highlights Providence show


The Senate Oceans Caucus and its potential effect on Rhode Island will be the subject of a marine business roundtable on Friday during the Providence Boat Show.

Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D.-R.I.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) are co-chairmen of the 16-member caucus, which was created last year to increase awareness and find common ground in responding to problems faced by the coasts and oceans.

The roundtable will be held at 10:15 a.m. in the Fifth Floor Rotunda of the Rhode Island Convention Center. The speakers will include Whitehouse, James Currie, legislative director of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Susan Swanton, executive director of the Maine Marine Trades Association, and Dan Pingaro, chief executive of Sailors for the Sea.

Registration will be at the second-floor escalator.

Click here for the full agenda.

Also on Friday, the show will feature Marine Career and Boating Pavilions organized by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association.

The 19th annual show opens Thursday and runs through the weekend, and for the first time the lower level of the convention center will be a place where those who attend the show can search for bargains and the trade can add to its immediate bottom line.

The new Marine Bargain Basement will be held Saturday and Sunday and offer space exclusively to boat dealers, boat and fishing equipment retailers, boatyards, marinas and others in the trade to sell new marked-down items and after-holiday specials or used boat gear.

As an anchor to the space, Rhode Island’s non-profit Clean The Bay will offer hundreds of boating products donated by others in the trade. Proceeds from their booth sales will assist the group’s work of keeping coastal waters free of shoreline debris.

Show seminars and new do-it-yourself workshops also will be on the ground floor, adding to the traffic the marine mart creates.

There will be more than 300 boats and 100 booths on the main floor above.