Census report: Boat shows beat winter blues

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About now, people in many parts of the country are tired of winter - and dreaming about their favorite warmer-weather outdoor activities, which includes boating.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that boating is a "major hobby," with Americans owning nearly 17 million pleasure boats.

"Buying and maintaining new and used boats, including docking and storage, costs us over $33.5 billion a year," the bureau said in its daily "Profile America" feature.

"Those dreams are fed by many fishing and boating shows across the nation, showing the latest power- and sailboats, and fishing and camping equipment," the bureau added. "Among the major events held this month, the Milwaukee Boat Show starts today and is expected to draw 25,000 winter-weary people."

Other major boat shows are being held this weekend in Seattle, New York, Minneapolis, Charleston, S.C., Cleveland and Arkansas.

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