(Feb. 14, 2014) The OC Seaside Boat Show is back for its 31st year with more than 350 sports cruisers, performance boats and other seaworthy craft on display this Friday through Sunday, Feb. 14-16, at the convention center on 40th Street.
Admission costs $10 for the day or $15 for the entire weekend for the show featuring 140 exhibitors and more than 50 boat dealers. All proceeds will go to the show’s organizer, the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club, for their youth programs, said Charles Smith, the show’s media advertising head.
“If you own a row boat and need an oar, there’s somebody there selling them. If you want to buy a Ski-Doo, there’s somebody there selling them. If you want to buy a motor, they’re selling them,” Smith said. “Everything that is needed for fishing and boating is at the boat show.”
With a long history in Ocean City, the show has grown over the years and now pulls around 15,000 visitors each year, he said. Vendors come from as far as North Carolina and New Jersey for the show, filling “every inch of space in the convention center,” Smith said.
Following a longstanding tradition, North Bay Marina in Selbyville, Del., will again donate an 18-foot Sweetwater Pontoon Boat with a 40-horse power Honda motor that one lucky attendee will win. Anyone who purchases a ticket can enter for a chance to win it by filling out the name, address and phone number tear-off section of the ticket and putting it in the raffle container.
The Optimist Club will also sell tickets for its $75,000 lottery at its booth at the show for $100 each. Proceeds from the tickets go to local high school scholarships.
Both the pontoon and lottery winners will be announced at the show at 5 p.m. Sunday, though they don’t have to present to win, Smith said.
The OC Seaside Boat Show is one of the Optimist Club’s major fundraisers for its children’s programs and “100 percent of the funds that are raised are used for youth activities and community service in Worcester County,” Smith said.
Over the past 26 years, the club has given around 300 scholarships totaling over $1.5 million to Worcester County students, and it raises money toward other local youth programs, including art, essay and speech contests, he said.
“We call it the ‘boat show that works for kids’ because all the money goes to the children’s programs,” Smith said.
There will be foods like hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza for sale at the concession stand. Due to construction at the 40th Street center, attendees should go left after coming in through the main entrance to purchase tickets.
The OC Seaside Boat Show runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, Friday, Feb. 14. Catch the show from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Visit www.ocboatshow.com for a list of exhibitors. Check out www.ocberlinoptimist.org for more information about the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club.