Evinrude’s Guide to a Boat Show

The best time to buy a boat is during the off-season and attending boat shows can help potential buyers find special deals, packages, incentives, etc. It’s also a great way to get to know different dealers and manufacturers. The Miami Boat Show, one of the biggest in the country, is just around the corner (February 14th -18th). So, we thought we’d share a few tips on how to get the most out of your experience.


Click here to find out about Evinrude’s winter promotion at select boat shows:



Prepare in advance.
If you are planning on buying a boat fairly soon, do your homework in advance. A boat show is not the place to start looking from scratch. It is best to have an idea on what type of rig and what price range you are interested in. Use the event to narrow down your choices and become familiar with the boat or motor in which you are interested. That way, you won’t waste any time getting your questions answered. The best way to find pricing information pre-boat show is to log on to some brokerage websites as many dealers won’t have online tools at your disposal.


Plan your route

This goes along with prepping in advance. You’ll want to have an idea about what make and model you’re looking to purchase. That way you can make sure you have enough time to visit the right dealers and booths.  If it is a large event or your time is limited, most shows give out a diagram of the exhibitors and their locations on the show floor. Map out the ones you want to see first then mark the ones you may want to visit if there is time left over. Many shows also include demonstrations of fishing gear, boat electronics, and even some have cooking demonstrations for cookware and seminars for the boaters and fishermen. Try to gain as much knowledge as you can.


Bring a bag!

This sounds like a simple one, but plenty of people forget. Lots of dealers hand out brochures, gear, t-shirts and fun accessories to attendees. Our advice would be to bring a bag so you don’t miss out on any of the free merchandise!  With that, be sure to have a pen or pencil with you to take notes, copy down prices, and use the brochures to make comments on the rigs that interest you. A pad of paper or at least a piece of paper folded up in your wallet allows you to jot down prices, phone numbers, website addresses and email addresses without  fumbling around trying to locate something to write on.


Dress Appropriately

Wear comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing for the type of environment that you are in. An outdoor show or in-water show would necessitate different outfits than an indoor convention-center location.


Eat before you go

The $6.00 hotdogs and $8.00 drinks add up very quickly especially with family members along. Many dealers do not allow anyone with food or drinks to climb into a boat either.


Get tickets in advance

This is a fairly quick and easy task that will save you oodles of time upon arrival. The lines get pretty long and you want to have as much time as possible checking out all of the new boats, engines, accessories and more.  And instead of paying to see a local show, talk to a dealer, marine supplier, etc. and ask for passes to the event. Many exhibitors are given a number of free tickets by the show’s promoter.


Take your Time

You do not always have to buy right then and there as a salesperson may insist. Very often, a dealer will honor boat show pricing for a day or two after the show as long as the items are still in stock or readily available.


Shop for more than just a boat…

Shop for a dealer too! Find out who you like, who was most helpful and who you can see yourself trusting in the future. When you purchase a new boat, you also embark on a long relationship with a dealer. We want to make sure the relationship is rewarding. Be sure to give your contact information to the salesperson if they do not ask for it first. Often you may get a call near the end of the month with an even better deal on something you may have shown interest in. In addition, you may be the first to know of any new products that arrive at a dealership.


Enjoy Yourself

Don’t get overwhelmed by the hype and festive atmosphere. Look over the show first, do not buy the first thing that you see, think before you act as you do not want buyer’s remorse the next day or to find out that there was a nicer, better, or less expensive item nearby at another part of the show.  And don’t forget to bring a small camera with you. Take pictures of what intrigues you and of items that you want to remember. That is better than only a brochure or trying to memorize something that you may have seen there.


Questions? Post them here and we’ll have an Evinrude expert log on and help you out!