This roundup of upcoming shows and events includes news from the Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show, the Minneapolis Boat Show and the Southern California Marine Association's 2011 schedule.
The 2011 Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show returns Jan. 7-16 to the Reliant Center.
Show president Ken Lovell said local boat and camper dealers have dealt with slower sales, but Houston has many more boating and travel opportunities compared with other areas of the country.
"When it comes to boating, we have every type of body of water you can imagine at our back door," he said in a statement. "Also, Texas has very easy access to the water, with hundreds of free or very low-cost boat ramps, and there are plenty of storage facilities. So it's easier and much less expensive to operate a boat here.
"We have seen so many give up their pricey vacation homes and expensive airfares in exchange for a new boat or camper, which opens the door to so many more fun and cost-effective options - close to home or out of state," he added.
More than 1,000 powerboats, luxury cruisers, fishing boats and personal watercraft will be on display, as will a large selection of campers, travel trailers and RV accessories and everything imaginable relating to the outdoors.
Visitors to the boat show will find everything from patio furniture to golf carts, fishing guides and gear to resort getaways, skiing and wakeboarding accessories, even fashions, art, jewelry and beach bags.
New events are planned and popular events are returning, including Fish-O-Rama - a longstanding tradition at the show and a favorite with kids; the giant 5,000-gallon Bass Tub aquarium, featuring expert fishing demonstrations; and the 7-foot Comic Bot robot.
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Mahogany Bay announced that its rare prewar classic commuter yacht Tempo, a 44-foot John L. Hacker design built in 1936, will be appearing for the first time in 40 years at the Minneapolis Boat Show, which runs Jan. 20-23 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Tempo was owned by musician and Canadian dance band leader Guy Lombardo, who used it for 35 years to commute from his Long Island, N.Y., restaurant and home to his summer performances at Jones Beach Amphitheatre on Long Island.
In addition to Tempo, Mahogany Bay's Minneapolis Boat Show exhibit will feature vintage classic boats. Also on display will be artifacts and storyboards on "The History of Wooden Boating in America."
"We're very excited to bring Mahogany Bay's 'History of Wooden Boating in America' exhibit, featuring Tempo, to the Minneapolis Boat Show," show manager Jennifer Thompson said in a statement. "The exhibit promises to be both educational and entertaining to boat enthusiasts young and old, and is a great addition to the show."
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The Southern California Marine Association announced its 2011 boat show schedule. It consists of five events, including the flagship Los Angeles Boat Show.
The 2011 SCMA consumer boat show season begins March 17 at the Los Angeles Convention Center with the 55th annual Los Angeles Boat Show. In addition to new model introductions, the four-day show features a personal appearance by Russell Newberry, who is seen on the Discovery Channel reality TV show "Deadliest Catch."
Also on display for the first-time in Southern California is the Dolphin Seabreacher submersible boat, which jumps, dives and rolls like a real dolphin at speeds as high as 40 miles an hour.
On May 14-15, SCMA hosts MarinaFest 2011 in Marina del Rey. MarinaFest is a community-based event centered on the boating lifestyle. Luxury motoryachts and sailboats will be displayed in the water and on land and there will be a variety of marine accessories, electronics and water sports equipment, including kayaks, windsurfers and paddleboards.
The Orange County Boat Show and Sportfishing Festival takes place May 21-22 at the Orange County Fairgrounds. A sportfishing event for serious saltwater anglers organized by Pacific Coast Sportfishing Magazine was added for 2011.
The eighth annual San Diego Yacht and Boat Show at Sheraton Marina and Cancer Survivors Park on Harbor Island is set for July 14-17 and the Long Beach Yacht and Boat Show runs Oct. 20-23 at Shoreline Village Marina.