Newport show adds more dealers and exhibitor space

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The 42nd annual Newport (R.I.) International Boat Show returns Sept. 13-16.

The show is “a bellwether of the industry, both in terms of pre-show exhibitor commitments and at-show sales,” Newport Exhibition Group division director Tom Delotto said in a statement. Based on early indicators, “it looks like the industry is on its way back from the low point of the recession a few years back,” Delotto said.

Exhibitors are adding more space to booths and new dealers are entering the show, according to organizers. Newport for New Products, the show’s recognition of new boats and products, has nearly 40 entries this year, more than in any year since 2008.

Discover Boating president Carl Blackwell will lead a presentation on opening day to give an industry update, along with providing a social media forum. The group’s newest interactive event for sailors and powerboaters — “Welcome to the Water Hands-on Training Series” — will be a new feature of the show. A collection of 60- to 90-minute clinics and three-hour seminars takes place completely on the water in a dedicated fleet of power and sailboats.

A second annual Cruisers Party will be hosted by Bob and Jody Bitchin, who are using the event as an East Coast debut for their new online and quarterly publication called Cruising Outpost.

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