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How to Make the Most Out of Your South Florida Boat Show Experience

It’s a new year, replete with resolutions to focus at work, exercise more, and spend quality time with family. We’ve already covered working smarter in another blog post, and I’m no exercise guru, so let’s use this post to talk about a fun activity for the whole family — South Florida boat shows. Here are our ten tips to get the most out of your South Florida boat show experience.

1. Plan Your Boat Show Trip

Boat shows can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you want to see or do. Spend a little bit of time before the show starts to outline your goals: what dealers and manufacturers you want to visit, what boats you want to tour, how you will get there, and where you will eat.

2. Dress Comfortably

We have the luxury of living in sunny South Florida, so don’t forget you will be walking outside for a majority of the day. Make sure you have your sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. Also, wear slip-on shoes, not only for the comfort but because you will likely have to take your shoes off when touring boats.

3. Allow (Plenty of) Time for Parking, Shuttles, and Security

The logistics of actually getting to the boat show itself are daunting. Throngs of people are trying to get to the same spot all at once, so make sure to account for traffic. If possible, buy your tickets, parking passes, and shuttle or water ferry tickets ahead of time. And don’t forget the security lines once you finally arrive!

4. Follow Apps and Social Media for Boat Show Updates

While maps are available throughout the venue, another nice place to learn more about what’s on offer is through the boat show app and social media. You can keep up-to-date on shuttle schedules, find out where your favorite dealer is located, and even store a favorite boat for viewing later.

5. Use VIP Days for Serious Shopping

First time at a boat show? Ease your way in with a day pass. On the hunt for a new boat? Consider buying a VIP ticket. While expensive, they do offer value for experienced shoppers who have specific purchasing needs. You get to effectively cut the line and have a more personal experience with sales staff. Plus, you get other fun perks with the VIP experience.

6. Reserve Shopping for the Weekdays and Fun for the Weekends

Boat shows typically last four to five days, starting midweek and ending on a Sunday or Monday. If you are in the market for a boat, consider visiting during the first few weekdays so you can really research and make your evaluation when there are smaller crowds. Then, save the fun meandering for the weekends. Bring your family and friends!

7. Take Pictures for Boating Gear

Need a new fish-finder or set of speakers? Don’t forget to take pictures of the current setup on your boat so you can show the manufacturer rep. Having the right dimensions is key as well, so you know if you have to do any refits on install.

8. Don’t Forget the Finances

I couldn’t write a blog post without talking about finances! Buying a new boat is a fun — and also stressful — experience. Know your budget ahead of time, and make sure you speak to insurance and financing experts if you are close to closing on a new boat. We can help guide you through this process, too. 

9. More Than Boats: Classes, Presentations, and Training

An often-overlooked aspect of boat shows are the educational and training opportunities available. You can attend in-class seminars or get on-water training on different types of boats. Not all are for beginners, either. Who wouldn’t want to freshen up on their docking in headwinds from the experts? 

10. Have Fun

Whether you are closing on a new yacht or just wandering the docks, have fun out there! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the crowds and all the boating options. If you need a break, just grab a seat (and maybe a drink, too) and enjoy some people-watching in the shade. 

Drop us a Line (Pun Intended)

Nothing beats a boat show on a South Florida winter day. If you want some more boating tips from Harbor Crest Wealth Advisors, feel free to sign up for our monthly newsletter.