Suncoast Boat Show expands to fit more boats

The Suncoast Boat Show, set to take place April 21-23 in downtown Sarasota, will feature 25 percent more boats this year.
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The Suncoast Boat Show will be held at Marina Jack in Sarasota.

The Suncoast Boat Show will be held at Marina Jack in Sarasota.

The 35th annual Suncoast Boat Show, set to take place April 21-23 in downtown Sarasota, will feature 25 percent more boats this year as it continues to draw new exhibitors.

“At Suncoast, we have a ton of new boats and new exhibitors in that show — we’re completely sold out,” said Brett Keating, vice president of consumer marketing for show producer Show Management. “We actually had to change the whole layout of the show to accommodate more boats on land.”

“We actually had to remove a tent, the 400 tent, to put more boats on land,” Keating told Trade Only Today. “We had to totally reconfigure the show, it’s completely packed. I think for next year, if the trend continues, we’re going to have to look at gaining more marina space and land space.”

The show, which will take place at Marina Jack, will also host children’s fishing clinics for the first time this year.

Hosted by Captain Don Dingman, Hook the Future will take place during the weekend on April 22-23. The clinics are free with admission and will take place at noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Children will learn everything they need to be successful at catching fish, including how to fish the water column, lure selection and casting.

"Kids always leave with big smiles and confidence, as well as a lot of great prizes," Dingman said in a statement.

Hook The Future Kids' Fishing Clinics revolve around fishing, but also are about more than landing the next big catch. They are also about empowering children. Dingman lost his 22-year old son Brian in 2004. This inspired him to start Hook the Future as a non-profit organization to show other parents how important it is to spend quality time with their children.

Hook The Future's mission is to engage children in fishing through education, foster responsible anglers and teach them how to live a fit and healthy lifestyle, all while being good stewards of the environment.

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