Dealers to unveil watercraft and anglers to host expo at Charleston Boat Show, which showcases 35th year next Friday-Sunday

A host of dealers representing fishing boats to cruisers, ski boats to yachts will be on hand at the Charleston Boat Show Jan. 23-25 at the Charleston Area Convention Center. (Provided).

This staple event set for Jan. 23-25 commands all levels of experience within the Charleston area boating scene.

Seasoned watercraft buffs can pore over vessels from 21 dealers who combined sell 83 brands. Experienced fishermen and women can cast their lot at a coastal angling fest. Singles, couples and families old and young can ogle powerboats, skiffs, cruisers and yachts. And newcomers, whether puzzled who the john boat was named for or not sure how “ski boats” get down snow-covered slopes, can learn a thing or two.

It’s the Charleston Boat Show, hosted by the Tri-County Marine Trade Association.

“The Charleston Boat Show started 35 years ago and has evolved into the event that kicks off the Lowcountry’s boating season,” according to organizers. Dozens of boats will be lined up at the Charleston Area Convention Center for attendees to walk through and get a feel of their size and looks.

“There is something for everyone’s taste and budget,” backers noted. Indeed, vessels can run from below $20,000 to more than $1 million.

At the same time, the show’s “coastal fishing expo” will draw in kids and adults to try out their angling skills and learn about the sport while having the chance to pick up gear, lures and rods.

“The Charleston Boat Show is your one-stop shop for all things boating, marine education and family-friendly entertainment,” said JBM & Associates, the Upstate company that produces the show every year.

The expo, according to organizers, will feature several local captains speaking about everything from net-casting inshore to fishing offshore. Coastal Angler magazine sponsors the traditional fest.

Highlights include Coastal Angler Magazine Angler Academy saltwater fishing school (Register at; seminars on Fishing 101, Get your Kids into Fishing, Understanding Sonar, Reef and Wrecks Fishing, Nearshore Reef Fishing, Offshore Fishing and Shrimping; S.C. Department of Natural Resources “fishing simulator”; knot tying expert Dan Machowski, aka “Dan the Knot Man’; Floaty Boat starring Capt. Bill as he “floats” through the show as a pirate, yacht captain, fisherman or ukulele crooner while challenging people to boat trivia games; FasTrack Entertainment “micro reality stock car system” on the outside parking lot; face painting by Susan Fedor; and Kiddy Bounce “bouncy houses.”

Here’s a list of participating boat dealers and brands:

- Barrier Island Marine — Chris Craft, Pioneer, Maverick, Pathfinder, Hewes, Cobia, Yamaha.

- Berkeley Outdoors Marine and Powersports — Ranger, Triton, Lowe, Bentley, Bulls Bay, Nautic Star, Cypress Cay, Tracker, Nitro, Tahoe, Stratos.

- Boat N RV — Caravelle, Key Largo, Sunchaser Pontoons, Gibbs Quadski.

- Butler Marine of Charleston — Key West, Everglades, Stingray, World Cat, Glacier Bay, Carolina Cat, Sea Pro.

- Cape Fear Catamarans of the Southeast — Cape Fear Catamarans.

- Cape Romain Marine/Pawley’s Island Marine — Tidewater, Scout, Smokercraft Pontoons, Monterey, Yamaha, Evinrude.

- Coastal Carolina Yacht Sales — Pursuit, Jupiter, Tiara, Back Cove, Sabre.

- Doss Marine — Blue Wave Boats.

- Duncan’s Boats — Bayliner, Regal, Tidewater, Zodiac, Sweetwater.

- Fort Macon Marina Inc. — C Hawk Boats.

- Hall Marine Charleston — Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, Meridian, Scout.

- Hanckel Marine — Contender, Sportsman, Carolina Skiff, Cast and Blast Boats.

- Hilton Head Boat House — G3 Aluminum Boats, Parker Boats.

- Longshore Boats — Bennington Pontoons, Ranger Tugs, Edgewater, Robalo, Chaparral.

- Matthews Marine — Action Craft Boats.

- North Point Yacht Sales — Southport.

- Palmetto Boat Sales — Regulator, Sea Fox, Riptide.

- Seel’s Outboard — Yamaha, Grady White, Sea Hunt, Alumacraft, Wesco, Venture, Hurricane, Evinrude.

- Tailwalker Marine — Yellowfin, Cobia, Pathfinder, War Eagle.

- The Boat Shed — Parker Boats.

- Ulmer Boatworks — Bentz-Craft hulls.

Located next to North Charleston Coliseum, the show will be open noon- 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $9 for adults, $5 for military with a valid ID and $4 for children (kids 3 and under get in free). Parking is free.

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Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or