Preparations underway for Gulf Coast's largest boat show

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Final preparations are underway at the Gulfport Harbor for the second annual Gulf Coast Yacht and Boat Show. This year's show is packed with new events, more vendors and more than $100 million worth of boats and anything needed for your vessel.

WLOX News caught up with the event director to find out how the largest boat show on the Gulf Coast is coming along.

There are now six-hundred boats in the water and on land fill the Gulfport harbor.

Eleven months of planning and several days of prep work goes into the Gulf Coast's largest boat show before it officially kicks off April 3-6.

"There's a lot of tents. There's a lot of prep work, docks to be built, ramps to be built, there's all kinds of things we do just to get ready for the show. Then the vendors start arriving. It's a lot going on. It's like building a mini city," said Event Director Rob Lynch.

Last year there were approximately 150 vendors, this year the show features more than 200 vendors from all across the country. The show features seminars, one of the largest engine displays, boat manufacturers, plus boat dealers from across the southeast. With boats from 14 feet to a 70 foot cruiser, organizers say there's something for everyone. A new addition to this year's show involves sea life.

"We've got a live sea lion show, which everybody's got to see. I mean it's phenomenal. There are six seals. They do a great event. We brought back, there's a live shark encounter. It was a very popular event last year," said Lynch.

Organizers say shows like these take the guess work and time out of finding the perfect boat.

"The boat shows are really important because it's an opportunity for families to come straight to the show and see all types of boats represented by all types of brokers and dealers in one location," said Lynch.

The boat show's VIP day is Thursday, April 3 from 1 to 7 p.m. Tickets for Thursday's VIP event are $25.

On Friday through Saturday the show starts at 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on Sunday the show is 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. General admission is $10 and children under 16 years of age are free.

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