Outside is the way to go for recreation and boat shows in 2021

Just as the public took to the outdoors to recreate safely during the pandemic, our boat shows are going to need to do the same until we get more people vaccinated. With the cancelation of the January Progressive Detroit Boat Show and now the Progressive March Novi Boat Show, we are looking ahead to two important outdoor boat shopping opportunities coming up on the calendar. Both will be held outdoors with all mandated safety protocols in place.

The Great Lakes Boating Festival scheduled for May 21 – 23 at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club will feature boats for sale from 16 – 80 feet in length, marine products and services, antique outboard motor display, vintage boats, steel band, remote control sailboats, art show, and Saturday regatta. This event is free to the public.

The Bay Harbor Boat Show, June 18 – 20, Bay Harbor Lake Marina, Petoskey, Michigan – This perfect Father’s Day weekend event will feature boats from 16 – 60 feet in length, products and services, live music, antique car and boat display, food, drinks, and more.

The Progressive Metro Boat Show is scheduled for September 16 – 19 at the Lake St. Clair Metro Park in Harrison Township. This event will feature boats for sale from 16 – 60 feet in length, marine products and services, coastal lifestyle shopping, water view walkways, live music, food and drinks, and more.

While we are grateful that boating offered families a safe and fun recreational outlet while social distancing in 2020, we also recognize that boaters are social people and like everyone else, anxious to be able to get together again. Boat shows serve this purpose, along with the opportunity to help those new to boating learn more about this safe recreational activity.

If like me, you miss all the camaraderie, learning, and fun that comes with the winter boat shows, make sure these two events above get on your calendar. In the meantime, Spring Launch is right around the corner and you do not want to be left on the dock. Demand continues, so the message here is to get moving if you are in the market for a new boat, engine, or any other type of upgrade.

Some upgrades you might consider include: repowering your boat, new upholstery and flooring, accent lighting, joystick docking for pontoons, easy canopy boat covering systems, and new docks, lifts, or hoists.

If you are planning to rent a well at a marina this summer, now is the time to move on that as well. Growth in boat sales has been across the board, everything from personal watercraft to cruisers. That means there are a lot more boaters in Michigan who will be looking for a place to keep their boats this summer. Michigan has hundreds of marinas, but many sell out early and keep a wait list for future years.

It’s time to get ready for boating! Start your planning at www.boatmichigan.org – Michigan’s #1 online boating resource with a listing of boating events, product and service directory, new boater area and more!  #TheWaterisAlwaysOpen


Nicki Polan
Executive Director
Michigan Boating Industries Association