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PROVIDENCE, R.I. â€“ If you come to the Providence Boat Show this year, you just might win a new Stingray.
And someday, you might win a car!
The Stingray in question is an 18-footer, outfitted with a MerCruiser engine and trailer, worth more than $20,000 in total, not the car made famous by movie and TV spies in the 1960s, but why quibble? Enter the show and have a chance. With that, who needs a car?
According to organizers, this yearâ€™s Providence Boat Show â€“ its 18th annual incarnation â€“ will be a feast for the eye, the ear and the psyche, especially in the dead of New England winter.
Some delightful old friends are returning from the sea.
â€śWe are delighted to have sailboats on display after a three-year hiatus. Companies such as J-Boats, Hunter, Beneteau and Corsair â€“ which is a multihull - will be on exhibit,â€ť said Nancy Piffard, the Showâ€™s director. â€śAnother popular attraction is sure to be the booth where show-goers can sign up to win that 18-foot Stingray.â€ť
Piffard said the Boat Show is always trying to reinvent itself to meet the needs, wants and practicality of boating families, especially during these economic times.
â€śFamilies have diverse interests and are looking for products that appeal to their needs and desires. We offer a variety of boats for them to climb aboard and get a feel for each different one before making their decision,â€ť she added.
The many boats on display range in size from 10 to 40 feet. â€śAnd for kids â€“ the popular BassMaster Casting Kids Program will be back this year on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,â€ť she said.
The show also plans a formidable line-up of seminar speakers who will cover everything from boating safety to fishing tactics. (A complete seminar schedule is online.)
Clean the Bay â€“ the Showâ€™s charitable partner - will raffle off a Walker Bay Inflatable to raise money. â€śWe also have a couple of new boats making their debut in Providence â€“ a Crownline E 6 and a 208 and 225 Stingray,â€ť said Piffard.
The Boat Show runs Jan. 13-16 this year at the Rhode Island Convention Center in downtown Providence.
It is one of the first of the winter boat shows in New England to be filled with powerboats that appeal to the family cruising and fishing audiences. Add in kayaks and inflatables, plus booths with all the equipment needed, and you have a seafarerâ€™s paradise.
There will be a total of 225 exhibitors and more than 300 boats on display, or, more than 120,000 square feet of boats and equipment.
There will be a live broadcast by former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci on Friday, from 2-6 p.m., as well as personal appearances and prize give-a-ways by Lite Rock 105 personalities.
Military personnel receive half price tickets with a valid ID all four days of the Show. People can save money by purchasing advance discount tickets online. Go to www.providenceboatshow.com and click on â€śTickets.â€ť Advance tickets are $8 (plus handling fee) instead of $10 at the ticket booth. Kids under 12 are FREE with adult. 401-846-1115.