FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Executive Director, CMTA
START THINKING ABOUT SUMMER FUN ON THE WATER AT THE HARTFORD BOAT SHOW THROUGH SUNDAY FEBRUARY 11
Hartford Boat Show Opens with Over 400 Watercraft, Demonstrations, Boating Personalities, Educational Sessions, and Family Activities
ESSEX, CT – February 8, 2018 – With the red carpet fanfare of a liner launch, the Hartford Boat Show opened today, Thursday, February 8, at the Connecticut Convention Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony presided over by Ron Heilbig, Chairman of the Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA), producers of the event. Heilbig was accompanied by Commander Kevin Reed, Deputy Sector Commander at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound; State Representative William Petit (22nd District); Susan Walen, Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP); Michael Lambert, Bureau Chief, Outdoor Recreation, DEEP; Colonel Kyle Overturf, State Environmental Conservation Police, DEEP; Scott Bates, Chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority; and Rob Simmons, Selectman, the Town of Stonington.
Representatives from the show’s sponsors Evinrude, Geico, Renewal by Andersen, Leaf Filter of North Connecticut, Shore Side Docks, the Connecticut Convention Center, students and educators from the Thompson Public School District’s boat building program and the district’s Superintendent of Schools, Melinda Smith also assisted in cutting the ribbon. As part of the opening event, the CMTA announced the winner of its annual scholarship program which provides scholarships to qualified member employees and their family member to further their educational pursuits related to the marine trades industry, and matching donation checks were presented to the Thompson School District’s boat building program by Renewal by Andersen and the CMTA.
Now in its 49th year, The Hartford Boat Show will be docked at Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, through Sunday, February 11 featuring over 125 exhibitors, 400 watercraft, and educational sessions presented by the Three Belles Outfitters, Black Hawk Fishing Charters, Blackhall Outfitters, and the New England Science and Sailing Foundation (NESS), with session topics rotating and repeating throughout the event. Remaining show hours are Friday, February 9 from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm; Saturday, February 10 from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm; and Sunday, February 11 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For schedule details and a full list of exhibitors, visit www.hardfordboatshow.com.
Covering two levels of the convention center, the show provides boating enthusiasts the opportunity to put their winter weather woes behind them and start planning warmer weather activities on the water. Visitors will navigate through exhibits of boats of all kinds and sizes, jet skis, personal watercraft, paddle sports, kayaks, marinas, motors, slip rentals, servicing, fishing gear and tackle, educational programs and materials, insurance, trailers, electronics, sanitation, air conditioning, real estate, attire, nautical home décor, decking, dock building, winter storage, financing, shoreside activities, and destinations.
Black Hawk Fishing Charters of Niantic will be presenting sessions covering “Ten Top Tips to Catch More Fluke, Seabass & Cod. Also out of Niantic, Three Belles Outfitters will present “Intro to Kayak Fishing,” “The Power of Sonar – Kayak Fishing,” and “Catch Monster Striped Bass from a Kayak.” Expanded this year, the skill-testing Blackhawk Fishing Charters Fighting Chair Challenge will run throughout the show. In the 800 square foot Paddler’s Paradise Demo Pool, Blackhall Outfitters from Old Lyme will be conducting live demonstrations of paddle board tips and tricks with a “This is Easy!” session geared toward beginners, “Paddling with your Feet?,” which will introduce the new Malibu PDL recreational kayak, “Stand up Kayak Fishing,” and will also provide instruction on “Kayak Fishing Rigging Techniques and Outfitting your Boat.” An outboard engine basics classes will be presented by the NESS. As an ocean adventure nonprofit that provides STEM-based education programs, on and off the water, for students from all walks of life, the group will also conduct two sessions on Using Boating for STEM Education.
Musical entertainment to inspire warm weather activities on the Connecticut waters are scheduled to include James Harris at Friday’s Happy Hour on February 9 from 4:00 to 7:30 pm, and the steel drums of The White Eyed Lizard Band on Saturday, February 10 from 2:00 to 7:00 pm. Two of Connecticut’s most popular radio stations with their on-air personalities will be broadcasting from the show, with the crew from WWYZ-FM 92.5 Country appearing on Friday, February 9 from 5:00 to 7:00pm; and WHCN-FM 105.9 The River kicking covering Saturday, February 10 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. WUCS-FM 97.9 Sports appeared today, kicking off the show at 3:00 pm.
On Saturday February 10 and Sunday February 11, kids visiting the show are welcome to join in some Hands on Fun in the new Windows to the Future area and try their hands at boat building kit activities. The sessions will run 12:00 to 5:00 pm on Saturday, and 12:00 to 3:00 on Sunday. The Windows to the Future section is sponsored by Renewal by Andersen, and will also feature students from Thompson Public School District’s boat building program constructing a small wood boat, DEEP, NESS, and Cedar Island Marine Research Lab, students from The Sound School of New Haven, and several of the state’s technical school automotive departments.
Visitors to the Hartford Boat Show should also be on the lookout for the Geico Gecko Friday through Sunday. Fun for all, the Geico Gecko will be making appearances at 3:00 pm each of those days throughout the convention center.
Tickets for The Hartford Boat Show are available at www.hartfordboatshow.com. Pre-show online tickets are $10 and a multi-day pass is available at $18 which allows access to the show any two days. The Senior Skip’rs pass for February 9 is $8. Admission on-site at the Show will be $12. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free. Group sales for groups over 15 people may be arranged by contacting CMTA Show Staff at 860-767-2645.
Follow new developments on Facebook at @CMTAboating, Twitter at @HartfordBoatSho and Instagram at ctmarinetrades.
About The Hartford Boat Show: Now in its 49th year, the Hartford Boat Show features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, sport and ski boats, sailboats, personal watercraft, paddle boats and boards in addition to fishing gear and tackle, marinas and boatyards, other marine services and boating accessories. Produced by the Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA) the show is open to the public February 8-11, 2018 at the Connecticut Convention Center, and will feature over 125 exhibitors, 400 boats and watercraft, as well as educational seminars, boating personality appearances, and demonstration areas. www.hartfordboatshow.com
About Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA): The CMTA is a not-for-profit trade association representing boating and related marine industries throughout Connecticut, from the Long Island Sound to the state’s rivers and lakes. Founded in 1954, the CMTA has over 330 member businesses and is dedicated to the well-being of the industry by promoting the interests of recreational boating, improving industry condition, monitoring legislative and regulatory issues, and advancing boating education throughout the state. www.ctmarinetrades.org