Soak up the sights

Massive boat show offers chance to peruse all things watersports

By Clint Cooper Article posted on Thu. Jan. 24th, 2013

Dozens of boats fill the exhibition hall at the Chattanooga Convention Center for a previous Chattanooga Boat & Sport Show.
Dozens of boats fill the exhibition hall at the Chattanooga Convention Center for a previous Chattanooga Boat & Sport Show.
Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
IF YOU GO

What: Chattanooga Boat & Sport Show

When: 3-9 p.m. today, Jan. 24; noon-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27

Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1150 Carter St.

Admission: $9 adults, free for children under 12

Phone: 256-509-3574

Website: www.bkproductions.biz

Last week after buckets of rain, area residents may have been pondering the need for a boat to get to and from their homes.

But whether they want a boat for basic transportation on waterlogged streets or, more typically, for summer recreation, they'll find almost anything they need at the Chattanooga Boat & Sport Show today through Sunday, Jan. 24-27, at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

The show, according to organizers, is the longest-running and biggest boating event in the Tennessee Valley, with more than 100,000 square feet of boats, accessories and family activities.

Keith Parker of Athens, Ala.-based BK Productions says the show will feature a dozen boat dealers, who will display cruisers, ski boats, aluminum boats, wakeboard boats, bass boats, personal watercraft and pontoon boats.

He says despite the still sluggish economy, boat sales continue to rise.

In 2012, he says, sales were "up quite a bit" over 2011.

For serious buyers, financing and insurance will be available on-site.

In addition to boats, water recreation lovers can check out marinas, marine equipment, boat lifts, water skies, watersport accessories, fishing equipment, life jackets, inflatables and swimwear.

"All of that will be there," Parker says.

In addition, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials will be on hand to sell fishing and hunting licenses. And, Saturday at noon, TWRA will offer a safe boating class.

For an extra charge, visitors can try out a waterball, Parker says.

The transparent orb, 8 feet in diameter, allows zipped-in users to walk on water in the commercial-grade, reinforced PVC tarpaulin.

Parker says the boat show annually attracts more than 6,000 adults and several thousand children.

On Saturday, as long as supplies last, children under 12 accompanied by an adult will receive a free rod and reel.

Contact Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.

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