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Providence show returns in February

The 23rd annual Providence Boat Show, presented by Washington Trust, will run from Feb. 4-7.
Visitors are shown browsing the Reel Island section of the Providence Boat Show last year.

Visitors are shown browsing the Reel Island section of the Providence Boat Show last year.

The 23rd annual Providence Boat Show, presented by Washington Trust, will run from Feb. 4-7 with an updated layout for easier navigation through boat and gear displays, new special-interest areas, an expanded seminar program and even a tie-in to a Hollywood film debut.

“The Providence Boat Show is a great place for boat buyers to talk to dealers and brokers and make their decisions early in the season — and now that we have expanded to four days, there is plenty of opportunity to get one-on-one time with an expert,” Rhode Island Marine Trades Association CEO Wendy Mackie said in a statement. “But we cater to all kinds of boaters: those who simply want to fish from shore, or kayak, or charter a boat, or even those who have never stepped foot on a boat before. There is truly something for everyone.”

RIMTA owns and manages the show, which will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

New England author Michael Tougias, who co-wrote the book on which the new Disney film “The Finest Hours” is based, will speak at the show on Feb. 7. The film will be released Jan. 29.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association said new-boat sales rose by 8.5 percent in 2014. Industry data reveal a 10.5 percent rise in 2015 third-quarter sales, compared with the previous year, particularly in the categories of power craft featured at the Providence show.

Show organizers said that’s good news for local industry coming to the boat show, but it also leaves buyers looking to purchase a boat for the coming season with a sense of urgency to make boat-buying decisions before other New Englanders do.

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