Boat shows: How to get the most out of your visit; top tips from Safe Harbour Insurance
Boat shows are big and called a show for a reason. Most shows include exhibits, seminars, demonstrations, entertainment and of course the boats – both indoors and out; there is something for everyone. And on top of that you can view some of the most interesting indoor water competitions from indoor surfing to SUP (standup paddle boards).
Boating season is coming up fast in Canada. The launch of the Toronto boat show this week – Jan 17-26, 2020 – kicks off a series of boat shows across the country. On the west coast, the Vancouver Boat Show starts Feb 5 2020. If you are new to boating we would like to help you get the most of the fabulous boat shows across Canada.
Tip #1 Wear good walking shoes
One thing at a boat exhibition is that you will be walking for miles. Often boat shows have both indoor and outdoor locations. But keep in mind if you want to tour through new boats, you will need to take your footwear off. So try to wear something that is easy to get on and off.
Tip #2 Be prepared to get the most out of a boat show
Even the smallest of these events can be overwhelming. Take time in advance to plan your visit or in some cases multiple visits. Decide why you are attending and then plan accordingly. Are you in the market for a new boat, the latest gadgets, attend some education seminars, learn more about boating? Review the show floor plan and the schedule.
Tip #3 Plan the day of the week
Many boat shows are conducted longer than a weekend. If you are adverse to crowds plan to go during the week and early mornings are less busy.
Tip #4 Take a small backpack
We all love swag. But even if you leave the vendor goods behind you will want to carry a bottle of water and some snacks. More than likely you will find something to buy! Having a small backpack allows for hands free and is easier to carry in busy crowds.
Tip #5 Take advantage of the discounts on boat purchases
A boat show is the perfect place to pick up your dream boat. Know which boat is right for your lifestyle and budget. Many suppliers offer show deals. But in order to get the best deal, do your homework in advance. Make sure you are clear on your budget, and include things like taxes, delivery and proper pleasure craft insurance.
Tip #6 Put a Pacific Marine Broker on your speed-dial
If you decide to sail away with a cruiser, fishing, sailboat, pontoon, or yacht, a certified Pacific Marine Broker can give you an insurance quote over the phone for any boat you are looking to buy. Often people think home insurance will cover a boat asset, but that is not the best way to insurance a pleasure craft. Read more on why to buy boat insurance.
Tip #7 Have fun & interact
Owning a boat can be life changing and exhilarating. It is truly a lifestyle choice. Have fun at the boat show and take time to interact with vendors and exhibitors. The boating community is very friendly and most people are happy to share tips, tricks and wisdom. Now don your deck shoes and get going. Here is a handy list of some popular upcoming boat shows:
Canadian Boat Shows
Feb 20-23, 2020 Ottawa Boat Show
Photos used courtesy of Toronto International Boat Show and Mid Canada Boat Show.