New England Boat Show opens Saturday in Boston

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The 62nd Progressive New England Boat Show, which starts Saturday and runs through Feb. 18 in Boston, will host a boating career day for the first time.

The Marine Innovation and Career Day will take place Feb. 12 and will seek to highlight the importance of the marine industry in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Marine Trade Association and other industry leaders will address the next generation of students considering a career in recreational boating, organizers said.

The Progressive New York International Boat Show, which ran Jan. 24-28, also hosted a career day, with four industry leaders speaking to 117 kids from area nautical schools.

The Touch-A-Boat Tour, which also was at the New York International Boat Show, offers an up-close opportunity for kids of all ages to explore an array of vessels, talk with captains, and take a picture at the helm.

The tour at the New England show will offer kids the opportunity to board a U.S. Coast Guard boat, walk inside a 40-foot inflatable humpback whale named Salt, create a toy boat and win prizes. Kids also get a boat show passport to collect stamps at 10 boat stops around the show.

Also new this year, Goose Hummock Shops will offer fishing seminars and kayak demos in two giant fiberglass water tanks, Attendees can test lures, rods and reels, plus the latest kayaks.

The Progressive Boat Club will allow attendees to take the helm at Progressive’s new Oculus Rift virtual reality experience. For those looking to improve their nautical skills, the Annapolis School of Seamanship will offer hands-on boating courses and attendees can visit the docking pool’s remote-control model boats.

South Boston’s Coppersmith restaurant will offer visitors live cooking demos including tuna tartare, wontons and prime rib sliders on Feb. 10, Feb. 15 and Feb. 17 from the Goose Hummock booth.

The nine-day event, which is owned and operated by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, is expected to attract more than 50,000 people at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.