US Winter Boat Show No-Go? So, Try These Alternatives

By: Kara Lynn Dunn

Volume 17, Issue 1, January 2022

If your calendar early in the year usually includes a winter boat show event, unfortunately, you will find it has been canceled for 2022. However, the Boating Industries Association (BIA) of Upstate New York suggests four alternatives.

“Our Central New York Winter Boat Show standard is to showcase hundreds of all-new models of power and sail boats, sport and pontoon boats, personal watercraft, and docks. With the low inventory challenge to fill two huge buildings at the State Fairgrounds, the decision was made to cancel the 2022 show and to offer alternatives to fill the gap between now and the 2023 show,” explains BIA President Bernard DeGraw.

Create Your Own Mini Boat Show

“Although inventory is too tight to stage a full show, we are encouraging people to plan their own traveling boat show. Map out a tour of dealers to visit to see what they have for new and pre-owned boats or to talk with them about ordering a boat to your specifications. Enjoy the dealers’ showrooms as mini boat shows,” Central New York Boat Show Manager Drew Wickham suggests. Call ahead to check hours of operation at each of your planned marine dealers.

“Talking with marine dealers is a great way to learn about the required and recommended gear to have aboard your boat to be legally, safely, and environmentally-friendly on NY’s (or your preferred provincial) waters. They can also tell you about the latest trending accessories,” says DeGraw, managing partner of Frontenac Harbor Marina, Union Springs, NY, and FLX Marine, Canandaigua, NY.

Register for a Boating Safety Certification Class

Past Central New York Winter Boat Shows have featured a New York State Boating Information Center, the Power Squadron’s virtual boating console, and safety programming developed by New York Sea Grant, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, New York State Parks Marine Bureau, and others.

Show visitors have learned about New York’s Brianna’s Law that requires motorized boat operators born on or after May 1, 1996 to have a boating safety certificate, and those operating a personal watercraft on New York waters to be 14 years old or older with a safety certificate.

“To find a boating safety certification course for navigating on New York waters, check with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Power Squadron, or see the New York State Parks website [] ” says New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist David G. White II.

Binge Watch BoatNY on Facebook

In lieu of the cancelled 2022 show, try binge-watching BoatNY on Facebook.

The Boating Industries Association and New York Sea Grant have created an ongoing series of short informational videos on boating, boats, and watercraft of all styles and sizes, and clean, safe, and environmentally-friendly boating, which is a monthly feature on Facebook. The idea for the short clips, featuring Wickham and White, began at the Central New York Winter Boat Show in 2020; the segments are now hosted by various marinas.

Yes, binge watching BoatNY on Facebook is great a good alternative.

By Kara Lynn Dunn, New York Sea Grant Great Lakes Program,

Kara Lynn Dunn is the publicist for the New York Sea Grant Great Lakes Program and the Great Lakes Research Consortium. She lives in Mannsville, NY, with her husband, photographer Brian Whattam, who grew up in Three Mile Bay, NY. We suggest you take the time to read Kara's other TI Life articles in three places:  here, here and here.

Editor’s Note: For Ontario and Quebec boaters, links for obtaining a boating license are provided below.

Ontario Boating Licence & Online Boat Exam | Boat Ed®
Get Your Quebec Boating Licence Online - BOATsmart!

Also the Toronto Boat Show 2022 will be a virtual one. See all the information on their website: The 2022 Toronto International Virtual Boat Show (

Posted in: Volume 17, Issue 1, January 2022, Sports

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