Attendance is up, according to Stuart Boat Show officials

Port St. Lucie resident Michael Alvarez and his son, David, 4, check out a 320 Outrage on display Saturday at the Stuart Boat Show. The 38th annual show continues Sunday at three marinas along SR 707/Dixie Highway in Stuart, north of the old Roosevelt Bridge.

Photo by Jennifer Schroeder/Special to Treasure Coast Newspapers

Port St. Lucie resident Michael Alvarez and his son, David, 4, check out a 320 Outrage on display Saturday at the Stuart Boat Show. The 38th annual show continues Sunday at three marinas along SR 707/Dixie Highway in Stuart, north of the old Roosevelt Bridge.


Five-year-old Brian Bieneman of Palm City fights a simulated sailfish with the help of his parents, Wendy and Brett, during the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast's fishing tournament Saturday at the Stuart Boat Show.

Photo by Jennifer Schroeder/Special to Treasure Coast Newspapers

Five-year-old Brian Bieneman of Palm City fights a simulated sailfish with the help of his parents, Wendy and Brett, during the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast’s fishing tournament Saturday at the Stuart Boat Show.


STUART — Despite chilly temperatures, business was booming at the Stuart Boat Show on Saturday with attendance up nine percent over last year’s event.

The 38th annual marine showcase features 150 booth exhibitors, 300 in-the-water boats as well as 200 on-land boats. Featured boats range in size from paddle boards to a 78-foot Buddy Davis sport fisher and range in cost from $500 to $5 million.

“The temperatures are excellent,” said Rick Allen, president of All Sports Productions, Inc., which has produced the Stuart Boat Show for 16 years. “They are just bad enough to keep people off the water, but nice enough to come down and look at the boats.”

According to Michele Miller director of operations for the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast, statistics show people will attend four boat shows before purchasing a boat, and it’s important that shows like this give people the chance to be exposed to all aspects of owning a boat from insurance, to dockage to hurricane preparedness.

“This way they can make an informed educated decision when it comes to buying a boat,” Miller said. “We want them to not only buy the boat, but still love it a year in. Parents who love boating raise kids who grow up to become boaters and anglers.”

For the Bienemans, a trip to the boat show was a family affair.

“We met my parents here and thought it would be fun to come and check out all the new boats,” said Wendy Bieneman, who along with her husband, Brett, owns a Contender and an All Water 21.

After several years of dealing with the rough economy, both Allen and Miller are cautiously optimistic for a strong 2012.

According to Miller, economic indicators show things are looking up for the marine industry. That is good news for Dave Ireland, owner of High Sea’s Fabrication, and the rest of the exhibitors.

“Traffic has been really good, and had a lot of good feedback,” said Ireland, who was showing his Revolution outrigger system, which is made for smaller boats. “This is a local show for us and as much as it’s for sales, it’s also getting to catch up with old customers and other people in the business. It’s a real good show.”

Sunday is the final day of the three-day event, with gates opening at 10 a.m. and closing at 4 p.m.

38TH ANNUAL STUART BOAT SHOW

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday (final day)

Where: HMY’s Waterway Marina, 290 N. Dixie Highway; Apex Marina, 110 N. Dixie Highway; and Stuart Harbor, 54 N. Dixie Highway (SR 707/Old Dixie Highway in Stuart connects all three marinas by land).

Admission: $10 at the gate; kids under 10 free

Parking: Follow signs for parking and shuttle service

Road closed: Dixie Highway is closed from Fern Street to the Southeast end of the old Roosevelt Bridge until Monday

Information: www.allsportsproductions.net or search “Stuart Boat Show” on Facebook


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