Ocean City Today

Annual Seaside Boat Show this weekend in OC

By Kara Hallissey | Feb 15, 2018

(Feb. 16, 2018) Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club’s annual Seaside Boat Show will return to the resort for the 35th year, with more than 300 boats, 50 dealers and 150 vendors at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street, this weekend, Feb. 16-18.

Admission cost is $10 for a day pass or $15 for the entire weekend. Children’s admission is $1.

Dealers and exhibitors will feature the latest and most popular models and many are offering special show prices during one of the most popular boat shows on the East Coast.

Visitors can browse an array of sport cruisers, sport fishing, performance and “super boats.” Financing and insurance is available for interested buyers.

The show grows every year, drawing thousands of water and boating enthusiasts to the resort with more than 13,000 people expected to attend this weekend.

“People are exposed to the latest advances in the marine and fishing industry,” said Charles Smith, the show’s publicity chair. “They also see the newest boats and everything available to support the leisure industry.”

Exhibitors will be selling marine state-of-the-art electronics, trailers, canvas tops, motors, jewelry, boat lifts, dock builders, art, paddleboats, fishing and other water sports-related gear.

“Everything from canvas, oars and insurance to real estate and jewelry,” Smith said. “Visitors will see the latest boats, personal water crafts, electronics, rigging, fishing gear and everything else that boaters want and need to be sure their recreation experience is what they want.”

The Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club sponsors the event and is a local affiliate of Optimist International. The Ocean City-Berlin chapter has 114 members and is recognized as one of the top clubs in the volunteer organization.

The Ocean City Seaside Boat Show is one of the Optimist Club’s major fundraisers for its children’s programs and all of the funds raised are used for youth activities and community service in Worcester County.

“It is great to have a good fundraiser so we can support our youth programs and help fund many organizations,” Smith said. “Our show motto is the boat show that works for kids.”

In the past, the show has supported Worcester GOLD, Diakonia, the Worcester County Fair, CASA, Worcester Youth & Family Counseling, boy scouts, oratorical contests, WEXL banquet, Junior Achievement, Youth ID, Worcester County art contests, reading programs in the elementary schools, the drama program at Stephen Decatur High School, essay contests, an art show in Berlin, after prom parties and scholarships at the three county high schools.

It has also raised funds for sports and recreation in Ocean City, Berlin, Selbyville, Snow Hill, Ocean Pines and in other areas, Smith said.

For more than 30 years, the club has provided scholarships totaling more than $1.8 million to more than 400 Worcester County seniors at Stephen Decatur, Snow Hill and Pocomoke high schools, he said.

In addition, anyone who attends the show and buys a ticket will be eligible to win a pontoon boat with a motor courtesy of North Bay Marina. The Fenwick Island, Delaware business has been donating a door prize to the show for the last 29 years, Smith said.

“Over 35 years ago, Don Hastings, a club member, thought a boat show at the convention center could work and the Optimist supported him,” Smith said. “We have reached the point where there is a waiting list for space.”

The Seaside Boat Show runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday.

For a chance to win a boat, attendees should include their name, address and phone number on the tear-off section of the admission ticket and put it in the raffle container.

Visit www.ocboatshow.com for a list of exhibitors. Check out www.ocberlinoptimist.org for more information about the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club.

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