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Newport International Boat Show opens Thursday

Approximately 600 boats and 750 exhibitors will be waiting Thursday to welcome the crowds as the 42nd annual Newport International Boat Show opens in Rhode Island.

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend the show, which opens at 10 a.m. Thursday and continues through Sunday at a 13-acre site along America’s Cup Avenue in Newport. On display will be boats ranging from 15 to 85 feet, plus kayaks, inflatables, services, equipment, electronics and accessories.

Newport for New Products, the show’s recognition of the best new boats and boating products, has nearly 40 entries this year, the most since 2008. New sailboats from Dufour, JBoats and Bavaria, new powerboats from Hunt, Hinckley, Jeanneau and Protector and electronics from companies such as Forespar and Imtra are included.

The program will include a People’s Choice Award with attendees voting on the opening day. The first day also will feature a news conference. Carl Blackwell, president of Discover Boating and head of the group’s advertising initiative, will lead a presentation at 1:30 p.m.

Discover Boating’s newest interactive event for sailors and powerboaters — the “Welcome to the Water Hands-On Training Series” — will also be a new feature of the show. The collection of 60-minute and 90-minute clinics and three-hour seminars — all requiring preregistration and nominal fees to attend — takes place on the water in a dedicated fleet of power and sailboats at the show.

The hands-on, underway events are taught by Coast Guard-licensed captains who are professional, certified instructors and provide in-depth training in a broad array of subjects of interest to boaters.

Sail America’s “Discover Sailing” initiative will offer free sailing demonstrations from show docks at no extra charge above the show admission.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets purchased at the show on Thursday are $30 ($27 online, plus a processing fee). On the other days of the show, tickets are $18 (or $15 online, plus a processing fee).

On Friday, tickets are half-price for military personnel and Newport County residents. Children under 12 are free every day when accompanied by an adult. A free shuttle bus service will be provided from Easton’s Beach parking lot on all four days of the show.

Further information is available by calling 401-846-1115 or 800-582-7846 or going to www.newportboatshow.com.

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