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Norwalk Boat Show reports attendance gain

Organizers of the four-day Progressive Norwalk (Conn.) Boat Show, which ended Sunday, said attendance was up from 2016 and sales were brisk.

The show had more than 280 exhibitors. Attractions such as the new Touch-a-Boat exhibit and the returning Try it Cove were favorites among the more than 15,000 attendees.

“This was a great year all around,” said John Pritko, vice president of Northeast shows for the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “The show continues its growth track, and we were excited to present new features like Touch-a-Boat, as well as build on annual favorites like Try it Cove to really give people a taste of the boating lifestyle.”

Many exhibitors reported strong visitor interest and solid sales leads.

“One of the most important measures of our success is the success of our exhibitors,” Pritko said. “We have been very happy with the feedback we’ve received, with many exhibitors reporting that they met their sales goals by day 2 or 3 of the show.”

Show visitors got to check out 300 boats in the water and land-based exhibits at Norwalk Cove Marina. Touch-a-Boat gave visitors of all ages the opportunity to talk with captains, snap a photo and learn about life on the water.

The display included a police and fire boat, a Sea Tow rescue vessel, a working oyster boat and a number of recreational models. Try it Cove let people get out on the water with boat rides and paddleboard and kayak demos.

For youngsters interested in working in or on boats, the Chart-a-Career Fair allowed children to explore jobs in the marine industry, giving them access to experts in marine engineering, vessel operations, sales and marketing, finance and more.

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