Shows and Events

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This roundup of upcoming shows and events includes news from the Detroit Boat Show, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival, the New England Boat Show, the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association, the Yacht Collection Sale Annapolis and the International Marina Institute.

The 53rd annual Detroit Boat Show opens Saturday and runs through Feb. 20 at Cobo Center.

More than 60,000 consumers are expected to visit to see and buy hundreds of new 2011, 2010 and 2009 boats, organizers said, adding that many dealers attribute as much as 50 percent of their annual sales to sales and leads generated at the show.

More than 1,500 boats, worth an estimated $50 million, traditionally sell during the nine-day show.

"The Detroit Boat Show is a great event to attend, whether you are in the market to buy a boat or if you are just looking for an opportunity to have some family fun," show manager John Ropp said in a statement. "We bring hundreds of boats for fishing, skiing, wakeboarding and cruising to Cobo for easy comparison shopping, but we also fill the hall with great activities and promotions for those looking for some entertainment or something to do with their family or friends."

Also available for purchase are motors, dockage, water toys, skiing and wakeboarding gear, boating and fishing accessories, electronics, boat gear, nautical gifts and artwork.

The Michigan Boating Industries Association owns and produces the show. The association says revenue from the event funds boaters' interests through the group's programs and services.

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The second annual Palm Beach (Fla.) Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival will be held this weekend at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

In today's economy, the Marine Flea Market provides an outlet for the marine industry and private individuals to sell overstocked, new and used marine equipment at a fraction of the original retail cost.

Hundreds of vendors will offer items that include fishing rods, reels, lures and lines, collectibles and maps, teak furniture, tournament gear, nautical art, crafts and jewelry, marine artifacts, boating apparel, taxidermy and fish reproductions, diving equipment, marine accessories and parts, and floating docks.

New and used boats also will be displayed and for sale during the three-day flea market. Private sellers and boat dealers will be at the boat corral section to answer prospective boaters' questions.

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Visitors to the 55th annual New England Boat Show, which runs Feb. 26-March 6 in Boston, can expect to invest in happiness, according to a recent report from CBS Money Watch, which identified buying a boat as one of the top ways to "buy happiness."

The nine-day event offers New Englanders an opportunity to board and compare boat options side-by-side with unprecedented bargains from the region's top dealers and take advantage of show specials on the latest marine accessories and electronics.

"The New England Boat Show not only provides new and seasoned boaters the ideal chance to compare hundreds of brands and get a great bargain, but also an annual tradition where families and friends can gather together for some nautical fun while preparing for boating season," show manager Joe O'Neal said in a statement.

"And with the addition of Sailfest, new activities and educational courses, everyone is sure to be inspired to discover why life is truly better with a boat," he added.

The show's first Sailfest features the newest and best in sailing for racers and pleasure cruisers. Attendees can see, board and explore dozens of sailboats, ranging from 8 to 45 feet, from more than 20 builders and shop at more than 100 booths of sailing-related products and services.

Other features include the new remote-control sailing pond, educational sailing seminars, a close-quarters boat handling clinic and a two-day marine meteorology course.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association produces the show.

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The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association is offering its Marine Equipment Operator Training in two locations in March.

Registration is open for courses in Charleston, S.C., on March 1, and in Delran, N.J., on March 15. Both offer marine straddlelift training in the morning and marine forklift training in the afternoon.

"We feel all members of the marine industry benefit from having two choices for [operator] training in March," association president Pam Lendzion said in a statement. "Our Marine Equipment Operator Training has always been a great, low-cost ABBRA product and we are delighted to offer two sessions this winter."

The association's training addresses such topics as OSHA requirements; operator responsibilities; accident prevention; equipment inspection; boat lifting and blocking standards; job-site safety; lift planning; supervisor awareness; and rigging considerations. Longtime association instructor Paul Doppke will be presenting the straddlelift and forklift sessions.

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Chesapeake Harbour Marina, of Annapolis, Md., will again host the Yacht Collection Sale Annapolis.

Nearly 20 area dealers have signed on to the event and will be displaying 60 powerboats and sailboats from 32 to 74 feet.

The preview day is April 15 and the show is set for April 16 and 17.

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The International Marina Institute, a subsidiary of the Association of Marina Industries, scheduled its annual fall conference for Oct. 23-25.

This year's topic is "Increasing Marina Profits in the New Economy: From Surviving to Thriving." The event will be held at the Sheraton Suites Cypress Creek in Fort Lauderdale.

Seminar topics will focus on new profit ideas, how to use an existing marina footprint to its maximum capacity, and ways to survive and thrive in the new economy. Marina reconstruction, retrofit plans, best profit ideas and ways to streamline business systems and processes also will be in the program.

The conference will feature products that assist marinas in increasing profits and offer many networking opportunities for speakers, vendors and attendees.

"The economic recession has inspired marina owners and operators to be more creative, innovative, and responsive," AMI president and chairman Jim Frye said in a statement. "This annual conference is a perfect opportunity for marina professionals to share new ideas and network with peers in an effort to increase the viability of their businesses."

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