With about $30 million worth of boats and at least 75 vendors under one roof, the 38th 2020 Grand Strand Boat & Sportsman Expo is the place to be Jan. 10-12.
The vendors will have products aimed at boating, power sports and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.
“They sell everything from entry-level kayaks and paddle boards to $500,000 offshore fishing machines,” said Kevin Bennett, general manager of the show.
Calling the crafts ‘fishing machines,’ he said, “When you spend that kind of money, we don’t call them ‘boats.’ ”
According to the expo’s website, www.grandstrandboatandsportsmanexpo.
com, inshore to offshore fishing, ski and pontoon, deck boats and aluminum fishing boats and all the equipment and bells and whistles that go with them will be available.
The website also says that “experienced boating and marine vendors will be on hand with hunting, biking and camping gear, boating products, fishing gear, fishing tackle and every machine accessory needed for a safe and fun boating season.”
The expo is at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center Friday, Jan. 10 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 12 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children younger than 12 and free for children younger than 3.
The expo will also include several seminars appropriate for people just getting into the sport as well as some for experienced folk.
“The Coast Guard puts on safety seminars, and charter captains talk about inshore and offshore fishing,” Bennett said.
“Some people come out for the seminars to hone their game, and, if you have someone entry-level who’s thinking about buying a boat, the safety classes steer them,” he said. “Boating isn’t that complicated, it’s not like flying a plane.”
Bennett said the nicest thing about the Grand Strand Boat & Sportsman Expo is, “if you’re serious about buying a boat, you can go to one place and compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.
“Each vendor carries different lines of boats, so you can just park your car and see everything,” he said. “You can touch it, climb up on it, look at it, talk to the vendor, it’s all right there in one place.”
And, Bennett added, because January is the kick-off to boating season and most boat shows are in January, February and March, the dealers and vendors at the expo “pass on incentives to the buyer to get a better deal at the boat show than any other time of year.”
He added that spending seven or eight hours at a boat show definitely helps a potential buyer know what is best for his type of fishing and his family.