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Winter boat show roundup

The 30th annual Charleston Boat Show will be held Jan. 22-24 at the North Charleston Convention Center.

The event is the area's biggest boat show and features the latest models, many offered at discount prices, organizers say. Exhibitors will display an extensive collection of marine and fishing products, including fishing accessories, marine electronics, boat lifts, dock systems, marine finance, insurance and nautical artwork.

This year, the Charleston Boat Show is partnering with the Lowcountry Food Bank to give back to the local community.

"We're asking people to bring five canned goods to the show for $2 off the admission price of $8," show producer Jacqui Bomar said in a statement. "There is so much need in our community that we really want to try and make a difference, especially since the show typically gets 8,000 to10,000 attendees."

The Charleston Boat Show is hosted by the Tri County Marine Trade Association. Sponsors include West Marine, Stage Presence, WEZL 103.5 and Tideline. The show is produced by JBM & Associates.

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The 69th annual Miami International Boat Show takes place Feb 11-15.

In advance of the show, the National Marine Manufacturers Association released a "by the numbers" look at the event:

* 2,175-plus: Number of exhibitors in 2009

* 51: Percentage of Florida-based exhibitors

* 50: Number of exhibitors at the first Miami International Boat Show, held in 1941

* 96,736-plus: Number of attendees in 2009

* 41: Percentage of visitors who travel to the show outside of Florida

* 100,000-plus: Number of attendees expected in 2010

* 9,030: Number of full-time jobs the show supports annually in Florida

* 3,000-plus: Number of watercraft on display at the 2009 show

* $1,000: Cost of least expensive powerboat at the 2009 show

* $4.5 million: Cost of most expensive powerboat at the 2010 show

* 6 feet: Length of smallest powerboat in 2009

* 96 feet: Length of largest powerboat in 2009

* 73 feet: Length of largest sailboat in 2009

* 2.5 million square feet: Gross amount of exhibition space at the Miami Beach Convention Center

* 1 million square feet: Amount of carpet used at the Miami Beach Convention Center - enough to cover 20 football fields

* 1,500-plus: Number of workers required to move exhibitors in and out of the Miami Beach Convention Center

* 5 days: Length of time required to transform the Miami Beach Convention Center into the world's premiere boating event

* 14 days: Length of time required for electricians to complete the show's temporary power plant; a permanent installation with the same electrical requirements would require six months to build.

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Sail America, the Northern California Marine Association and the Port of Oakland reached an agreement to hold Strictly Sail Pacific April 15-18 at Jack London Square in Oakland.

For 2010, Strictly Sail Pacific will return to an all-sail show and will feature a four-day format, an improved layout, better parking, indoor seminars, added features, and a wide selection of in-water and on-land exhibitors.

The Sail America Executive Committee voted unanimously to continue supporting the Strictly Sail Pacific show despite the current challenging market conditions, executive director Jonathan Banks said in a statement.

The new four-day format will reduce costs for out-of-town exhibitors and will also help to save money to produce the show. Research and past experience has shown that the same number of attendees come to a four-day show as a five-day show.

Sail America and NCMA have decided not to co-produce a combined sail and power show in 2010. Instead, Strictly Sail Pacific and Pacific Power Boat Expo will be stand-alone shows that will be held alongside one another.

"Although the two shows will be separate, there will be common tickets and we expect the majority of the powerboat attendees to also visit the sail show," Banks said. "This format will help to produce an appealing sail-only atmosphere, but will also expose sailing products and services to a broader audience."

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The DockDogs competition will be featured at three of the National Marine Manufacturers Association's 2010 winter boat shows to attract attendees, the association announced.

Research conducted for Discover Boating's "Dogs" television commercial showed a strong correlation between boaters and dog owners.

DockDogs is an internationally known dog-jumping contest where canines from around the country compete in three separate events, including Big Air, Speed Retrieval and Extreme Vertical. Originally launched at the 2000 ESPN Great Outdoor Games, it has become a world-famous competition and now holds more than 100 events annually.

DockDogs will be featured at the following NMMA shows in 2010: Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show, Jan. 13-17; Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow, Jan. 20-24; and the St. Louis Boat & Sportshow, Feb. 10-14.

Show attendees can bring their dogs to the show to compete or just watch the pros in action.

"Many boat owners and outdoor enthusiasts are also dog owners, so we're thrilled to feature DockDogs in these shows and get attendees involved in the action by creating an exciting, interactive boat show experience," said Ben Wold, executive vice president of NMMA, in a statement.


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