It makes sense: A boating expo that launches downtown today shares attractions with a popular January event. After all, they sport the same host and producer.
But there's one key difference: the upcoming show takes place at riverside marinas and docks, while the winter gala occurred all on land in a convention center.
According to organizers, the Charleston In-Water Boat Show today-Sunday will showcase more than 60 boat lines from a dozen or more retail operations in the Lowcountry and beyond.
"Regional dealers and manufacturers will be on-site offering 'show only' prices and rebates," backers noted. "From skiffs to yachts, the Charleston In-Water Boat Show will have a boat for every budget."
Specific prices weren't readily available, but expect to see new vessels costing from the low five figures to the lower-to-mid six figures.
Another notable feature about the Friday-Sunday show revolves around the event resurfacing after not being held in the 2010s. Before that, the in-water show was a regular counterbalance to the Charleston Boat Show, which logged its 34th year this past Jan. 24-26.
Dealers point out the boating market has bounced back from recessionary times to where two shows a few months apart can prove successful.
"The Charleston region continues to experience steady growth of affluent people of all ages because of the quality of life the area offers, which includes boating," Scott Chapman, owner of Barrier Island Marine west of the Ashley and president of the Tri County Marine Trade Association," said in prepared remarks.
"We consistently have clients who attend the Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Annapolis boat shows to make buying decisions," he said.
"There is an opportunity to create a regional show to keep those people here and draw more to the area.With the economy continuing to improve and the success of the winter show we feel now is the time to make that opportunity a reality," Chapman said.
Bristol Marina on the Ashley River and neighboring Brittlebank Park will be locations for the three-day show.
"The venue is one of the best on the eastern seaboard for an in-water boat show," said Robbie Freeman, managing partner of the Bristol Marina.
"With Brittlebank Park and many hotels nearby, it will help grow the local boating economy while providing great entertainment for Charleston boating enthusiasts and visitors alike," he said.
JBM & Associates, an event marketing and management company located in the Upstate, produces the in-water show as well as the Charleston Boat Show. Jacqui Bomar is the president.
"We are excited to see the return of this most important maritime event under the management of Jacqui Bomar and her great team," Freeman said.
According to sponsors, boat brands on hand include Action Craft, Alumacraft, Aqua Patio, Bayliner, Beneteau, Bennington, Boston Whaler, Bulls Bay, Carolina Cat, Carolina Skiff, Chaparral, Chris Craft, Cobalt, Cobia, Contender, Edgewater, Everglades, Garmin Sportsman, Glacier Bay, Grady White, Hewes, Hurricane, Key West, Livingston, Maverick, Meridian, Mitzi, Monterey, Pathfinder, Pioneer, Ranger Tugs, Regal, Rinker, Robalo, Sanpan, Scout, Seahunt, Sea Ray, Shallow Sport, Shearwater, Starcraft, Sterling, Stingray, Sweetwater, Sundance, Tidewater, World Cat, Yamaha and Zodiac.
Also on hand will be boating apparel and accessories, electronics, marine safety equipment, nautical artwork and home décor and outdoor living products, the producers said.
Sidelight events include:
-Army Bass Anglers Kids' Fishing Tank, in which youngsters "experience the thrill of catching their own fish."
-Tupolev N 007 "Russian Boat" display, a "flying boat" designed to rescue downed pilots in the Arctic Circle and capable of moving more than 120 mph.
-"New Charleston Mosquito Fleet" wooden boat design. The group in three days will construct a traditional rowing skiff to be raffled off at the end of the show.
-Plundering Pirates of Paradise shows. The "pirates" capture the excitement of sea-life "through skits, games and an improvisational crowd interaction."
-Dragon Boat Charleston demonstration. The 11-year-old organization's mission is to promote physical and mental wellness among cancer survivors and their community.
The "all new" Chevy Silverado presents the Charleston In-Water Boat Show and Maritime Insurance and Allstate Insurance are sponsors. Show hours are noon-7 p.m. today, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 4-12; and free for children 3 and under. Military get in for $5 with a valid ID.
For more information, visit www.CharlestonInWaterBoatShow.com.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.