It’s fun, entertaining and warm with its summer feeling in mid-winter, but the boat show is also serious business for boaters and wannabe’s who are set on buying a new boat now.

So, why do so many boaters wait until boat show time to buy? Here are five reasons:

1. Touch and Feel! We’re living in a digital age. People do lots of research online. That’s good. But they can’t touch, feel and small a boat on a computer screen. The boat show allows buyers to come face-to-face with a wide variety of boats and, particularly, spend time boarding and fully inspecting the model they may want to own.

2. Saves Valuable Time: “The boat show is the only place where a buyer can see dozens of brands and models in a single location,” explains Tom Mack of South Shore Marine. “It saves a lot of driving time going from one dealer’s showroom to another, and time these days seems in short supply. It’s easiest to compare boats at the boat show.”

3. Great Incentives: “Sales incentives are a big part of marketing today,” says Gary Tennefoss at Ravenna Marine, “and our boat and motor manufacturers back up dealers like us with their biggest yearly incentive packages. These can range from extra discounts and free extended warranties to major rebates and other valuable offers, but they’re normally available only while we’re exhibiting in the boat show.”

4. Competition: Jason Clemons at Clemons Boats sees it this way: “As dealers, we are unified in supporting boating and our boating industry. But there’s no denying we must compete for market share whether we’re selling small aluminum skiffs or 50-foot motor yachts. And that’s never more evident than when we’re looking across the aisle at each other on the floor of the boat show. The result is the year’s most competitive pricing and real savings for buyers.”

5. Timing is Everything: The boat show is in January. The weather outside is frightful but the I-X Center is delightful. After all, people aren’t rushing into dealer showrooms in the cold to buy their boat. “It’s timing,” points out Todd Armstrong at Boat Masters Marine. “It’s actually the reason the boat show is held January. We dealers need to sell boats in dead winter and the boat show crowds produce a successful sales month or us. Serious buyers take advantage of the lower show pricing and incentives we can offer. It’s a win-win.

This year’s edition of Ohio’s oldest and largest boat show will run Thursday – Sunday, January 17 – 21 in Cleveland’s I-X Center. Get the latest details at: www.clevelandboatshow.com

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