2023 Progressive Detroit Boat Show – Back, strong as ever after 3-year hiatus

By Nicki Polan, Show Manager and MBIA Executive Director

The 65th annual Progressive Detroit Boat Show is set to run January 14 – 16 & 19 – 22 at Huntington Place (formerly Cobo Center) in Detroit. It’s been 3 years since the 2020 show and we know boaters in this state are itchin’ to get back to this great event. The show will close mid-week (Tuesday and Wednesday).

The Progressive Detroit Boat Show is considered among the top boat shows in the country based on size, sales and attendance. It serves as the ultimate one-stop-shopping experience for boating as well as an excellent opportunity for those new to the industry to learn about the affordability, ease of operation, unlimited access to water, and the joys of the boating lifestyle. Think of the time savings with more than 100 boating businesses all under one roof.

Supply chain challenges have loosened, and dealer inventory levels have grown. Used boat inventory has also grown as backorders are now coming in. Additionally, the unprecedented demand our boating industry has experienced over the last two years has somewhat normalized. All this means it is a great time to shop for a boat.

New for 2023 will be many new model introductions. The Progressive Detroit Boat Show will feature boats, motors, and products with the latest technology, comfort, and performance. It truly is a place to see what’s new, cutting edge, and trending. Also, for the first time in the show’s history, we will allow used “like new” boats for model years 2021 & 2022 on the floor along with the 2023 new model introductions.

Boats from 10 – 50 feet in length will be for sale for fishing, skiing, cruising, wake boarding and wake surfing, personal watercraft, pontoon boats, paddle craft, and so much more. New boaters often wonder about the timing of this event. We explain that ordering in January assures competitive pricing and timely delivery for spring launch whether you are shopping for boats, motors, trailers, docks, decks, canvas, gear, and all things boating, water, and summer.

Many boaters use the Progressive Detroit Boat Show as a chance to catch up with their boating friends. They attend in groups. Some come by bus and spend the day at the show planning for next summer’s fun. Michigan has a good number of boat clubs and this event is a popular club rendezvous destination for a splash of summer in the middle of winter.

Like boating, this event gets families together face-to-face, away from the screens and stressors of the world – to spend time making memories that last a lifetime. We work hard to bring to this event not only an atmosphere which caters to all ages, but also special features and promotions. This year we are excited to bring back our very popular Kids Zone featuring Water Rollers, Kids Crafts, a Live Mermaid, and new interactive exhibits. The adult zone features our Tiki Bar and our 80’s Bar.

We have expanded our Career Days to cover all weekdays – January 16, 19 & 20 – inviting any student with student I.D. to come to the show free of charge and learn about full-time, year-round careers in our boating industry. The Show offers free admission for the student and family and a chance to win a $250 gift card if the student stops at designated learning stations throughout the show.

Free boating safety classes will be offered on both Saturdays. A free ticket to the show is provided to those who complete the 1-day course taught by the Oakland County Marine Sheriff’s Department.

For many, the Progressive Detroit Boat Show starts the countdown to spring launch. The show is a marker, a re-fueling opportunity, and a warm reminder of the fun boating activities that lie ahead. Whatever your reason is for attending, we hope to see you at this great event. More information is available at www.DetroitBoatShow.net.

The Progressive Detroit Boat Show is owned and produced by the Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA), the voice of boating in Michigan. Our mission, since 1958, is to advance, promote, and protect boating in Michigan. All revenue generated from MBIA boat shows goes back to support boater’s interests via MBIA’s programs and services. Another reason to come to the show.