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Ocean State boat show returns in May

Rhode Island marine companies are hosting a free boating event designed to jump-start the arrival of summer — the Rhode Island Boat Show — which will take place May 3-4 in four coastal venues and feature boats, experts and activities.

“Early May is the perfect time to travel the coast and see the boats on the market for the coming season,” the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association’s Jonathan Banks said in a statement. “Experienced boaters, families, even those who’ve never stepped foot on a boat before can see the fleet of sail and powerboats, have fun skill building on the water and spend quality time with experts who can help boaters make the right buying decisions.”

The statewide show will be held in Bristol, Jamestown, Wakefield and Warwick. Organizers have added new attractions to expand the appeal of the show, which is in its fourth year.

Out-of-state visitors can use the event as a way to explore the Ocean State as a boating destination, including its no-sales-tax policy on boats and boating services.

Capt. Ralph Wilkins — featured on the National Geographic Channel reality TV series “Wicked Tuna” — will be a star attraction at the Warwick and Wakefield venues on May 3 and in Jamestown on the morning of May 4.

On-water clinics with professional instructors will be held throughout the weekend; a sailing class will take place in Jamestown with instructors from Narragansett Sailing; and Confident Captain will run powerboating clinics at Warwick on boats provided by the Freedom Boat Club.

For the first time this year, the show will feature a Marine Consignment Weekend. It will be organized by Salty Dog Marine Supply at the Bristol venue.