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Shows and Events

This roundup of upcoming shows and events includes news from the American Boating Congress, the National Boat Owners Association and the International Marina & Boatyard Conference.

Registration is now open for the American Boating Congress, set for April 24-25 in Washington, D.C.

“Now, more than ever, we must unite as stakeholders in the recreational boating industry in one place, at one time, to tackle the legislative and regulatory issues affecting each of us and to let our members of Congress hear from us in person,” said the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which produces the event. “The American Boating Congress is the place for our industry to take action.”

ABC co-hosts are the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas; the Center for Coastal Conservation; the South Carolina Marine Association; the National Marine Distributors Association; the Boy Scouts/Sea Scouts; the Boating Trades Association of Metropolitan Houston; the U.S. Superyacht Association; and the Association of Marina Industries.

Those who register now can take advantage of a discounted early-bird rate of $200.

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The National Boat Owners Association, in conjunction with the Southern Kingfish Association, said the Second Annual Gulf Coast Open will be held May 4-5 at the Ramada Sarasota (Fla.) Waterfront Hotel and the Sara Bay Marina.

Hundreds of anglers, sponsors, industry leaders and spectators assembled for last year’s three-day fishing event, which raised more than $9,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida. This year’s tournament again will benefit the local Make-A-Wish Foundation chapter; the goal is to raise enough money to grant at least two wishes.

“We’re very excited to host this tournament for the second year,” association vice president Jeffrey Berndt said in a statement. “It’s been great to have our friends in the marine industry step up and support this event, and best of all we’re raising money for a worthwhile cause.”

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The next International Marina & Boatyard Conference will be held Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2013, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale.

The event, produced by the Association of Marina Industries, is the only conference specifically geared to marina and boatyard owners, operators and managers, as well as dockmasters, harbormasters, boatbuilders and repairers and industry consultants.

“We’re excited to bring IMBC back to Fort Lauderdale,” AMI president Jim Frye said in a statement. “The city has proven itself to be an ideal location for a marina conference. Many of our participants are from south Florida, which makes travel easier, and there are so many restaurants and entertainment options, people really enjoy themselves while in town for the conference.”

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