Detroit Boat Show February 11-19, 2017 Cobo Center

Summer may be five months away, but the 2017 boating season officially arrives in mid-winter at the Detroit Boat Show.

 This year’s dates are Saturday, Feb. 11 through Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Cobo Center in Detroit. More than 100 of Michigan’s biggest boating dealers will be on deck to exhibit the newest, most exciting models and accessories.

 A number of these marine businesses are from the tri-county area, getting a jump on the sales season so boaters can get their watercraft in the water by Memorial Day Weekend.

 “Each day, there’s something different going on,” said Patti Smith, co-owner of Silver Spray Sports in Fenton. As statewide director for the Michigan Boating Industries Association and a member of the Boat Show Committee, Smith is a local advocate for Michigan’s huge boating industry.

 Most local boat dealers agree that the huge popularity of wake surfing continues to drive the sport boating industry, and pontoons remain a top seller for waterfront property owners. New in the industry are inboard/outboard boat manufacturers who are getting into wakeboarding and surfing boats.

 Jeff Nichols of Aqua Sports Marine will be heading to Cobo Center with five MB Sports Boats, known for their sophisticated ballast systems for the wake surfing industry.

 “What’s pushing the sport right now are guys who used to wakeboard and they’re getting older,” said Nichols. “They’ve gone to wake surfing because it’s much easier on the body. It’s also an easy water sport to learn because there’s so much more surface underneath you.”

 He’s excited about this year’s expanded show. “They’ve opened a wall so there’s another hallway and a half of exhibit area,” said Nichols.

 Silver Spray Sports will be taking eight or nine boats to Cobo. Their most exciting new products are the Nautique GS20 and GS22, a crossover alternative that can do everything from skiing to wakeboarding and wake surfing, according to Smith.

 “This is the first time we’ll show both boats together,” said Smith. “We’ll also have Ski Nautique boats there, plus a full pro shop, docks and hoists.”

 Wilson Marine in Brighton will showcase new models like their 10-foot wide twin engine Bennington Pontoon, along with other Bennington and Harrison models. They will also unveil a 19-foot, Michigan-made center console Scarab jet boat with a fold-down tailgate.

 “We’re really excited to introduce our Heyday and Supreme Surf boats,” said Brad Wilson, general sales manager. “These are awesome surf and wake boats that won’t break the bank.”

 Action Water Sports will host its own boat show this year, Feb. 16-19 at its showroom on Old U.S. 23 in Tyrone Township. They sell MasterCraft water sports and wake surfing boats, as well as Cobalt runabouts.

 “Wake surfing is driving our whole world,” said Troy Rising, sales consultant. “Cobalt just introduced its new line of wake surfing boats, from 20 to 40 feet.”

 Their most exciting innovation is MasterCraft’s new DockStar Handling System, which offers precise steering while reversing, making tight spots like docks and marinas easier to navigate. “It’s the first of its kind,” said Rising.

 Nineteen-foot Yamaha Jet Boats have been selling well since last fall at Freeway Sports Center, according to owner Jim Adams. “They’ve got more horse power, a bigger motor and more power.”

 New Yamaha Wave Runners, at an affordable price point, make it easier than ever to get out on the water. “Fishing boats are still very big,” said Adams. “It’s amazing how busy we’ve been.”

 White’s Landing is the local Bennington Pontoon dealer and he’s looking forward to showing customers the new models. “They just keep making them nicer and nicer,” said owner Jonathan Hamel. “Pontoons are your ‘living room’ on the water. They’re a staple.”

 CC Sports of Brighton will be at Cobo with new 2017 Sea-Doo models. “The Sea-Doo Spark has been out for two years and at $5,299 is very affordable for family fun,” said Chuck Heil, vice president. “Financing is really good now.”

 Other area boat dealers are: Lake Ponemah Marina and Skipper Bud’s both in Fenton.

Here’s what you need

to know before you go:

What: The 2017 Detroit Boat Show

When: Feb. 11-19

Where: Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd. in Detroit

Admission: $13 for adults, children 12 and under are free with an adult, seniors 65 and older receive free admission on Monday, Feb. 13. Watch for other special discounted dates on You can also order your tickets ahead of time online.

Hours: Saturday, 11-9

Monday through Friday, 3-9

Sunday, 11-6

Parking: Cobo Roof Deck

Washington Street Garage

Congress Street Garage

On the street (use People Mover)

Greektown (use People Mover)

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