Miami boat shows have something for everyone

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Sister sail- and powerboat shows in February offer a bounty of all things boating

The Miami International Boat Show and its sister show, Strictly Sail Miami, are scheduled for Feb. 17 to 21, and together they offer boats, accessories and seminars for just about every kind of boater.

The powerboat show at the Miami Beach Convention Center and Sealine Marina and Yachting Center is expected to display more than 3,000 boats from 6 to 80 feet, and draw 2,200 exhibitors. Show-goers will be able to test boats at the Sealine Marina on Biscayne Bay, and anglers can catch seminars presented by some of the world’s top names in the Big Game Room on the convention center’s second floor.

Boaters or prospective boaters who are unsure of the type of vessel they want or can afford can drop by the Discover Boating Center, a resource hub in the convention center’s C Lobby that helps buyers find the right boat for their needs, budgets and lifestyles.

PassageMaker magazine plans to host TrawlerPort Miami, which offers an opportunity to meet cruisers and learn more about trawlers, destinations and the cruising lifestyle. (Visit www.passagemaker.com for registration and other information.)

The sailboat show at Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace is expected to draw 200 exhibitors and enough multihulls (15 to 74 feet) that organizers are calling Strictly Sail the “Cat Capital” now. Strictly Sail’s Boat Show U offers free daily seminars for sailors and cruisers of varying expertise. Discover Sailing: The Ultimate Adventure, an introduction-to-sailing program, gives attendees a half-hour introductory sail on Biscayne Bay, some instruction in basic sailing techniques, and information about local sailing schools.

Strictly Sail again will offer its Kids Aboard boatbuilding program. Children age 4 and older can help build a boat under supervision from noon to 6 p.m., Friday through Monday, while their parents go boat shopping.

Tickets for preview Thursday are $25. Single-day adult admission Friday through Monday is $15, a two-day ticket good any day except Thursday is $24, admission for children age 6 to 12 is $4, and children age 5 and under enter free.

The Sealine Marina section requires no ticket. Free shuttle bus service from parking areas and between venues is available. www.miamiboatshow.com