For boat-show aficionados, there’s nothing like the smell of fiberglass in the morning. Serious mariners or anyone in need of vacation day-dream fodder will find crafts large and small and plenty of family entertainment at the 48th annual Atlanta Boat Show that kicks off Wednesday at the Georgia World Congress Center.
With about 200 exhibitors and hundreds of boats to peruse, the gamut is wide. Get into a kayak or 10-foot paddle boat for less than $1,000. Dream big with the Regal 44 Sport Coupe that was named Best of the Year family cruiser by MotorBoating Magazine. Granite counter tops in the galley, teak and holly floors, flat-screen TVs and room to sleep six, the luxurious sport yacht costs $831,000 and comes with a Volvo IPS drive that Singleton Marine Group's Anthony Aisquith calls “the best innovation in boating since the propeller.”
Here are other show features to check out:
Kid Stuff: Patrick the starfish, SpongeBob's best bud, will be at the show Saturday and Sunday. A special indoor play area features a bounce house, bungee jumping and a rock-climbing wall. A catch-and-release trout pond will help train budding anglers, while parents can look on at a 3,500-gallon bass tank with fishing demos by professional captains.
Thrills and Spills: The Distortion Boarding -- Extreme Rail Jam is new this year, bringing in several championship wakeboarders, including Andrew Adkison, to perform the sport's daring feats over a 30,000-gallon pool. 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Jan. 13-14; 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Jan. 15-16; noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Jan. 17. Andrew Adkison performs at 1 p.m. Jan. 16 and 2 p.m. Jan. 17. Speed fans will also enjoy the restored post-World War II Tupolev 007 Russian rescue boat on display. Valued at $2 million, it's one of three ever produced during the arms buildup and contains an MP14 aircraft fighter engine that reaches speeds up to 150 miles per hour.
Going Green: The Green Boating Zone includes boats and accessories designed to reduce boaters' carbon wakes. The zone will feature electric pontoon motor boats that run on batteries as well as boats with electric hybrid diesel engines. Reps from sailing academies and companies that sell eco-friendly boat accessories will be available to promote environmentally sensitive boating.
Within Reach: Show Manager Larry Berryman says pontoon boats are all the rage for the majority of boaters (an average one costs about $20,000), and the Affordability Pavilion will showcase these and other boats, including runabouts, bowriders and fishing boats, that can be financed for $300 a month or less.
If you go
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 13-15. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 16. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 17.
Georgia World Congress Center, 285 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW. Hall C.
$9 for adults. $5 for kids age 13-15. Free for children 12 and younger. 404-222-5200. www.atlantaboatshow.com .
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com