The 66th edition of what is the largest boat show on the West Coast will fill the exhibit space at CenturyLink Field and plenty of docks on South Lake Union. There will be more than 420 exhibitors and more than 200 boat brands on display when the Seattle Boat Show opens Friday.
In addition to plenty of boats, show visitors can visit with scores of vendors selling boating accessories, nautical art, safety equipment, radios, charts and more. There will be dozens of free seminars each day, as well as the advanced Boat Show University.
Here are five things to check out at this year’s show.
1. There will be more than 1,000 watercraft of all sizes, shapes and descriptions on display at this year’s show. Among the boats that will be new to the show are Harris FloteBotes. Lake Union Sea Ray will have five to seven pontoons on display with a variety of models ranging from 18 to 25 feet. Chris Craft returns to the show after a five-year absence. Seattle Watersports will display the Chris Craft Launch 22, an open bowrider. Gig Harbor Boat Works will be introducing the Scamp, a 12-foot micro-cruiser commissioned by Small Craft Advisor magazine and designed by John Welsford of New Zealand. Visitors to Lake Union can see the largest boat in the show, a 120-foot yacht for sale at $3.95 million.
2. This year’s show will offer more than 200 free boating and fishing seminars. The schedule includes talks on destinations including Alaska, Catalina Island, British Columbia, the San Juan Islands, the canals of France and the South Pacific; boating techniques such as anchoring, life raft deployment and trailering a large boat; fishing topics like catching Puget Sound chinook and coho, saltwater fishing in British Columbia, how to catch albacore tuna in the Northwest and Dungeness crabbing. There also is Boat Show University, with more detailed classes on various topics. Each is $39, or $139 for four classes (five-day pass included).
3. There are a couple of kid-centric activities at the show. Families can visit the “Build a Boat Marina” in the East Hall at CenturyLink Field. There, kids will be given a plastic boat hull and can choose from buckets of accessories to glue onto and bling their boat. Also in the East Hall will be the Aqua Paddlers. Kids attending the show can get some time on the water using the Aqua Paddlers paddle boats. Life jackets will be provided. Aqua Paddlers will be available for use each day of the show.
4. All the talk of adventures on the salty high seas make might you thirsty. From 5-9 p.m. opening night, the show is holding “Uncorked.” Wines from 10 Washington wineries will be served at stations throughout the show, and a special admission ticket includes a souvenir wine glass and 10 tasting tokens. For those who prefer beer, Sails and Ales is a similar event, but with craft beers from 10 Washington brewers. It will be from 5-9 p.m. Feb 1. Tickets for both events are $27 and can be purchased online or at the show.
5. Watch Splash, an aerial acrobatic show. The performances will take place in the West Hall at CenturyLink. The nautical-themed performances will feature Seattle aerialists and acrobats doing Cirque du Soleil-style aerial work. Four women will perform on triple trapeze; one will use a cloud swing; and one man will use a rope. Performances will be Mondays-Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. There will be no performance Feb. 3.
Seattle Boat Show
WHEN: Friday-Feb. 3
WHERE: CenturyLink Field Event Center and South Lake Union.
HOURS: CenturyLink Field: Mondays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.; Fridays, 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (will close at 4 p.m. Feb. 3). South Lake Union: Weekdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; weekends, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (will close at 4 p.m. Feb. 3).
TICKETS: Adults $12; youths ages 11-17 $5, children 10 and younger admitted free. Five-day BIG pass $24; family pack $49 (includes two adult tickets, two youth tickets, four hot dogs and one day of free parking). On weekdays, tickets are $8 and parking is $5 after 5 p.m.
SHUTTLE: There will be a free shuttle service between the two locations.