Introducing the boating lifestyle

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It was a gorgeous weekend; not a cloud in the sky with temperatures reaching 80 degrees. What perfect days for boating.

What made that weekend even more special is the excitement that was generated at The Marine Industry Association of Central Florida's first annual Discover Boating Demo Days on Saturday, March 29th and Sunday, March 30th.
Thirty manufacturer's boats from nine dealers participated in the fun with the hopes of introducing boating to potential boaters. In these challenging times I believe that different approaches are needed to get new boaters into the sport and provide enjoyment to those with boats.

Boaters who had requested a Discover Boating DVD were invited by e-mail to attend and try the boat of their choice. The number of people interested in finding out about the boating lifestyle was surprising, and the percentage of those taking demo rides came away with a positive attitude towards taking up boating as a lifestyle. Although we were
selling "boating" not "boats", I believe many of that group will purchase boats in the very near future. 

This event was designed to show how great it is to be out on the water and to provide information about boating for the whole family. Discover Boating's Keith Ammons did an exceptional job of helping those who had never boated gain greater insight into a new lifestyle. Keith touched on boating basics, the cost of owning a boat and choosing the right power. Many spent a considerable amount of time with him one-on-one,
getting a better understanding of the boating lifestyle. 

We also demonstrated for those on shore, a number of water sports including wake boarding, water skiing on two skis and a slalom ski, knee boarding and multiple person tubes towed behind a boat. Dealers who were also demonstrating their boats sponsored all these activities.

Incorporated in this event was a Discover Boating family-fun poker run, giving many of those in central Florida an opportunity to have fun boating. This added tremendous excitement to the event as trophies and door prizes were presented to the winners. It also provided further incentive for the whole family (and friends) to become involved in
boating. Next years event will include additional fun events to bring boaters for the weekend and have them share their experience with those interested in boating.

Not only will this event be held annually in Mt. Dora, Florida, but MIACF intends to run similar events throughout central Florida. I'm really excited because I believe this and other non-boatshow events can bring thousands of new people to boating.

How about sharing with us what you have been doing to promote the boating lifestyle.

David Ray
Executive Director
MIACF

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