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Shows and Events

This roundup of upcoming shows and events includes news from the Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show, the Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow, Strictly Sail Chicago and the Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Expo.

The 2012 Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show, set for Jan. 12-16 at McCormick Place, will feature new hands-on education, specials on hundreds of boats, RVs and marine accessories and several new attractions.

“The Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show offers visitors a summer escape and a unique opportunity to find products for any outdoor adventure and for every lifestyle and budget,” show manager Keith Ogulnick said in a statement. “With the region’s top dealers offering the best deals on boats and RVs, plus new educational seminars and fun attractions for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, there’s no better winter destination to discover why life is better with a boat or RV.”

The show’s attractions include:

Fred's Shed, DIY seminars and interactive learning center:Do-it-yourselfers or boat owners interested in maintaining, repairing or upgrading their boat or engine can head to Fred's Shed for practical professional advice.

    Power Boat Docking Challenge:New and experienced boaters can become more confident behind the helm.

      Learn to scuba-dive:Anyone age 10 and older can discover this fun and exciting sport in the comfort of a heated pool at the new World of Scuba exhibit. Scuba instructors will explain basic dive rules and skills, then head underwater with attendees.

        Paddlefest: See and learn everything needed to get started in paddle sports. From kayak fishing to stand-up paddleboarding, experts will be on hand to demonstrate these outdoor activities.

          All online e-ticket purchases include a one-year magazine subscription to Yachting, Spa, Ski, Boating or Soundings magazine.

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          The 55th annual Progressive Insurance Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow runs Jan. 25-29 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, offering hundreds of the latest boats and recreational vehicles, gadgets and gear.

          “The Progressive Insurance Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow provides visitors with a one-stop shop for boats, RVs and gear for all outdoor adventures,” show manager Kim Muncy said in a statement. “The 2012 show showcases the region’s top dealers under one roof offering some of the best deals of the year, plus we have an extensive lineup of seminars and fun activities for the whole family.”

          In addition to shopping the 2012 show, visitors can find special features that include:

          Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel:Wearing her custom life jacket, Twiggy water skis behind a radio-controlled boat that cruises around a custom-made heated pool.

            Fred’s Shed:Do-it-yourselfers or boat owners interested in maintaining, repairing or upgrading their boat or engine can head to Fred's Shed for practical, professional advice. Free, daily seminars and talk-show format clinics cover a variety of topics and include demonstrations and question-and-answer sessions.

              Gills & Game Zone Fishing Seminar Series:An enhanced fishing seminar series and speakers are offered at no cost for attendees.

                Kids’ Cove activities for children 15 and under, including a visit from SpongeBob SquarePants’ friend, Patrick Star.

                  Kids’ Trout Fishing:Introduce children to fishing at the catch-and-release pond, where young anglers can fish for live trout. It's free for children 12 and under each day of the show.

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                    With new interactive seminars, a rare U.S. appearance from world-class sailor Jimmy Cornell and a renowned yacht that’s cruising into Navy Pier — the largest to ever be displayed at an indoor boat show — the 2012 Progressive Insurance Strictly Sail Chicago runs Jan. 26-29 at Navy Pier.

                    The show is an annual tradition for an estimated 20,000 visitors from nearly 10 states across the Midwest.

                    “In addition to the greatest deals on the newest sailboats and accessories, the show is the perfect winter destination for everyone, whether you’re an experienced sailor or looking to get started in sailing,” show manager Kevin Murphy said in a statement. “With more than 200 educational seminars, including a new series on safety, a world-famous sailor sharing his secrets and stories and the unveiling of the largest sailboat to ever be displayed indoors, the 2012 show is one of our best yet.”

                    Special attractions include:

                    Meet a Sailing Legend: Jimmy Cornell may not be a world recognized name, but in the sailing world he’s equal to Michael Jordan. A sailor and author, Cornell has sailed more than 200,000 miles, completed three circumnavigations and launched and organized more than 20 trans-Atlantic rallies.

                      Get a Glimpse of the Queen:This renowned yacht from Pinnacle Yachts measures 85 feet, the mast stands nearly 100 feet and the largest sail measures 5,000 square feet and is constructed of high-tech carbon fiber, costing about $3.5 million. It also has the pedigree of record-breaking performances and wins and is quite possibly the fastest sailing yacht ever to grace Chicago’s lakefront.

                        Learn the ropes with seminars for new sailors and experienced skippers: Strictly Sail Chicago’s seminars offer dozens of courses covering everything from “Sailing 101” to advanced navigation and safety.

                          Welcome to the Water Discover Sailing Center:Get started in sailing and learn how to make the most of your time on the water.

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                            The Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Expo is returning Feb. 10-12 to the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., for its 36th year of bringing attendees the best in outdoor gear and tackle as well as information and instruction from some of the nation’s most experienced and respected hunters and anglers.

                            “The Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Expo is the premier and longest-running outdoor sports show in New England,” show director Paul Fuller said in a statement. “We will have hundreds of exhibitors who will be selling the latest fishing and hunting gear that is not available from retailers and mail order catalogs. In addition, the show is a great place to learn from professional anglers and outdoorsmen at our many seminars and demonstrations.”

                            For the first time at the Worcester show, attendees will be able to see a live alligator-handling demonstration. Jeff Quattorcchi, who is known as the Swampmaster, will be getting up close and personal with alligators as much as 7 feet long while teaching the audience about the animals.

                            The expo’s Bass University is where attendees can learn from premier professional bass anglers. Bassmaster Classic winner Mike Iaconelli is headlining the teaching team, along with pro anglers Pete Gluszek and John Crews.

                            The expo also has the new Outdoor Skills 101 class. Experts in an array of subjects will offer short instructional seminars.


                            Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Opens Today

                            The show runs through Oct. 31, and organizers are hoping for a return to pre-Covid success.

                            Non-profit Takes Aim at Access

                            Families for Boating works with community advocacy groups to help curb regulatory threats to on-water activities.

                            Garmin Reports 25 Percent Q3 Growth for Marine

                            The electronics manufacturer says demand for plotters was the primary driver.

                            Polaris Reports Flat Q3

                            Though boat sales were up 18 percent, demand in the company’s other segments was hindered by a lack of product availability, driven by supply-chain issues.

                            Raymarine Unveils New Radar

                            The company said it is “disrupting the radar category” with Cyclone, which it will unveil at FLIBS this week.

                            Don’t Let Up on the Throttle

                            With a successful fall show season wrapping up soon, the winter schedule may be even more important to your bottom line.