Preview: Mobile Boat Show 2019 this weekend

It may not be the ideal weekend to get out on the water, but a person can dream. The Mobile Boat Show 2019 is here to help.

Organizer Melissa Miller said this year’s event is packing the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center with boats from 15 dealers, and at least some of them are expecting a great year.

Scott Cunningham of Legendary Marine said industry indicators were good. “Boat show results right now across the country are up 15-18% in units and dollars,” he said early Thursday night as he and his colleagues put the finishing touches on the stalls that would open to the public on Friday.

“Consumer confidence is still very strong,” he said. High-end sales have been particularly strong, he added. “We had a record-breaking show in Birmingham,” he said. “Our average sale was over $90,000.”

Miller said that among the center consoles, pleasure boats, bassboats and other vessels at this year’s show, one stands out: a 435cc Everglades sitting just outside the Convention Center on a four-axle trailer with four outboards from 425 horses on its crosspiece. Miller, who has been involved in presenting the show for more than 20 years, said she believes it was the first boat ever featured in the show with a price tag above $1 million.

The show runs from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Adult tickets (16+) are $9 online or $10 at the door; children 15 and under enter free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Friday and Saturday after 5 p.m. adult admission is $5.

Full calendar information, including a list of seminars and other special events, is available at Family attractions include the Fetch-n-Fish dog show, marine life touch tables, a trout pond fishing experience to benefit Camp Rap-A-Hope, and a special “Kids Fishing 101” session that takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday. At this free event, children will learn “how to cast and use a rod and reel and water safety through a fun interactive program.” No registration is required; the first 100 participants will receive a fishing rod, tackle box and tackle free of charge.

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