MIAMI — Organizers for the 2004 Miami International Boat Show estimate that more 150,000 people will attend the February 12-17 event. New-for-2004 models from personal watercraft to mega-yachts will be on display at the Miami Convention Center, Miami Sealine Marina and Yachting Center and (for the sailing crowd) Miamarina at Bayside. Frequent shuttles will provide easy access between locations. A short cab ride from the convention center to Indian Creek Waterway, the Yacht and Brokerage Show also will be in full swing.

More than 1,500 companies are expected to exhibit at the show, which is produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. In addition to boats, engines, electronics, fishing gear, safety equipment and more will be on display.

Special Features

A number of special events are planned for the show. They include:

Discover Boating Photo Contest

In this contest, which is Presented by the Miami Herald, entrants are asked to capture the spirit of the boating lifestyle by bringing their favorite boating-related photos to the Miami Beach Convention Center for the second annual Discover Boating Photo Contest.

The Grand Prize is a 12' foot Adirondack Pack boat and a $500 shopping spree at the Miami International Boat Show. Ten honorable-mention winners will receive $50 shopping sprees at the Miami International Boat Show.

The Grand Prize is a 12' foot Adirondack Pack boat and a $500 shopping spree at the Miami International Boat Show. Ten honorable-mention winners will receive $50 shopping sprees at the Miami International Boat Show.

Women at the Helm Day (Ladies' Day) Tuesday, February 17

This special day, co-hosted by the Miami International Boat Show and Genmar, will celebrate women and their contributions to the boating lifestyle. Events for the day include interactive seminars held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Each seminar will feature four segments: knot tying, trailering, safety and operating the helm.

Block Party — Rock Around the Block

Open to everyone, the show's "Sunset Celebrations" will run from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Friday through Sunday along Miami Beach's Convention Center Drive. These happy-hour festivities feature entertaining street performers, drink specials as well as contests and prize giveaways.

Discover Boating Center

Located in the C Lobby, the Discover Boating Center is designed to help those new to boating find the boat that is right for them. The "boat guy" manning the booth will walk the consumer through a series of questions before offering unbiased, brand-neutral advice about which categories of boats will best fit their needs. The center provides an invaluable resource for first-time, and in some cases even experienced, buyers.

Big Game Room

A hit since it's introduction, the Big Game Room — sponsored by World Publications — is an annual gathering for fishermen. It will feature celebrity anglers, tournament organizers, boat manufacturers, blue-water tackle manufacturers, conservation groups, artists and representatives from various resorts and fishing destinations from all over the world. Exhibiting countries include Italy, Spain, Mexico, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, U.S. Virgin Islands, Panama, the United Kingdom and even the Kingdom of Tonga.

A multitude of fun and educational activities are also planned for the BGR, with everything from the Marlin Bar — an entertainment, networking and meeting area — to a free virtual billfish tournament, where you can compete against others, or simply experience the thrill of landing a very excited sailfish.

The BGR will also include seminars, large screen plasma TVs; swimwear fashion shows and featured speakers including Bouncer Smith, George Poveromo, Karl Anderson, Mike Genoun, and many more.

Admission and Hours

Admission on Premier Day, February 12 is $25. From February 13-17, admission is $15 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 years old and under. Adult two-day passes are $24.

Show hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, February 12; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, February 13 through Monday, February 16; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, February 17.

For More Information

Discover Boating

www.discoverboating.com

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