Area boaters, dealers preparing for South West International Boat Show
As far as Peter Bryant is concerned, it only makes sense for a show featuring boats to be held on the water.
That's the approach he'll be taking with the South West International Boat Show, coming to South Shore Harbour Marina in League City Thursday through Sunday, April 14-17.
The marina is at 2500 S. Shore Blvd. in League City. The show will be open noon-6 p.m. April 14, with an opening ceremony at 11:30 a.m. that day. Activities will continue noon-7 p.m. April 15, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. April 16 and noon-6 p.m. April 17.
Free parking will be available around the South Shore Harbour Marina Resort and at Randalls across from the entrance to the resort on FM 2094.
"It's a very, very different type of boat show," said Bryant, the show's president. "We got our background in boat shows in the Bahamas.
"It's more a family, 'lets-go-to-the-boat-show-and-have-fun' kind of event, instead of going to a convention center."
In its third year, the Houston show will feature bay boats, powerboats, luxury yachts and sailboats — more than 300 craft in all - and many will be ready to demo.
Gerry Laster, sales operations manager of Texas Coast Yachts in Clear Lake Shores, said he loves the idea of having the show on the water.
"The visitors get a much better impression of the use and features of the boats," he said. "This is the way to do it."
The show will offer free parking and $5 admission on April 14 and 15. Children with an adult will be admitted for free on those days.
Admission is $12 on April 16 and 17, but discounted tickets are available on the show's website, and coupons are available in the community.
Bryant expects between 25,000 and 30,000 to stop by during the event.
One of the highlights of the weekend will be a book signing on April 16 by Abby Sunderland, 17, who set out in January 2010 to become the youngest person in history to circumvent the globe alone.
Her trek was cut short in June of that year when a giant rogue wave rolled her boat, Wild Eyes.
The wave tore off the boat's mast and made it impossible to continue.
"Can you imagine doing that?" Bryant asked. "And she was only 16.
"Houston is such a big boating center, I thought a lot of people would like to meet her and just say 'Hi.'"
Sunderland describes her adventure in her book, Unsinkable: A Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas (Thomas Nelson, $22.99), written with Lynn Vincent and scheduled to be released Tuesday, April 12.
Sunderland will be at the boat show 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. April 16 at the exhibit for Texas Coast Yachts, which is sponsoring her appearance.
"It's great for young people to see a positive role model," Laster said.
"All of her training paid off; that's how she survived."
The boat show will feature music by local performers, such as Jerry Diaz & Hanna's Reef, Southbound and Texas singer-songwriter Dean Adamson.
Guests also will have a chance to watch the Houston Wakeboard Shoot-Out, presented by M2Sports.com.
"It's all geared toward making it a nice day out," Bryant said.
For more information, visit www.southwestinternationalboatshow.com.
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